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The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center announces its 2015 lineup of featured exhibitions and Giant Screen films.

Celebrating San Diego, highlighting innovation and inspiring science learning with four new exhibitions and two new Giant Screen films.

January 14, 2015

San Diego, CA--The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center will kick off 2015 by celebrating innovation and San Diego with a series of new exhibitions, films and events to spark the scientific minds of visitors of all ages to the science center.


The Fleet will feature four new exhibitions this year, two of which are major traveling exhibitions and two that have been developed in-house. The science center also plans to debut two new Giant Screen films that highlight science exploration and innovation, much of which is happening right here in San Diego.


"San Diego is a city that thrives on innovation," said Steve Snyder, CEO of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. "Through our universities and private industries, San Diego is a worldwide hub of scientific thinking in fields such as oceanography, aerospace, biotechnology and more. At the Fleet, we're excited to offer a series of films and exhibitions in 2015 that celebrate innovation and a love of science learning, for the future generation of scientists and the curious thinkers of today."


New Exhibition: Don't Try This at Home


The Fleet's first new exhibition of 2015 is Don't Try This at Home, which opened Saturday, January 17. Science comes alive through exciting shows that feature experiments that can't (and shouldn't!) be done at home. Dazzling demonstrations will delight visitors, with multiple performances daily delving into science that's messy, loud and shocking! Visitors can take the next step and head to the Tinkering Studio: Don't Try This at Home downstairs to try their hands at innovation. The studio, which expands into the Fleet's main gallery on January 31, 2015, will include materials and guidance to inspire visitors to experiment, design and create.


New Giant Screen film: Humpback Whales


On February 13, 2015, the Fleet will host the world premiere of the new MacGillivray Freeman Giant Screen film, Humpback Whales. This incredible story of nature's most fascinating acrobat takes a captivating journey into the world of whales for a close-up look at how they communicate, sing, feed, play and care for their young. 


Despite their huge size, humpback whales are challenging to study. After all, they spend most of their time underwater and out of sight. We are just beginning to understand these ocean giants, and there's still much to discover. Thankfully, they've been brought back from the edge of extinction, giving us the opportunity to learn more. Intensive hunting between the 1920s and 1950s decimated humpback populations, until their numbers were down to only 5 to 10% of their original population. But then something changed. Whale biologist Roger Payne and his colleagues dropped a microphone into the sea and captured the remarkable sounds of the humpbacks and other whales. The recordings of these whale songs were released on vinyl by Columbia Records in 1970, and sold an astonishing 100,000 copies over the next 10 years. The songs helped break down the barrier between humans and whales and laid the foundation for an environmental movement to save the whales. 


The primary camera person for the underwater shots in Humpback Whales is San Diego-based filmmaker Howard Hall. Twenty years ago, Howard Hall created an innovative way to shoot underwater footage with IMAX technology. His methods extended the typical underwater filming time from fifteen seconds to up to twelve minutes. This advancement in underwater filming technology has led to new oceanographic discoveries as well as a broader popular understanding of the undersea world. His footage has been featured on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and the MacGillivray Freeman Giant Screen film Journey to the South Pacific. Without the innovations of Howard Hall, much of the stunning underwater wildlife footage we see and take for granted today would not be possible. 


The world premiere of Humpback Whales in San Diego will be a celebration of San Diego's connection with the ocean and everything we continue to learn from innovative oceanographic research and exploration.


New Giant Screen film: Journey to Space


Ever since Charles Lindbergh built the Spirit of St. Louis here in 1927, San Diego has been a hub of aviation technology and innovation. In 1935, Reuben H. Fleet relocated Consolidated Aircraft Corporation from Buffalo to San Diego to build flying boats for the Navy. This move set the stage for Convair and General Dynamics Corporation to become stalwart industry leaders in San Diego and propel the aviation industry in San Diego for years to come. 


Today, San Diego looks to the future, with local companies such as Rayotek and San Diego Composites contributing to the recent successful test launch of the new Orion spacecraft.


Rayotek provided engineering and manufacturing of the fused silica windows, essential for ensuring future crew safety. San Diego Composites provided the thermal protection system and its attachment structure for Orion's first flight test. Thanks to the contributions of these two San Diego companies, NASA was able to successfully complete the first major test of the spacecraft that will eventually take humans to Mars.


The new Giant Screen film, Journey to Space, is a love letter to the Space Shuttle, NASA's popular retired spacecraft that helped to build the International Space Station and paved the way for future space exploration. The film also is a look forward to our future in space, focusing on the Orion spacecraft and the innovations and technology that will be required to send humans to Mars. Journey to Space debuts at the Fleet on March 27, 2015.


