A fly through tour of a giant globe, rotting food and virtual prehistoric critters!
Blogging science to life
Fri 20 July 2012, Written by: Heather
If you’ve been down to At-Bristol recently you won’t have failed to notice that there have been some pretty exciting happenings downstairs… Over the past few weeks our cracking squad of designers, experts and artists have been putting the finishing touches to many months of hard work by our Exhibitions Team. They’ve been painting oceans onto a giant globe, carrying round plates of rotting food, and lining up the autocue in our new TV studio. Things really started to heat up on Tuesday, when we invited the press for a sneak peak at what’s going on and even the Lord Mayor was spotted donning his safety goggles and triggering a mini volcanic eruption in the Live Lab!
But what’s it all about? Today we launch our brand new exhibition: Our World – no more waste. Funded by the SITA Trust, the newest addition to At-Bristol explores how the world is a closed system: for over 4 billion years, nothing’s come in – and nothing’s gone out either. That means the Earth has had to come up with some pretty ingenious ways of dealing with its waste! Our new exhibits take a closer look at how nothing on Earth is wasted and everything is recycled into something new, no matter how different it might seem from the original.
First up, we invite you to travel back in time 6 billion years to the very beginnings of the Earth. If you stand just outside At-Bristol in Anchor Square, you’ll notice this is the start of our Living Timeline, an exhibit of pretty epic – and completely to-scale – proportions. Follow the orange line in through the entrance and onto the exhibitions floor: for every metre you get closer, you travel 100 million years through time! 460 million years ago the timeline becomes a 3D valley landscape – and this is where the fun really starts. Reach down into the valley and see if you can pick up the virtual critters that roam around there: pioneering augmented reality technology invites you to play with the slimy snails and tickle the tiny trilobites. Arachnophobes watch out: you might even find that ancient spiders start scuttling up your arm!
Once you’ve followed the timeline right up to the present day – bearing in mind that humans have only been around for the last 2mm of it – step inside our giant Earth dome and imagine you’re standing right at the centre of the globe. In here we invite you to discover some of the key cycles that keep the world ticking over: watch how water freezes to ice crystals and then melts back to liquid in front of your very eyes, and be amazed by time lapse photography showing seeds sprouting – then see the same photography showing a plate of food decomposing at super-speed! The magic globe invites you to track hurricanes as they move across the Earth’s surface, trace Co2 emissions over time, or switch over to night-time and compare levels of light pollution from all over the world.
Step outside the dome and you’ll spot what appears to be a huge CCTV camera panning over the new exhibition. Don’t worry, this isn’t Big Brother watching you! It’s actually our fascinating Heat Cam: take the controls and sweep across the floor to check out who’s hot and who’s not by discovering how people are losing heat from their bodies into the surroundings. That’s some pretty hot stuff!
Finally, fancy yourself as the next Michael Fish or Sian Lloyd? It’s lights, camera, action! as you try your hand at presenting your own weather report in our high-tech TV studio. Beware: reading the autocue, pointing to the right place on the map AND maintaining a TV presenter smile is not quite as easy as Ruth Murray, Content Researcher in At-Bristol, makes it seem!
Of course that’s not all: we also invite you to discover how the local landscape has changed by examining our soil core from the Gordano Valley, blast an air cannon at our shimmery wall to investigate currents, make your own volcanic eruption, and much more… but that’s for you to come and check out!
Our World - no more waste is funded by the SITA Trust, and is now open! Buy tickets to visit!
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