By Sara Powers

(CBS DETROIT) — The Michigan Science Center is opening a new, permanent exhibit called “Earth. Wind. Weather.”

The 2,500 square-foot exhibit was made possible by General Motors with additional support from Harman and PLEX Systems Inc. and features 10 hands-on experiences that will put the guests in control of some of nature’s most powerful phenomena.

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Credit: Elizabeth Weigandt

Visitors will create avalanches and geysers, explore Jupiter’s otherworldly atmosphere, command ocean waves, reach into a 12-foot tall tornado, learn secrets of the Earth’s rotation, transform desert landscapes, and more with this immersive new experience.

It is opening just in time for Earth Day, and is the perfect learning experience since this year’s Earth Day theme is “Restore Our Earth”, which focuses on climate education and the different ways that they can take action.

“No exhibit puts you at the center of science better than Earth. Wind. Weather,” says president and CEO, Christian Greer. “This experience, that GM made possible, helps learners of all ages connect to STEM concepts that shape our world, as well as highlight potential career paths in meteorology, oceanography, astrobiology, and geology. Earth. Wind. Weather. is immersed in an aural soundscape featuring recordings from National Parks across America due to a generous donation from Harman.”

Terry Rhadigan, the executive director of Corporate Giving for GM said, “General Motors’ support for Earth. Wind. Weather. brings together our ongoing support for Detroit Public Schools Community District and STEM education with our goal to help create a safer, cleaner, and better world. We’re taking action globally with our commitment to become carbon neutral by 2040, and locally by supporting the Michigan Science Center’s efforts to help students learn more about environmental sustainability.”

Earth. Wind. Weather. is included in the general admission price and is a part of MiSci’s new virtual field trip program with select classrooms in Detroit Public Schools Community District.

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Credit: Elizabeth Weigandt

DPSCD third through fifth-grade students can connect with MiSci Distance learning educators for a live, virtual tour of the Earth. Wind. Weather. gallery, which connects to each grade level’s earth and space science curriculum. Students will suggest ways for the educators to interact with the gallery exhibits on camera, play games, and participate in experiments about the weather, natural resources and the forces shaping our planet.

Virtual exhibit tours are reserved for DPSCD third through fifth-grade classrooms only at this time, thanks to the support of General Motors.

Credit: Elizabeth Weigandt

Evening Preview for Members on April 22
MiSci will host a free member preview on Thursday, April 22. Members will catch a special showing in MiSci’s 4D theater and explore the sky through a telescope. Pre-registration is strongly recommended.

Special Activities on April 24

  • Activities: MiSci will curate all hands-on activities from its collection of NISE Network Earth & Space Toolkit activities. These kits were designed in collaboration with NASA to address the link between science, technology, and society and feature ties to current cutting-edge research.
    1. Tornado Spin Art – Harness the power of a vortex to create splattering spin art.
    2. Temperature Mapping – Explore how the Earth reacts to surface heating using natural materials and High-Tec tools, just like NASA scientists.
    3. Investigating Clouds – Learners can watch isopropyl alcohol vaporized under pressure to create a cloud in an empty pop bottle.
    4. Sidewalk Solar Scopes – There’s plenty of clouds in the exhibit gallery, but keep your fingers crossed for clear skies outside so visitors can safely gaze at the sun using MiSci’s solar telescope collection to learn about the composition of stars.
  • Science Stage Show: “Earth from Above”: Join us on the Chrysler Science Stage for a virtual trip to outer space with the help of MiSci’s staff astronomer. We’ll look at the Earth from an outside perspective to talk about weather patterns, changing seasons and learn amazing phenomena like the Coriolis effect.

MiSci will also go LIVE on Facebook periodically throughout the day to show off some of the activities.

To reserve preview and general admission tickets, and find out more information visit www.mi-sci.org.

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