New Exhibit: PowerPlay 


SDG&E has completed an ambitious lighting project in Balboa Park, and they've partnered with the Fleet to create a new exhibit: PowerPlay. This permanent exhibit will debut in the spring of 2015. In this interactive exhibit, visitors will try to keep the Power Grid in balance while maximizing the use of renewable energy sources. The exhibit is a dynamic representation of the smart grid and how it will impact San Diego's and its residents' energy future. PowerPlay will explore what the smart grid is, how it functions and how it will work with different types of buildings in San Diego that use energy.


New Exhibit: CIRCUS! Science Under the Big Top 


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls: Step right up! CIRCUS! Science Under the Big Top is coming to San Diego, on May 23, 2015. You're invited to run away and join the fun!


Discover the science behind the spectacle while performing acrobatics in mid-air, learning the art of contortion and performing spectacular feats of strength. Find out how carnie folk swallow swords, and try your hand at juggling various props. If you dare--and if you're 44 inches or taller--walk the tightrope high above the ground.


This family-friendly exhibition features twenty multi-station interactive exhibits that delve into everything from clown makeup to animal communication. Circus! Science Under the Big Top will appeal to San Diego's well-honed sense of play and highlight innovations in performance, all while explaining how the spectacle of the circus is rooted in science.


New Exhibition: Imaginate


Imaginate aims to inspire the spirit and practice of innovation in you. Use collaboration to create a musical masterpiece, and employ perseverance to make a stop-motion animated video. Observe the way your heartbeat affects the behavior of a sculpture, and bring your own invention to life in a combination tinkerer's workshop/artist's studio. Immerse yourself in the methods of innovative thinking through hands-on, interactive exhibits that use unique materials, sounds and light. Imaginate will captivate both kids and adults and inspire creative thinking and actions.


Imaginate opens at the Fleet on October 5, 2015.


In addition to these wonderful exhibitions and Giant Screen films, the Fleet will also continue to offer 100+ interactive science exhibits in eight galleries, including permanent exhibitions such as the Gallery of Illusions and Perceptions, the Tinkering Studio and Kid City. We will also hold our monthly planetarium show, The Sky Tonight, on the first Wednesday of each month, plus feature a rotating collection of Giant Screen, IMAX and digital films from our archives in the Heikoff Giant Dome Theater.


Our 2015 schedule also includes our second annual Rock in the Park live concert series, featuring San Diego music luminaries such as Steve Poltz and Tim Flannery. We'll bring back our popular science-themed 21-and-up parties, as well as our community-oriented adult science learning programs, Suds & Science and Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar.


For the kids we'll have over 30 days of Spring, Summer and Winter Camps, plus educational programs at the science center and throughout the county in San Diego schools.


It's gearing up to be a fabulous 2015 celebration at the Fleet


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For more information about the upcoming film and exhibition schedule, or to schedule a preview or a media appearance, please contact Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Public Relations Manager Nathan Young at 619-685-5743 or nyoung@rhfleet.org.



About the Fleet Science Center:

The Fleet Science Center connects people of all ages to the possibilities and power of science to create a better future. At the science center, you can explore and investigate more than 100 interactive exhibits that pique your curiosity and become immersed in an IMAX film adventure that shows the wonders of the planet--and beyond--in the Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. For young science enthusiasts, the Fleet offers science workshops both at the Fleet and at schools throughout San Diego County. For adults, we offer events like Suds & Science and Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar™ at locations all over San Diego. We support communities by leveraging science resources to meet local needs. Teachers are encouraged to join our Teacher Partner Program and take advantage of our professional development opportunities. Additionally, at the Fleet Science Center, visitors will find unique educational toys and games, books, IMAX DVDs and more in the North Star Science Store, and pizzas, sandwiches, salads and healthy treats in our Craveology cafe. Located in Balboa Park, at 1875 El Prado, two blocks south of the San Diego Zoo on Park Blvd., the Fleet is San Diego's science center. Science starts here and opens a world of possibility. For information regarding current admission prices, visit our website at fleetscience.org.
About Balboa Park:
Located near downtown San Diego, Balboa Park is the largest urbancultural park in the United States. First established by the City of San Diego in 1868, it is also one of the oldest city parks in the nation and is the most visited single destination in San Diego. Its 1,200 acres include 17 museums, many gardens and attractions, the San Diego Zoo, miles of hiking trails, and multiple athletic complexes to explore and discover. For more information, visit balboapark.org.