Lawrence Hall of Science
The Lawrence Hall of Science ( LHS) is a public science center featuring hands-on exhibits and activities. Located in the hills above the University of California, Berkeley campus, LHS is also a resource center for preschool through high school science and mathematics education. Established in 1968 in honor of Ernest Orlando Lawrence, UC's first Nobel laureate, Lawrence Hall of Science also develops teaching materials and programs for students, teachers, families, and the general public.

Permanent exhibits
  • Science on a Sphere ”“ interactive globe displaying real scientific data from Earth. Scientific data displayed on the globe includes Earth's weather patterns, ocean temperatures and currents, climate change, day and night views of the Earth, and tsunami and hurricane patterns. Science on a Sphere was developed by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
  • Forces That Shape the Bay ”“ outdoor science park, which explores the seismological forces that created and still affect the entire San Francisco Bay area.
  • Sunstones ”“ a 18 foot granite astronomical sculpture, created by David Cudaback and Richard O’Hanlon and installed outside LHS in 1979. Sight lines in the piece allow visitors to view northern- and southern-most setting of the sun at the solstices and many other important astronomical events.
  • nanoZone ”“ an exhibit examining the field of nanotechnology. The Nanozone introduces nanotechnology researchers from UC Berkeley and across the country, the latest consumer products made with nanotechnology, and computer games and hands-on activity stations that demonstrate how things work at the nanoscale.
  • KidsLab ”“ a multi-sensory play area for children in kindergarten and younger. Activities include large blocks and shapes to stack and build, a crawl-through kaleidoscope, the Gravity Wall, a puppet theater, and a reading area.
  • The Memorial Room ”“ devoted to the life and research of Ernest O. Lawrence. The room features a biographical film on Lawrence's life and a pair of "Dee" electrodes from one of the first cyclotrons.
  • A seismograph connected to UC Berkeley’s Seismographic Station, that registers earthquakes occurring anywhere in the world.
  • The Animal Discovery Room ”“ where children learn about animals. Many LHS classes are held in the Animal Discovery Room and provide the opportunity for children to observe and interact with animals.
  • Idea Lab ”“ offering visitors guided discovery activities based on many LHS programs.
  • Math Around the World ”“ an exhibit featuring math games played around the world. Popular games include Hex, Kalah, Game Sticks and Shongo Networks.
  • Pheena the Fin Whale ”“ a life sized model of a Fin whale residing on the LHS plaza.
  • A larger-than-life DNA sculpture on the LHS plaza is another favorite place for young visitors to play. This sculpture was designed by Michael Jantzen of Valencia, California. It was put in place in the spring of 1992.

Traveling exhibits
In addition to the many permanent exhibits, the Lawrence Hall of Science features a constant rotation of traveling exhibits. The most recent exhibit is "Creatures of the Abyss." Past traveling exhibits include: Scream Machines: The Science of Roller Coasters, RACE: Are We So Different?, Facing Mars, Animal Grossology, Waterworks, Engineer It, Speed, Wild Music: Songs and Sounds of Life, Circus! Science at the Big Top, Grossology, My Home, Planet Earth, Big Dinos Return, and Candy Unwrapped.

Nobel Prize display
In 2003, following the death of Lawrence’s widow, Molly Lawrence, the Lawrence family chose LHS to house his 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics. The medal was placed in a display case in the E.O Lawrence Memorial room, a permanent exhibit which has displayed artifacts of his life and work for nearly forty years. On March 1, 2007 a member of the Lawrence Hall of Science Exhibits staff reported that the Nobel Prize medal was missing from its locked display case. The UC Police Department was notified immediately and began an investigation on the medal’s theft. A $2,500 award was offered in exchange for the medal’s recovery and information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. The medal is made from 23 karat gold and worth approximately $4,000. Lawrence's medal was the first Nobel prize awarded to the University of California and the first Nobel prize won by an American public university. The prize has since been recovered and a student arrested on suspicion of grand theft. A replica of the Earnest Lawrence Nobel Prize now resides in the museum display case. The real Nobel Prize will be viewable to the public in 2008 in a new armored display case as part of the Lawrence Hall of Science 40 year anniversary.

