If you paid us a visit recently, you may have noticed a new way to explore science at the Hall. Water’s Extreme Journey is an interactive maze that gives visitors a deeper understanding of the science of the water cycle and humans’ place in the water ecosystem. The Hall’s exhibits staff worked hard to put the maze together for our visitors.

On Thursday, January 26, the team began unpacking the huge crates littering the exhibit space in Holt Hall, outside our Planetarium. The first step was to lay out the frame for the maze. As pipe after pipe emerged from the crates and was put into place, the outline of the maze began to take shape on the floor.

“Setting up a walk-through maze is a unique experience,” says Brooke Smith, Exhibits & Operations Director here at the Hall. “The entire structure had to be carefully laid out and assembled in sections, before securing the frame. Only then could all the exhibits and panels be attached.”

Luckily, the Hall has a labyrinth from Minotaur Mazes in storage from a previous exhibition, and thus our staff knew exactly what to expect. After the frame was secured, elements such as the Water Cycle Puzzle and the Wetlands Slow-Zone were installed throughout the maze. Brooke’s favorite part of the exhibit, the Watershed Zip Line, was carefully hoisted into place.

One of the coolest things about Water’s Extreme Journey was the opportunity to customize the exhibit with information about our local watershed. Hall researchers and educators who focus on water and ocean sciences collaborated with the exhibit’s developers to create a panel that highlights the San Francisco Bay Estuary. The exhibit explains the important roles that estuaries play as habitats for many plants and animals and as a natural water filtration and flood prevention system.

Now that its construction is complete and the exhibit is open to the public, the Hall will be supplementing Water’s Extreme Journey with additional learning opportunities. Volunteers will lead activities from our MARE curriculum for the public, and our Augmented Reality Sandbox will be moved next to the maze.

Discover the science of the water cycle at the Hall now through April 30!

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