Beyond Perception: Seeing the Unseen is a brand new immersive permanent gallery space at Scienceworks created exclusively with teens in mind.
Filled with large-scale immersive experiences, Beyond Perception: Seeing the Unseen aims to inspire and intrigue teens to engage with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by taking them to its most fascinating and imperceptible corners.
The concepts covered are quite conceptual and at the cutting edge of current research. Beyond Perception carefully reveals the invisible fields and forces that surround us, such as gravitational waves, invisible light, sound and aerodynamics.
The exhibition is divided into six key areas:
WRAPPED IN SPECTRUM – Reveals how by using different bandwidths of light we can see different things.
CACOPHONY – This immersive and reflective space invites young adults to lay back on lounge furniture and let light projections and a high-tech soundscape wash over them.
TURBULENT ENCOUNTERS – Delves into the unsolved science of air flow, which is incredibly hard to understand and predict. Includes three interactive exhibits showcase how both digital and physical modelling can contribute to our understanding of air flow.
ENERGETIC VIBRATIONS – This space invites visitors to experience sound as a physical experience by sitting on lounge seats fitted with pads that act as speakers. Experience sound vibrations passing through your body!
WAVES AT WORK – This area shows how different fields of science use waveforms and other instruments to detect things that we can’t see.
RIPPLES IN SPACETIME – This space allows visitors to discover a range of content around the discovery of the gravitational waves using the LIGO telescope and try out an interactive stretchy cosmic screens which visitors can press to create a black hole.
An exhibition 2 years in the making
Tasked with engaging the elusive tween, teen and young adult audience, Scienceworks went straight to the source and assembled their own group of teenage consultants of 12 – 15 year-olds from Melbourne, who over a course of 21 monthly meetings have been consulted throughout the exhibition’s development.
Feedback that teens were turned off by being surrounded by younger children has seen Scienceworks create a separate, dedicated space for them on the first floor (previously home to Nitty Gritty Super City).
Beyond Perception is a space that encourages them to hang out and be social. With moody lighting, informal lounging areas, an ambient soundscape and even an area to charge their phones, it’s unlikely that teens will want to leave!
In addition to the teen consultants, the Scienceworks team collaborated with over 27 scientists and engineers from Victoria’s top universities and research institutions which ensured, all the immersive experiences are underpinned by real world content that reflects the latest scientific and technological developments.
Personally I’m a bit of a science nerd and found the gallery really interesting. Even though it’s aimed at teens, it’s a really accessible way for adults who may not be familiar with new science, like gravitational waves, to get their head around these concepts.
Ideas and diagrams are presented in the scientists own handwriting on the walls which makes some of the text heavy information easier to consume.
WHERE: SCIENCEWORKS 2 Booker St, Spotswood
PRICE: FREE with Museum entry ($0-$16)
WHEN: Daily 10-4:30pm
Family friendly but best suited to children 8yo and over. The spaces are quite dark which may not suit very young children.