Mesmerising new exhibition opens at Scienceworks

Beyond Perception: Seeing the Unseen – a $3.7m milestone gallery redevelopment created with teens, for teens – reveals STEM futures.

Beyond Perception features stunning light projections, immersive and interactive experiences and a generative soundscape.

Scienceworks has today unveiled a new permanent experience that immerses visitors in large-scale exhibits revealing the invisible fields and forces that surround us such as gravitational waves, invisible light, turbulence, sound and the electromagnetic spectrum.

The new exhibition, Beyond Perception has seen the entire Level 1 gallery at Scienceworks transformed into a dedicated space for teenagers and young adults. It is dark and atmospheric, with stunning light projections, immersive and interactive experiences and a generative soundscape, which uses high-tech software to manipulate all of the sounds produced through Scienceworks into a cohesive soundtrack that is never the same twice.

The exhibition is divided into six sections including:

  • Wrapped in Spectrum: an entrance corridor that takes a look at the Milky Way through six different electromagnetic spectrums.
  • Cacophony: an immersive and reflective space for teenagers to relax while light projections and a high-tech generative soundscape wash over them.
  • Turbulent Encounters: delves into the unsolved science of predicting airflow around objects. It looks at turbulence, fluid dynamics and aerodynamics via three-large scale interactives.
  • Energetic Vibrations: invites visitors to experience sound as a physical experience via an interactive sound couch, audio visualisations and projection mapping.
  • Waves at Work: shows how different fields of science use waveforms to detect things we can’t see. It explores the synchrotron, various telescopes, fluorescence microscopy, CT scanning and scanning electron microscopy (SEMs).
  • Cosmic Events: explores gravitational waves with an interactive that lets visitors bend the fabric of space-time to create black holes that they can collide together to create a gravitational wave.

Beyond Perception: Seeing the Uneen has been co-developed with teenage members of a specially-convened youth advisory council, JBoard. Over the past two years, they have met monthly to provide feedback on almost every aspect of the exhibition to ensure that it is both appealing and tailored to young adults.

Scienceworks has also sought the assistance of 28 scientists and engineers from Victoria’s top research institutions, such as Monash University, the University of Melbourne and Museums Victoria, ensuring that the content reflects the latest in scientific and technological development.

As Lynley Marshall, CEO, Museums Victoria explains, "It is predicted that education in science and maths will be crucial for more than 400,000 new jobs in Victoria by 2025, but participation in these subjects is steadily declining. Beyond Perception aims to counteract this trend and inspire teenagers to participate in STEM by taking them to its most fascinating and imperceptible corners."

She says that Beyond Perception is part of a major $6 million redevelopment, supported by the Victorian Government, aimed at engaging babies to young adults in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at Scienceworks.

Martin Foley, Minister for Creative Industries says the exhibition doesn’t just showcase ground-breaking science, it demonstrates how Museums Victoria is transforming the museum experience for all ages.

"By working with teens to develop this exciting exhibition, Scienceworks has created an immersive experience that brings STEM concepts to life in a way that speaks directly to young Victorians. This all about sparking curiosity in science, inspiring a lifelong interest and helping develop our next generation of STEM leaders."

As David Perkins, Experience Developer at Scienceworks further explains,

"Beyond Perception is a richly scientific and stimulating experience, firmly grounded in STEM learning principles, but it is also a space that encourages young adults to hang out and be social, with snappy interpretation and an area to charge their phones."

JBoard member, Tanya Kovacevic said after being part of the project for two years she is excited to finally invite people to come in and see it.

"I can’t believe it’s finally open! It’s amazing that we all came to Scienceworks because of our love of science, and now there’s an exhibition opening that we are part of. I’m so happy that we’re finally able to show everyone what we’ve been doing at JBoard, and I hope everyone will enjoy visiting it as much as we did creating it."

Beyond Perception follows the opening of Ground Up: Building Big Ideas, Together, a STEM-centered exhibition for babies to five-year-olds which opened to wide acclaim in December 2017 and has seen Scienceworks experience their highest ever visitation numbers.

Beyond Perception: Seeing the Unseen opens at Scienceworks on Saturday 12 May and is free with admission.

Interviews are available with:

  • David Perkins, Experience Developer, Beyond Perception: Seeing the Unseen
  • Teenage members of JBoard
  • Scientists and Engineers who have assisted with exhibition content
  • Lynley Marshall, CEO, Museums Victoria

Media enquiries:

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