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Discovery Dome

PublicVR offers Discovery Dome shows for schools, libraries, and special events, where visitors participate in an interactive adventure or enjoy an immersive movie. The projection fills the interior of the dome, surrounding the audience in programs rich with science, culture, history or geography. Most of the programs were created with the support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF) or the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Research shows that dome displays are effective learning tools as well as being highly engaging and entertaining (Jacobson, 2011). Pre and post activities are available for most programs, and all are aligned with national learning standards. Whether this fill part of your curriculum, is a part of a day of activities or is a reward, students will have a great time while learning.

Immersive Movies

Most of our documentary movies are 22 to 28 minutes, excluding discussion.

Dinosaur Prophecy (Grades 2-6)
Long before the dinosaurs’ massive extinction 65 million years ago, many individual species simply disappeared. Visit dinosaur graveyards and examine them to determine the cause of death. See visualizations of dinosaurs in their world.

Earth’s Wild Ride (Grades K-4) View the Earth as a child on the moon in 2081. Explore wild events including the comet impact that ended the dinosaurs, ice ages, volcanoes and the powerful forces of water.

Ice Worlds (Grades 4-8) Explore the icy objects in our solar system and the poles of planet Earth. Gain understanding of the properties of ice, learn how it is an early indicator of change, and see the animals and people who live with it.

Extremophiles (Grades 3-8) Imagine an incredibly hot place on earth and what might live there, then visit Yellowstone hot springs and see the life. Consider life on other hot planets. Investigate cold, salty, dry and other extreme environments.

Night of the Titanic (Grades 5-8) Delve into the story from the point of view of a scientist studying weather, climate, and ice in the North Atlantic. Consider some of the human, communication, and decision-making issues that led to the disaster.

Force Five (Grades 4 and up) See and hear the fury of a hurricane and a tornado. Consider historical storms and how we prepare for storms today. Learn about the sun and massive solar storms and their impact on people.

Scheduling: Email or call 412-818-4167 with location, grade, preferred dates, and any questions. The dome can hold up to 60 Kindergarten students, or up to 40 8th grade students.

Cost for a day (up to 7 consecutive hours): $450 + $1/mile from zip code 15237. For requests in Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Virginia and West Virginia please check as groupings may result in lower travel costs. We can offer a mix of shows and related activities during a single day.

Building requirements: 18X20 feet of clear indoor floor space, 12 foot ceiling, standard power outlet

Interactive Adventure

These shows engage the audience with roleplaying, discussion, and sometimes direct interaction with the virtual environment. The experience generally can be as short or long as desired.

The Virtual Forest (Grades 6-10) Students are in control as they explore the virtual forest learning to identify trees based on leaves and bark. Advance the forest in time and see how the forest succession changes which trees are dominant. More advanced students can work out the biomass of the different species and consider issues like carbon sequestration and biodiversity.

The Virtual Egyptian Temple (Grades 2+) Allow the tour guide to take you back in virtual time to when the Temple of Horus was the center of civic life in ancient Egypt. Visit the temple as an ancient Egyptian and experience a cultural festival. Explore the art and architecture as a window into cultural beliefs. Step back to the current time and consider connections between ancient Egypt and today. For more information, see the project page.

Ghosts of Tikal (Grades 6-8) Begin by choosing a role as a specific scientist, then begin your exploration to do your part in answering the question, What happened to the Maya?" Students control this virtual world.

Live Star Show (any level) Imagine turning out all the lights in your town and watching the sunset. Explore the constellations, moon and planets. This program is adapted to your needs and can include basic constellation identification; Greek, Native American or World mythology; motions in the sky; navigation, astronomical objects including nebulas; supernovae and galaxies; and the history of astronomy.

Latest News:

Many K-12 dome shows this year funded by Nord Family Foundation, NASA, and NSF. Ancient Greek farmer puppet/avatar. A collaboration with VIZIN Helping with a workshop in digital puppetry.

PublicVR's Discovery Dome program was made possible by a generous gift from

Beverly and David Patrick.

and active support from