Molecular Playground

Springfield Science Museum

New Exhibit!

A colorful, interactive display of biologically significant molecules. Explore the shapes and visual beauty of molecules such as acetophenone (a common fragrance base) and the influenza vaccine, plus some of their binding-site proteins in the brain and bloodstream. Images are projected onto a six- by nine-foot wall area by a shadow-sensing infrared camera mounted behind viewers. When a visitor reaches out toward a molecule, it turns gracefully or re-sizes, allowing a large-scale, 3-D view of its structure and close-up details of its chemical make-up.

See a demonstration of the Molecular Playground

Developed by the University of Massachusetts Amherst with funding from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Special Grant Program in the Chemical Sciences.