Long Beach, California—NASA, the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA Goddard) have partnered to create a new program for the public. Our Instrumented Earth is a new exhibit-based show that will debut at the Aquarium, OMSI, and NASA Goddard this year, serving communities in California, Oregon, and Maryland, The program will officially debut at the Aquarium of the Pacific on September 18, 2013. “The program focuses on how satellites and other observing systems contribute to our understanding of how humans are changing the Earth and what those changes may mean to us,” said Dr. Jerry R. Schubel, Aquarium president.


Our Instrumented Earth celebrates NASA’s advances in technology and illuminates how information can be harnessed to increase understanding of Earth’s systems to enhance human lives and protect our planet. NASA awarded the Aquarium of the Pacific with a $331,000 grant to oversee the creation of the new program in conjunction with the Earth Sciences Division at NASA Goddard and OMSI. Others involved in the development of the program include the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), an operating division of the California Institute of Technology, and University of California, Irvine. The three public institutions will reach millions of individuals in diverse communities with Earth science that relates to their everyday lives and can help with adapting to changes in the environment. Presentations will be available in English and Spanish. “Informal education providers are an important part of NASA’s education family,” said Leland Melvin, associate administrator for NASA’s Office of Education in Washington. “By using compelling NASA content, they help us stimulate interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM,” Melvin said.


The multimedia show Our Instrumented Earth will be displayed on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Science on a Sphere®. Using the six-foot-diameter sphere and combining projected video, sound, and multiple flatscreens, this new show gives viewers a global perspective of complex Earth systems and tell stories about our planet and the environment. The wide variety of high-tech instruments monitoring our planet from space, on Earth’s surface, and under the ocean, are providing large amounts of data in real time, allowing scientists to understand the planet better than ever before. Using this data, scientists and other experts are able to understand human impact on the environment. Viewers will learn how scientists are using instruments to predict weather, monitor environmental changes, and even save lives.


This collaborative project also targets underserved youth to promote STEM learning and increase careers in these fields. STEM workshops will be available for teachers at underserved schools, and the Aquarium will host NASA Night to connect scientists with the students and their teachers. Our Instrumented Earth will be adapted for use on a small transportable globe called Magic Planet. The NASA grant will also allow OMSI to develop and provide outreach education and teacher training at its area libraries and schools. The program debuted at OMSI and began touring rural Oregon libraries with Magic Planet in mid-September.


For more information about the three partner organizations, visit: or call or 800.955.6674800.955.6674800-955-6674, or 301-286-3978.


Photo Credit:  ”©RMA Photography Inc. “Our Instrumented Earth” program  and the Ocean Science Center.

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