Archive: Science On a Sphere International Workshop Orbits into the Detroit Zoo

Consortium revolves around earthly topics and out-of-this-world technology

February 14, 2017

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will co-host the 2017 international Science On a Sphere Users Collaborative Workshop April 25-27 at the Detroit Zoo. The gathering is held annually to provide an opportunity for members of the worldwide Science On a Sphere network to exchange ideas and collaborate on the system’s uses and enhancements.

“It is an honor to be the first-ever zoo selected to host this global workshop and to share how we engage the community with science by combining important environmental messages with technological advances,” said Ron Kagan, DZS executive director and CEO.

The workshop, titled “Pole to Pole: Connecting People, Places, Animals and Spaces”, will explore the ways data visualization tools such as Science On a Sphere can be used to educate audiences of all ages about animals and habitats and the changes that are happening in the environment.

Originally developed by NOAA as an educational tool to study environmental data, Science On a Sphere uses computers and video projectors to display images onto a 6-foot hologram-like globe. The presentations include short films about animals and ecosystems as well as animated images of Earth’s activities such as atmospheric storms, climate change and ocean temperature.

“Science On a Sphere at the Detroit Zoo seems to have its own field of gravity the way it pulls our guests in,” Kagan said. “It’s a powerful tool that motivates learning in a fun way – as if one were an astronaut observing Earth from outer space.”

The Detroit Zoo was the second zoo in the country to install Science On a Sphere as a permanent attraction in 2011. The system is located in the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery. There are currently 136 Science On a Sphere sites worldwide.