The Davis Science Center, later renamed Explorit, was a museum without a home. Popular for its traveling education programs, the small staff of educators was looking for a way of translating the enthusiasm of these interactive demonstrations into a permanent center. A+A worked in collaboration with the community to develop a distinctive, regionally oriented indoor/outdoor experience that used Science in the Valley as its central theme, a premise that captured both the heritage of the agricultural community and the hi-tech future ahead.
The exhibits were conceived as stages for the hands-on demonstrations. The Tomato Lab took an interdisciplinary 360 degree approach to understanding the tomato, from genetics, to farming techniques, to the history and culture of the tomato. The Water Cycle explored the principles of water and light. Explorer’s Cove was an intimate research vessel filled with specimens.
An outdoor landscape took a slice through the Central Valley, from the Sierra’s to the orchards. Each habitat became a stage for outdoor presentations related to their surroundings—the Sierra Rock Garden where adventurers could become young geologists, The Tule Marsh, where others would be weaving together a canoe, to The Cannery that featured food-processing technologies.
The Science Rover served as mobile science laboratories that would deliver active science to the many indoor and outdoor learning environments.