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Bradbury Science Museum NOTEs program at ASTC

The Bradbury Science Museum NOTEs program unveils its latest offering as "Building Immunity" hits the road.
October 1, 2018
Picture of touch table.

Building Immunity touch table.

"Best swag ever!" -Cherie Sweeney, Connecticut Science Center VP, Programs

The Bradbury Science Museum’s third traveling exhibit “Building Immunity” enjoyed an auspicious debut at this year’s annual Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) conference. Each year, ASTC brings together museum staff, informal science educators, and collaborating companies from around the world to share best practices and innovative techniques and technology in the fields of informal STEM education.  Considered the premier networking and professional development event for science center and museum professionals, the conference draws nearly 2,000 people each year, providing the perfect backdrop for the Bradbury’s presentation of world-class and influential, yet accessible, scientific research done at Los Alamos. 

Our 2018 NOTEs exhibit “Building Immunity” escorts you on a colorful voyage through time and around the world, leading you through the parallel evolutions of our immune systems and the viruses plaguing mankind for millennia. An Ideum touch table measuring roughly four by six feet, the exhibit features stunning visual displays and an intuitive story path. A viewer can learn about immunity, vaccine discovery and development, the history and research surrounding HIV, and ground-breaking work done by Los Alamos scientists. 

Accompanied by Linda Deck and Stacy Baker of the Lab’s Community Partnerships Office, Building Immunity launched to a crowd of over 1,500 science center and museum leaders from around the world looking for new educational content, state of the art technology, exhibits available for loan, or even all three. Others came looking for customers for their own offerings, from exhibition fabrications to intense and informative discussions about broadening STEM outreach and inclusiveness to augmented reality and, of course, animatronic dinosaurs.  Given today’s swiftly shifting technology and vast variety of museums, standing out at ASTC can be a daunting challenge. Building Immunity’s form and function, however, are products of intense collaboration between our amazing exhibit design team, brilliant scientists at Los Alamos, and the incredible design technology provided by Ideum, LLC, resulting in a mesmerizing interface with graceful progression and a natural informational path. Capture a virus on the touch table using an illuminating ring and begin your exploration! 

For two days, conference attendees from museums and science centers from 46 countries stopped by to take “Building Immunity” for a spin and commented not only on the beauty and function of the exhibit, but also on the eye-opening realization that work at Los Alamos covers far more ground than they’d ever guessed. In fact, the Connecticut Science Center was so taken with Building Immunity and its fit with their programming that they made a space in their Health Lab exhibit and we came home far lighter than we arrived! 

The Bradbury Science Museum enjoys its mission to encourage interest in and enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and mathematics and promote public understanding and appreciation of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Our traveling exhibit program, NOTEs, aims to reach from sea to shining sea, sending physical representations and storytelling about world-changing science happening every day at the Lab to informal learning institutions throughout the country. With three traveling exhibits so far, and more on the way, our hope for the NOTEs program is to have each of these beautiful, educational, free exhibits installed in learning centers across the country year-round, experienced and enjoyed by learners of all ages.