Lawrence Hall of Science Inspires Innovators with Imaginate

LAWRENCE HALL OF SCIENCE INSPIRES YOUNG INNOVATORS WITH NEW EXHIBIT, IMAGINATE, FEB. 4 – APR. 29

Berkeley, CA, February 7, 2012 – It’s easy to identify innovators, particularly in the Bay Area where organizations such as Apple, Facebook, and our universities offer inspiration almost daily. But, harnessing our own innovative capacity isn’t always so simple. Aiming to demystify the process toward innovation by making its principles accessible, replicable and fun, Imaginate, makes its world debut at the Lawrence Hall of Science February 4 – April 29, 2012.

Imaginate is an exhibit meant to inspire the spirit and practice of innovation through science. It identifies five guiding themes everyone can use as pathways to innovation, including: Dream Big, Expect the Unexpected, Collaborate or Compete, Try, Try and Try Again and Look To the World. Each theme is explored through a number of hands-on, interactive exhibit activities, encouraging participants to immerse themselves in the methods of innovative and critical thinking.

"Math and science can be perceived as difficult or rigid, without much room for creativity. Imaginate shows how using science and math in the process of innovation is creative, fun and engaging." said Gretchen Walker, Public Science Center Director at The Lawrence Hall of Science "The exhibits in Imaginate are designed using light, sound, and unique materials that inspire creativity and allow visitors to apply it to science and engineering. It's a deeply engrossing experience and kids and adults are spending hours engaged in the activities." Within the exhibit are more than twenty activities that appeal to a wide range of interests and ages: In Sound Lab visitors can jump and move as they collaborate to make music mixes using giant light up sound panels, In Racing Irons, they test the speed of surfaces ranging from Teflon to aluminum foam, and kids and adults of all ages can see if they can come up with new inventions like a hat to wear underwater or a shoe to walk on the moon in Create Something New.

“When we were developing the exhibit, our goal was to shift people’s perception away from the idea that innovation is meant for the ‘elite’, which can be intimidating,” said Mary Jane Conboy, Director of Science Content and Design for the Ontario Science Centre in Ontario, Canada that developed Imaginate. “We've left a lot of the experiences very open-ended, so each person will approach them in their own way, and can create something totally unique. ”

Imaginate is part of an exciting year of exhibition programming at Lawrence Hall of Science. Following Imaginate will be Tony Hawk Rad Science, May 26 – September 2, 2012 and Math Midway, September 15, 2012- January 6, 2013.

The museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Admission for Lawrence Hall of Science members and UC Berkeley students and staff is free, and general admission is $6-12. Children under 3 receive complimentary admission. For more information, call 510-642-5132 or visit www.lawrencehallofscience.org. Lawrence Hall of Science can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LawrenceHallofScience

The Lawrence Hall of Science: The Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley investigates, creates, and evaluates educational materials and methods, professional development programs, and hands-on learning experiences for science centers, schools, community organizations, and homes. Every year programs from the Hall serve millions of students, over 165,000 visitors, and more then 20,000 teachers nationally and internationally. The Hall is committed to providing every person access to high quality, effective science and mathematics learning opportunities to enrich lives, inform communities, and advance society. For more information visit lawrencehallofscience.org