Lawrence Hall of Science is a public science centre run by the University of California, Berkeley, where members of the public of all ages can enjoy entertaining and hands-on exhibits relating to science. From pre-school right through to High School, students can take advantage of its extensive range of educational activities.
History & location
History The centre was established in 1968 as a means of honouring the University of California's first Nobel Laureate scientist Ernest Orlando Lawrence. The Memorial Room at the centre is devoted to the life and research of Lawrence. This room features a biographical film about the scientist, as well as a pair of 'Dee' electrodes from one of the first cyclotrons, a type of particle accelerator. Location The centre is located on Centennial Drive, a street in the Berkeley hills, to the east of the main UC Berkeley campus. It is adjacent to the UC Botanical Gardens.
Hours & admission
Hours The centre is open to the general public every day, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, from 10am to 5pm, making it conveniently available to school parties. The Planetarium, one of the centre's key attractions, runs 40-minute interactive programs at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm, on weekends and public holidays. Admissions Children under three years of age are admitted free, but children between the ages of three and six are charged at a reduced rate for admission, as are senior citizens (62 years of age and older), disabled visitors and students. Students at UC Berkeley have the opportunity of a drastically reduced rate of admission, as do members and UC Berkeley staff. For entry to the 3D film and the Planetarium, visitors must pay an additional fees.
Dinosaurs & other exhibits
Dinosaurs Unearthed Throughout the rest of 2011, the centre will be the site of an exhibition devoted to dinosaurs called 'Dinosaurs Unearthed'. Rather than some fossils in a glass case though, this is a realistic environment populated by animatronic models. These models have been designed to be as lifelike as possible, and stamp and snort, blink and twitch, as though they were actually alive. Geography and geology The 'Sunstones' exhibit consists of an 18-foot granite sculpture which functions as an astronomical tool. 'Forces That Shape the Bay' is a fascinating display, which allows visitors to ride earthquake simulators, as well as range of other activities exploring geography and geology in California. Educational resources The centre also looks to provide many family-centred resources as well as facilities aimed at school parties. It also produces a wide range of educational resources to use at home, including sunprints, a kit which uses sunprint paper and water as a tool to foster interest in photography.