Due to an overwhelming response and demand from school groups and visitors from around the state, the South Florida Science Museum’s board of trustees announced they will extend the run of the Science Tunnel, an exhibition of Germany’s Max Planck Society, through Sunday, May 3, 2009. The interactive multimedia exhibition made its U.S. debut in mid-January, inside a 10,000-square-foot tent on the grounds of the South Florida Science Museum. Bank of America is the presenting sponsor of the exhibition, which was previously scheduled to close at the end of March.
“Since the Science Tunnel opened, we’ve experienced a record-breaking attendance of more than 20,000, including visitors, groups and student tours,” said Mary Sellers, CEO of the South Florida Science Museum. “The community is clearly interested in science and exploring the wonders of scientific research. With the opening of Scripps Florida, and the excitement building about the establishment of the Max Planck Florida Institute, we felt that extending the run of the Science Tunnel was important to respond to the community and enable as many Palm Beach County residents as possible to experience this amazing exhibition.”
The Science Tunnel offers visitors a fascinating trip into the realm of scientific discoveries. The special exhibition features video stations and hands-on exhibits designed to spark interest in science and a deeper understanding of science research among even the youngest minds. Visitors can observe dancing atoms and molecules at work, discover the roots of human culture, fight a virus before it infects the body, or race through the city of Tübingen, Germany on a bicycle, at the speed of light.
“We are delighted with the response to the Science Tunnel from the community, and with the support from our gracious hosts, the South Florida Science Museum,” said Dr. Claudia Hillinger, Vice President of Institute Development for the Max Planck Florida Institute. “Science education is an important component of the Max Planck Society’s philosophy and it’s an important dimension of what the Max Planck Florida Institute will bring to Palm Beach County. Our education programs are an investment in our future scientists – both here and around the world – and this exhibition is an example of that investment.”
Most of the unique pictures, videos, computer simulations and exhibits within the Science Tunnel come from the 80 Max Planck institutes in Germany and abroad. CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the Fraunhofer Society and other institutions have also loaned valuable components.
Debuted in Ludwigshafen, Germany in 2005, the Science Tunnel has traveled to some of the great cities of the world, including Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, Brussels, Johannesburg, Seoul, and Berlin. After West Palm Beach, Fla., the exhibition will make its South American debut in Chile on July 4, 2009.
Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children ages three to 12. Prices include access to the South Florida Science Museum, located at 4801 Dreher Trail North in West Palm Beach, and open seven days a week. Exhibition times may vary. Contact 561.832.1988 or www.sfsm.org for more information.
There are two remaining lectures in the series. The first is on Thursday, March 26 at 6:00 p.m. on the topic of “Climate change and conservation: Meeting the challenges of the 21st century.” It will be moderated by Dr. Stefan Harzen of the Taras Oceanographic Foundation. Panelists are Chuck Collins, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; Dr. Leonard Berry, Florida Center for Environmental Studies; and Dr. Peggy VanArman, Palm Beach Atlantic University. The second is on Thursday, April 23 at 6:00 p.m. on the topic of “Astronomy: Is our future in space?” moderated by the Science Museum’s Dr. Laura Sessions, and featuring Eric Vandernoot of Florida Atlantic University. Tickets are $40 for adults and $10 for students, which includes admission, a private tour of the Science Tunnel and refreshments.