A Huge Earth that now dominates space at Life in Newcastle will help encourage visitors to think about climate change.
Gaia is the striking new planetary exhibit that has made a timely arrival at the Life Science Center where it is to be a permanent addition.
And as the current climate change debate rages on, it’s about to spark a lot of topical conversations.
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Gaia is a seven-meter-diameter globe featuring detailed images of the Earth’s surface by NASA. It is created by artist Luke Jerram as an extension of his Moon Museum.
This moon exhibit, which Life presented in 2019, is currently in Durham Cathedral, which has a series of themed events around its three months.
The Life Science Center has developed its own thematic activity program and its aim is to help families explore the issue of climate change.
Life CEO Linda Conlon said, âClimate change and its devastating effects on the planet are the biggest problem of our time, so it’s time for this fascinating and inspiring work of art to come to life. “
Gaia, described as an art-meet-science creation, is one of only five permanent exhibitions of Jerram’s artwork in the world and, as it moved to the city ahead of the international climate conference COP 26 later this month, it serves to highlight the fragility and wonder of our planet.
It aims to create a feeling of “the big picture”: described by astronauts as a feeling of admiration for the planet; a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of all life and a renewed sense of responsibility to care for the environment.
Linda added, âAs the only science center in the North East, we have a unique opportunity to engage with the public and help them understand complex topics.
“By exploring climate science, reflecting on its causes, and waiting for a future of solutions, families can contribute to the global effort from their local base.”
Life’s approach has been praised by Hayley Fowler, Professor of Climate Change Impacts at Newcastle University, and its program of events aims to encourage visitors, especially families and schoolchildren, to debate a controversial and often frightening subject.
This includes a new school curriculum, developed in collaboration with local teachers and incorporating interactive workshops and storytelling sessions; activities such as making windmills and experiments exploring future foods.
On Thursday, there was also a free online discussion for adults, examining how climate change can impact human eating habits.
To learn more about what’s on offer at Life, check out its newsletter information here.
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