The "JOIDES Resolution" (widely known as the JR) is the flagship research vessel for the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), which is dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth through drilling, coring and monitoring the sub-seafloor. With the U.S.A. investing over $1 billion in ocean research over the past 15 years, the JR's ongoing work represents truly phenomenal educational opportunities spanning the vital fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
While bringing the JR to land-locked communities across America to share IODP's latest findings would be highly difficult, the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL) has partnered with numerous organizations including the National Science Foundation (NSF) - to evoke this experience. In association with a network of civic and educational partners spanning the nation, as well as masterplanning and exhibit design firm Luci Creative and fabricator Ravenswood Studio, COL is very proud to announce the debut of its new traveling exhibit, entitled, "In Search of Earth's Secrets: A Pop-Up Science Encounter."
The exhibit debuted last week in Martinsville, Virginia, where it will run through April. It will then move to New Brunswick, New Jersey (April-June) and Brooklyn, New York (June-August).
"The JOIDES Resolution provides an incredibly compelling hook to get kids and the general public engaged and excited about science and technology," explained Sharon Cooper, the project's lead and IODP's U.S. Education Director. "Since it's impossible to bring large numbers of people to the ship, we are eager to bring the ship and its science to people wherever they are."
This new pop-up experience is now set to travel across America in the months and years to come. Designed by the experts at Luci Creative for use at festivals, fairs, mall parking lots, and other rural and urban settings, its primary audience includes communities that are underserved by science resources. With support from universities, local libraries, Girl Scouts and other youth organizations, program scientists, educators, and museums, the Earth's Secrets experience will feature an immersive theatre presentation inside a 45-foot long replica of the JR, in tandem with eight interactive hands-on learning stations situated around a 30-foot-wide map of the ocean floor. Netherlands-based ScienceMedia is responsible for the project's innovative immersive media production, which features voiceover by actress Michelle Hurd.
Benefiting from the unique skillsets of Luci Creative and Ravenswood Studio, "In Search of Earth's Secrets" leverages these companies' experiential and theatrical storytelling expertise to educate and mesmerize audiences in one location after another.
"It was a privilege for our team to collaborate with the amazing contributors on this project," said AJ Goehle, Executive Director at Luci Creative. "Sharing stories of the latest scientific discoveries about our planet and bringing them to life in ways that help our young visitors develop a deeper sense of empathy and understanding for our planet - is the best case scenario and ideal project for the Luci team."
According to Luci's Creative Director Kevin Snow, his team was initially provided with a basic sketch showing how the partnership envisioned the exhibit. "From the earliest discussions, having a scale model of the ship form the central hub for the exhibit was a main objective," he explained. "While we knew we had to create and produce something that is easy to deploy and manage, our interpretive plan also put a lot of consideration into the target audiences. A lot of effort went into determining the best possible approaches to leverage the partnership's incredible and invaluable scientific content in ways that would maximize hands-on learning opportunities."
Altogether, more than 30 members of the staffs of both Luci and Ravenswood contributed to the design and construction of the exhibit, striving to provide fun access to all of the scientific content while also making the experiences easy to access and comprehend. An example touch point teaches how the JR performs core drilling. Within its interactive workstation, visitors will examine core replicas, identify key features, and use that information to learn about Earth history... just like scientists do onboard the JR.
Throughout the project timeline, Luci's documentation helped not only to win the project award, it also educated all parties on how the finished exhibit would appear and function, along with providing vital details on its shipping and assembly.
"In Search of Earth's Secrets" exhibit information will be continually updated on the official website, http://www.insearchofearthssecrets.com