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11 May 2018

Beyond Perception: Seeing the Unseen — an innovative new experience co-developed by teens, for teens — opens at Scienceworks tomorrow.

Scienceworks, Beyond Perception. Photo by Rob Zugaro, courtesy of Museums Victoria.

Scienceworks, Beyond Perception. Photo by Rob Zugaro, courtesy of Museums Victoria.

Beyond Perception: Seeing the Unseen is a new specially-designed permanent gallery at Scienceworks, created in collaboration with teenagers and 27 scientists and engineers from Victoria’s top universities and research institutions.

Filled with large-scale immersive experiences, Beyond Perception aims to inspire and intrigue teens to engage with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by taking them to its most fascinating and imperceptible corners.

It reveals the invisible fields and forces that surround us, such as gravitational waves, invisible light, sound and aerodynamics, and demonstrates current research which is continuing to uncover amazing hidden worlds around us.

As David Perkins, Experience Developer at Scienceworks explains, Beyond Perception is a richly scientific and awe-inspiring experience, firmly grounded in STEM learning principles.

“We want to convey that science isn’t finished and that new discoveries which expand our understanding of the universe are being made all the time, right here in Melbourne and internationally. We want young adult visitors to walk away with a renewed sense of awe at the world they live in, the technology they use and feel inspired to become part of it.”

Scienceworks developed Beyond Perception with a group of 12- to 15-year-olds known as JBoard, who were consulted in monthly meetings throughout the exhibition’s development. Everyone from the exhibition producers, to marketing and multimedia staff met with members of JBoard, to share ideas, review design proposals, test prototype exhibits and critique video content.

In addition to JBoard, the team collaborated with over 27 scientists and engineers from Victoria’s top universities and research institutions including University of Melbourne, RMIT, Monash University, Deakin University, the Australian Synchrotron and our own Museums Victoria research teams.

As a result, all the immersive experiences are underpinned by real world content that reflects the latest scientific and technological developments.

Beyond Perception follows hot in the footsteps of Ground Up: Building Big Ideas, Together, a STEM-centered exhibition for zero to five-year-olds which opened to wide acclaim in December 2017 and has seen Scienceworks experience their highest ever visitation numbers.

The exhibition is part of a $6 million gallery redevelopment, supported by the Victorian Government, aimed at igniting a lifelong engagement in STEM from babies to young adults.

Beyond Perception: Seeing the Unseen opens at Scienceworks on Saturday 12 May.

Visit Scienceworks for details