Arizona State University is home to the very unique School of Earth & Space Exploration (SESE). Here, science and engineering research combine to help explore for a better understanding of our earth and the universe. The program moved in to a new state-of-the-art home within the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building in May of 2012.
Their new home is the largest single research building at the ASU campus. In addition to providing new space for research and instruction, the new real-estate opened doors for the SESE to promote the school and their studies with both students and the community. To make the most of the opportunity the school set out to create several interactive experiences and educational displays to help connect with visitors. ASU brought in DisplayWorks to assist with the design, fabrication and installation of displays, graphics and signage for six new attractions throughout the first two floors of the building.
At the main entrance a dramatic Mars Rover Curiosity display gives visitors an up close and personal look at the school’s life-size Rover replica as it crawls over a recreation of a rocky Martian landscape and horizon. DisplayWorks’ 3D platform recreation of the landscape, photo backdrop and graphic display stands allow visitors to not only learn about Mars but also get a sense for what it feels like to actually stand on the red planet.
Continuing on into the lobby, one of the most eye-catching exhibits comes into sight. The Interactive Planet Display features a large globe with an internal projection display, that responds to visitor’s interactions via a touch screen interface so they can explore the earth and other planets in the solar system. DisplayWorks built a glowing blue display platform for the globe and a sweeping fabric backdrop that frames the exhibit and while adding a sense of motion that immediately draws the eye toward the globe.
Following in the globe’s footsteps is the Immersion Theatre which also features our display platform with energetic blue cove lighting to match the near by Planet Display. A well-disguised projector overhead casts a 180 degree view on a curved fabric screen featuring high-resolution imagery and video that showcases diverse geographic features of the earth and allows visitors to explore various topics as well as control the presentation with an interactive touch screen.
To give visitors a hands-on experience of one of the many ways scientific research is conducted in areas that are difficult for humans to reach, the center features a Submersible Robotic Exploration Display. This attraction holds approximately 150 gallons of water in a large aquarium with a robotic submarine inside that can be controlled remotely by visitors standing on the outside.
Upstairs, visitors can explore the Center for Meteorite Studies, which houses the largest university-based meteorite collection of its kind in the world. While the most priceless specimens are securely locked behind close doors, DisplayWorks worked with the center on a wonderful display found on the second floor landing where hundreds of meteorites are showcased in all of their beauty to the public.
DisplayWorks was honored to work on this project with Arizona State University, and hopes the displays will further educate and inspire scientific minds, both young and old.