After three years of closure due to COVID-19, the Discovery Center at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is reopening to visitors this week.
The center's reopening features facility renovations and a host of new exhibits related to the lab's research programs, as well as the institutional history and community role of the lab, according to a statement from LLNL.
Open to all ages, the Discovery Center supports LLNL's educational outreach initiatives by providing grade school students with hands-on scientific content.
Science education program manager Joanna Albala said visitors will get to "walk through an updated model of the target chamber from the National Ignition Facility, learn more about LLNL's role in the fight against COVID and view an exhibit on our science in space."
Discovery Center staples like pedaling energy bikes and trivia games are also returning. New exhibits visitors can expect include LLNL's CubeSat satellite -- a modular nanosatellite used for optical sensing in low Earth orbit -- and NIFFY, the lab's own wooly mammoth.
The Discovery Center also will resume in-person "Fun with Science" field trips. The popular fifth grade excursion introduces students to the science behind NIF, the world's largest and most energetic laser system.
"Aligned with the California Next Generation Science Standards for fifth grade, students will delve into the concepts of light, lasers, optics and physics through demonstrations, hands-on activities and science displays," Albala said.
Field trips are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-11 a.m. Registration is required. For those unable to attend or participate in person, the virtual Discovery Center and videos of "Fun with Science" are available online.
The Discovery Center will be open for visits Mondays through Fridays, from noon to 4 p.m., starting this Wednesday (Feb. 1). Further information on the Discovery Center and its offerings can be found at www.llnl.gov.
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