LHS develops interactive planetarium shows for its own planetarium and other small planetariums, and offers regular public stargazing programs at LHS every first and third Saturday of the month (weather permitting). The planetarium was built in 1973 and directed by Alan Friedman. The Holt Planetarium's programs have focused on audience participation, an innovation that has changed the way small planetariums around the world present astronomy to the public. In 2000 the Holt Planetarium was deemed "The Best Planetarium in the Whole World" by The Planetarian, Journal of the International Planetarium Society. The LHS's William Knox Holt Planetarium presents live, interactive shows (approximately 45 minutes long), following the hands-on philosophy of science education. Three different public planetarium shows are offered every day throughout the summer, and also on weekends and holidays during the school year. Currently the Planetarium is presenting the following shows: 1:00 Flying High (recommended for ages 4”“8) Take an imaginary trip into space. Start the excursion by speeding through a whole day in our planetarium “time machine” and then identifying the Big Dipper. Take off with the launch of a spaceship and learn how things move in space, how astronauts eat food in a weightless environment, and how satellites are put into orbit. 2:00 Our Very Own Star (recommended for ages 8 and up) Rainbows, sunsets, auroras, haloes"all beautiful phenomena seen here on Earth, but they originate far, far from us at the Sun! Our Sun makes life possible here at home. We use it as a source of energy, as a timekeeper, and as a laboratory. Observe the Sun even as our earliest ancestors did for their own survival. Discover what it means to be a magnetic star like the Sun. Find out what sunspots are and where they come from. 3:00 Constellations Tonight (recommended for ages 8 and up) The lore of the stars and other treasures of the sky comes to Earth in our planetarium. Learn to identify the most prominent constellations of the season in the planetarium sky with a simple star map. Keep your map to help you find the constellations in the real nighttime sky. The Holt Planetarium has a strong interactive approach to astronomy education. Their programs actively engage audience members in activities such as finding constellations, predicting sunrise locations at different times during the year, and so forth. The planetarium at Pacific Science Center in Seattle (originally called Star Lab, now called the Willard Smith Planetarium) was directly modeled on the Holt. Dennis Schatz was hired in 1977 from Lawrence Hall of Science as the opening director of the Pacific Science Center planetarium.

Publications and curriculum
Curriculum and publications developed by LHS programs such as EQUALS/FAMILY MATH, Full Option Science System (FOSS), Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS), Marine Activities and Resources in Education (MARE), PEACHES"a program for early childhood educators, and Science Education for Public Understanding Program (SEPUP) reach many students nationwide and around the world. New programs are frequently developed and expanded at LHS, such as Global Systems Science (GSS), Hands-On Universe (HOU), and Seeds of Science - Roots of Reading.

The Hall has an extensive education division. LHS offers year-round youth and family classes and day camps at LHS. Classes focus on a wide range of subjects, including biology, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, robotics and art. In addition to on-site classes, LHS residential summer camps are held in various locations in California. In the 1970s and 1980s, LHS offered gifted teenagers free computer systems access through a program called The Friday Project, or FRID. This was important at the time because computers weren't readily available in homes so that access to computers was otherwise only at school. To become a "FRID kid", one had to submit a project proposal and be accepted by its leaders. Computer systems available included Minicomputers and CDC's PLATO internet-like system that pioneered key on-line concepts such as forums, message boards, online testing, e-mail, chat rooms, picture languages, instant messaging, remote screen sharing, and multi-player games.

Professional development
The Lawrence Hall of Science offers many workshops and other professional development opportunities for teachers. Online courses for LHS curriculum are also available.

Discovery Corner
The Discovery Corner store offers many science and math products for visitors of all ages. Popular items include science kits, educational posters, plush toys and astronaut ice cream.

University of California, Berkeley
LHS is the public science center of the University of California, Berkeley. LHS staff collaborate with University scientific experts from many fields to develop exhibits such as Big Dinos Return, Forces That Shape the Bay and Nanozone, as well as educational materials for teachers and families.

LHS is located in the Berkeley Hills on Centennial Drive above the University of California at Berkeley campus, close to Tilden Park, and just below the Space Sciences Laboratory and Mathematical Sciences Research Institute. The Hall provides visitors panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay. Landmarks visible from the Lawrence Hall of Science include the San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Angel Island, the cities of San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville, Albany and San Mateo and the University of California at Berkeley campus.

  • The Lawrence Hall of Science was used as the exterior of the Colossus control room in Colossus: The Forbin Project.
  • Scenes from the movie THX 1138 were filmed at the Lawrence Hall of Science.
  • Exhibits outside the LHS include the magnet portion of a large cyclotron and models of a giant strand of DNA and a whale.
  • The scale model of the Fin Whale on the LHS plaza is named Pheena.
  • A flyover shot of the Lawrence Hall of Science is briefly featured as a location shot in the opening of the pilot episode of The Bionic Woman (1976).

Building Activity

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