Full-Scale Development: Secrets of the Universe

September 15th, 2013 - August 31st, 2017 | PROJECT

This research and development project would inform and engage audiences (especially middle school age girls) about the fundamental research under investigation at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. A research plan and summative evaluation will fill a gap in what is known about the public's perception and understanding of the LHC/particle physics and include studies on girl's interest and engagement. Deliverables include a 40 minute giant screen film (3D/2D), full dome planetarium film, an interactive theater lobby exhibit, website, mobile app, materials and professional development workshops for educators. The giant screen film will use scientific visualizations and artistic interpretation to reveal compelling scientific stories recreating conditions following the Big Bang and the discovery in 2012 of the Higgs boson. CERN is providing unprecedented access to the collider and particle detectors including filming inside the 17 mile long underground tunnel while it is closed for upgrades in 2013-2014. There are 8 partner science museums (7 with planetariums) that will show the film/exhibit and serve as sites for research, evaluation, and outreach to underserved audiences ( Adventure Science Center, Carnegie Science Center, The Franklin Institute, Liberty Science Center, OMSI, Orlando Science Center, the Smithsonian, and the St. Louis Science Center). Additional distribution/marketing channels include giant screen theaters, planetariums, DVD, and social social media. Launch is targeted for 2016. Learning outcomes will focus on increasing awareness and interest in the LHC and increasing young people's engagement and excitement about the nature of scientific discovery. The research on girl's engagement and interest in physics will fill a gap in field. The project deliverables are projected to reach large audiences through national distribution of the giant screen film, the planetarium show, the exhibit, 3D/2D Blu Ray and DVDs, and access on computers, tablets, and other mobile devices.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Communicating about Technology and Research of the Large Hadron Collider: Interests, Knowledge, and Curiosities of Adult Science Center Visitors
Summative Evaluation of the Impact of Secrets of the Universe Giant Screen Film and Related Small Screen Videos on Middle School Students

Team Members

Mark Kresser, Principal Investigator, K2 Communications, Inc.
Stephen Low, Co-Principal Investigator
Dale McCreedy, Co-Principal Investigator, The Franklin Institute
Manuel Calderon de la Barca, Co-Principal Investigator, University of California Davis
Barbara Flagg, Evaluator, Multimedia Research


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 1322527
Funding Amount: 618581


Access and Inclusion: Women and Girls
Audience: Evaluators | General Public | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | Nature of science | Physics
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Exhibitions | Films and IMAX | Media and Technology | Museum and Science Center Exhibits | Planetarium and Science on a Sphere | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media