The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Discovery Center reopens to visitors on Feb. 1, after nearly three years of closure due to COVID-19. 

The Discovery Center’s reopening will feature facility renovations and a host of new exhibits related to the Laboratory’s research programs, institutional history and community role. Open to all ages, the Discovery Center supports the Laboratory’s educational outreach initiatives by providing grade school students with hands-on scientific content.

Science Education Program Manager Joanna Albala said visitors will get to “walk through an updated model of the target chamber from the National Ignition Facility (NIF), learn more about LLNL’s role in the fight against COVID, and view an exhibit on our science in space.”

Visitors are also encouraged to engage with Discovery Center staples of pedaling energy bikes and playing trivia. New exhibits familiarize learners with LLNL’s CubeSat satellite, a modular nanosatellite used for optical sensing in low Earth orbit; NIFFY, the Laboratory’s own wooly mammoth; and highlights of the Laboratory’s scientific achievements over the last 70 years presented through a history tunnel.

The Discovery Center will also resume revised, in-person “Fun with Science” field trips. This popular fifth grade field trip introduces students to the science behind NIF, the world’s largest and most energetic laser system.

“Aligned with the California Next Generation Science Standards for fifth grade, students will delve into the concepts of light, lasers, optics and physics through demonstrations, hands-on activities and science displays,” Albala said.

Field trips are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m. Registration is required. For those unable to attend or participate in person, the virtual Discovery Center and videos of “Fun with Science” will continue to be available online.

The Discovery Center is open for visits Monday through Friday, from noon to 4 p.m. starting Feb. 1. Further information on the Discovery Center and its offerings can be found on the Discovery Center webpage. Contact [email protected] with any inquiries.

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