‘Science on Sphere’ creates interactive learning display


Zulfiqar Ahmed

Science on a Sphere exhibit will be displayed in Founders Memorial Library until March 25. The purpose of the exhibit is to educate students on issues such as climate change.

DeKALB A new display arrived in the Founders Memorial Library on March 1. Science on a Sphere allows for not only the study of climate issues, but also many different subjects like history and human geography. 

If students want to view this display, they can go to the Founders Memorial Library lobby where it will be until March 25. All are free to visit the display for as long as the library is open.

When asked about the variety of displays, student success librarian Kimberly Shotick talked about the Blue Marble display which resembles the view of the Earth from space. She also mentioned the Cities Throughout Time display, which visually displays the development of human settlements across the globe and time. Overall, she emphasized that the Science on a Sphere display covered a wide array of topics.

“(Science on a Sphere is a) global display system that projects data onto a 5-foot diameter sphere,” Shotick said. “Students can expect a lot from this display as there are hundreds of different data sets that show all different types of data from climate change, to weather patterns, to Facebook friendships from across the world.”  

On Sunday, the library hosted Spring on a Sphere, an event celebrating the vernal equinox. It began with a birding walk and ended with different experts holding presentations using the Science on a Sphere display on “everything from Darwin’s Finches to Urban Sustainability,” according to a March 8 news release. 

After each presentation, the audience was able to ask questions and meet the experts. 

Capping off Science on a Sphere’s stay at NIU will be Beer on a Sphere on March 25. The event is for those 21 and older, where students will be able to try local brews, enjoy appetizers and chat with local experts in brewing.

Students will also be able to purchase brews they enjoy and then settle for presentations on how climate change is affecting the brewing industry. Tickets for this event are no longer available. 

The Science on a Sphere exhibit is truly an event of variety, from education to spirits, to simple awe. 

“What I’ve noticed from students is a sense of awe first, followed by curiosity,” Shotick said. 

Shotick said that this is heavily encouraged by the physical presence of the exhibit. 

“There’s really this sense of urgency much more than when you’re reading something flat or watching a movie,” Shotick said. “It becomes more tangible when it’s 3D.”