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The MSU Museum’s new “Science On a Sphere” gallery offers exciting opportunities for innovative teaching, research, and artistic creation. Developed by scientists in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Science On a Sphere allows for the animated visualization of complex datasets in three dimensions, projected on a globe that simulates a planetary body rotating in space. Through integrated data streams–drawn from NOAA and NASA remote sensing platforms and research programs the world over–users can globally envision a vast range of geophysical, environmental, public health, and socioeconomic phenomena.
This workshop explores the Sphere’s pedagogic possibilities for inquiry-based learning, including integrating hands- on observation of scientific specimens and cultural artifacts, student re-interpretation of big data, faculty-studentcollaborative authoring of original immersive visualizations for projection on the sphere, and the development
of game-style simulations of environmental, economic, and historical dynamics. We will also explore potential affordances of the Sphere in promoting scholarly inquiry in evolutionary theory and climate modeling, as well as the system’s possible uses as a digital canvas for new works of art, performance, and story-telling.