The future Northern Virginia Science Center will celebrate community, and everything that makes Northern Virginia special. One of the defining features of our area is that its community consists of a variety of STEM fields that incorporate or rely heavily on data. Over 70% of the world’s internet traffic travels through Northern Virginia daily. Data is elusive to most of us, intrinsic to what we do every day but invisible and hard to quantify. At the future Science Center, we will seek to connect our community to the data that surrounds them and help them to see data in a different way.
To accomplish this goal, we incorporated data science concepts throughout the Science Center as a theme and content thread. As guests enter the Science Center and visit each gallery, they will have opportunities to connect with data in new and surprising ways. Upon entrance, guests will be greeted by The Cloud installation. The centerpiece of our data-thread, The Cloud will represent the data that continuously flows through our region. The installation will begin as a canopy outside the main doors and continue along the ceiling through the entrance hall and main corridor. The Cloud appears as a uniquely illuminated ceiling in motion, demonstrating the flow of real-time data.
As guests enter each gallery, they will have even more opportunities to connect with data. In Flow, guests will enjoy artistic data visualizations and create music using weather data. In Helios, guests will be able to view real-time data about the sun. The Science on a Sphere experience in Habitat will showcase endless amounts of geospatial data. Human will allow guests to look at data as it relates to our society and how we identify with those around us. Data will be displayed in unique interactive displays encouraging guests to dive deeper into how data is a part of their own lives and challenging them to think about their daily connections to the data that flows all around us.