Wiess Energy Hall 3.0 debuts to guests at Houston Museum of Natural Science with much to offer
Redesigned Wiess Energy Hall 3.0 features Energy City and two motion platforms—the Geovator and Eagle Ford Shale Experience
“Wiess Energy Hall 3.0.” The third iteration of this popular hall has enlarged from its previous 8,500 square feet to an expansive 30,000 square feet—almost the size of a football field. Joining the completely redesigned “classic” displays is a bonanza of entirely new exhibits, making the new hall the most contemporary, comprehensive, and technologically advanced exhibition on the science and technology of energy anywhere in the world.
Take a tour at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5URNMvbfo0I.
Step off of the elevator into a convincingly realistic environment depicting the dynamic floor of a working, 21st century offshore drilling rig populated by a motley crew of sci-fi robots—an automated “top-drive” mechanism, pipe racker, and “iron roughneck.”
Then, a look at “Energy City,” a 2,500-square-foot 3-D landscape representing Houston, the surrounding Gulf coastal waters, and the terrain of southeast and central Texas. This vibrant 1/150th-scale “white model” uses bleeding-edge projection mapping technology to bring to life the energy value chain with dynamic animation as the entire tableau cycles from day tonight.
Highlights include drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale, oil refining, trainloads of oil and coal, liquefied natural gas terminals, nuclear plants, wind farms, power plants, solar thermal energy, along with a gleaming city skyline, sprawling suburbs, and streaming freeways.
Adjacent to “Energy City”, the mammoth presence of the Eagle Ford Shale Experience, a.k.a. the “EFX 3000.”Step aboard for a wild ride out to prime Texas shale oil and gas drilling country and down into the borehole of an oil well, made real with curved projection techniques and mechanical motion effects. Reduced to microscopic size, the craft ventures into the narrow spaces of a hydraulic micro-fracture, surrounded by seemingly massive grains of proppant. Things may get a little dodgy for a bit, but the EFX makes a safe return to the museum!
Not far away, the completely reinvented Geovator, now hosted by a holographic pilot, takes you on a reimagined fantastic voyage plunging down through the museum floors into the earth, then back in time to the Cretaceous Period for an attack by hungry pteranodons and a meteor strike, and finally a tumultuous ascent to the surface for a surprising conclusion.
Joining the completely redesigned “classic” displays in the new Wiess Energy Hall 3.0 is a bonanza of entirely new exhibits, making the new hall the most contemporary, comprehensive, and technologically advanced exhibition on the science and technology of energy anywhere in the world.
For more information, go to www.hmns.org.
photo credit: V. Sweeten