The EcoSphere – an innovative educational facility where children and adults alike can experience and explore environmental phenomena – was recently awarded the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award for Visitor Experience.
After establishing the award-winning outdoor science museum, the Clore Garden of Science, and becoming its director, Dr. Moshe Rishpon was searching for ways to represent subjects in the life and environmental sciences. Prof. Israel Bar-Joseph, now Vice President for Resource Development, suggested an “ecological bubble,” an idea developed by Dr. Tamar Shak. In addition to Shak, the steering committee, set up by Rishpon and coordinated by Dr. Netta Maoz, includes Prof. Dan Yakir, Head of the Department of Environmental Sciences and Energy Research and the new Head of the scientific steering committee; Prof. Robert Fluhr, former Head of the Department of Plant Sciences; and Dr. Roni Ashkenazi, Education Coordinator of the Clore Garden of Science.
Inside the Joe Weinstein and Major Max L. Shulman EcoSphere, which is constructed from glass hexagons and pentagons, visitors are surrounded by land and aquatic plants, and aquaria that contain fish and freshwater crabs. A variety of activities, coordinated by Meytal Markovich, are on offer. Visitors are able to explore environmental phenomena through various visual exhibits and workshops, enabling them to appreciate the importance of helping to protect and preserve the environment.