Like every year since 2014, Frost Science was a part of eMerge Americas, an organization that aims to serve as the catalyst for establishing Miami as the primary technology hub for the Americas, and thus propelling innovation and investment in South Florida and Latin America. During five days, from April 15th to the 19th, dozen of events captured the global technology scene, and deliver an overview of the key industries that are driving some of the growth and change in the Americas.
Most of the eMerge Americas happenings took place at the Convention Center in Miami Beach, where at the Frost Science’s booth attendees enjoyed an updated virtual view of our new facility, peaked into our portable planetarium, familiarized with breakthroughs in corrosion technology, and learned about our NASA funded Virtual Missions and Exoplanets (vMAX) project.
During eMerge Americas we released a fresh look into Frost Science’s new facility, set to be completed in downtown Miami’s Museum Park by the end of the year. The updated look included a fly-through video, and a series of virtual reality headset experiences to highlight four of the most iconic spaces of the museum.
Our new portable planetarium, which is set to start bringing the wonders of the night sky to schools and libraries across the county this summer, was also in attendance. Besides discussing Jupiter’s location and the impact of light pollution, among other celestial matters, we used the immersive potential of the dome to take attendees on a virtual tour of the construction site by projecting recent 360 degrees images through our fisheye lens projector. Once we open, the portable planetarium will work as an extended branch of the new state of the art Frost Planetarium.
Frost Science will engage the public with scientists as they research materials that perform better and last longer, as well as explore the underlying chemistry, physics and biology through university partnerships. At eMerge Americas we shared a collaboration between the Carnegie Science Museum, the Department of Defense and us on how materials break down in the temperate climate of Pittsburgh versus the subtropical climate of Miami; illustrated how we make sure all the materials used in our new facility are safe; and called attention to how NASA has approached corrosion in space, and remotely prototyped solutions between astronauts and earthbound engineers to identify and solve the problem.
Finally, vMAX engages students and the general public in the search for worlds beyond our own, and includes a virtual world and related curriculum for student programs, and a related virtual world designed for museum visitors. Its virtual world, present at eMerge Americas, allows participants to become avatars, investigate real exoplanets, missions and data, and immerse themselves in 3D simulations of planetary systems and detection methods—all while interacting with other avatars at partner locations nationwide. vMAX will be incorporated into “Feathers to the Stars,” an upcoming Frost Science exhibition about the past, present, and future of flight, from the evolution of flight in animals and the development of human flight, to the future of space exploration.
Frost Science is committed to technology and innovation, and the invaluable role these play in our always increasing understanding of the world around us. Our Innovation Labs are an example of that. The five-floor Innovation Labs aim to engage visitors in the process of science and engineering, which we recognize as distinct from one another. In simple terms, the scientific method leads to an understanding of the universe, through the explanation of natural phenomena. The engineering design process, on the other hand, can yield multiple correct answers and seeks to understand the unmet needs of society and fill them. The space will provide an opportunity to collaboratively explore this process, with project-based classes, maker’s activities, public demonstrations, and workshops celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship while displaying the latest global developments. Onwards!