AMAZON ADVENTURE Project Awarded Major Grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation
SEATTLE, WA, September 12, 2014 – Pacific Science Center is proud to announce that it has been awarded a significant grant from the National Science Foundation for Amazon Adventure to conduct research that will study the effect of the giant screen on learning outcomes, support SK Films’ production of the giant screen Amazon Adventure film, and create an accompanying educational outreach program and materials. The research will be conducted with the participation of key personnel from Rutgers University and Arizona State University and will involve GSCA members from the Marbles Kids Museum, California Science Center, Maryland Science Center, Ruben H. Fleet Science Center and, of course, Pacific Science Center.
“Pacific Science Center is excited to be leading this important giant screen learning research,”said Diane Carlson, vice president of guest services and theater programs for Pacific Science Center. “By partnering with the SK Films and Howard Hughes Medical Institute teams, we’re able to bring Amazon Adventure and its important themes to giant screen audiences in the US and around the world.”
Amazon Adventure tells the science adventure story of Henry Bates and his extraordinary 11-year journey through the Amazon as a young man in the 1850s. Although unknown to the general public, he made crucial contributions to evolutionary biology. While identifying 8,000 species new to science, he discovered the phenomenon of “Batesian” mimicry and provided the “beautiful proof” for what is widely considered the most important scientific explanation of the development of life on Earth – natural selection. This story will be told with cutting-edge technology that will capture the amazing Amazonian rainforest and incredible examples of mimicry.
The film is being developed by SK Films with Tangled Bank Studios, the film and television production unit of the non-profit Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). SK will be responsible for production and distribution of the film. HHMI will develop a suite of additional educational materials associated with the film.
SK CEO Jonathan Barker says, “We are delighted to be re-uniting the same key team that created Flight of the Butterflies, especially director Mike Slee and writer Wendy MacKeigan, and to be working with Diane Carlson and the great team at Pacific Science Center, as well as with Tangled Bank Studios to produce this film. We are deeply engaged in this next challenge and look forward to continuing to do what we can to push the envelope for giant screen films.”
HHMI Vice President for Science Education Sean B. Carroll says, “ Our goal is to excite young people by taking them right into the heart of the process of scientific discovery. This great story, which unfolds in a remarkable ecosystem, and illuminates the process of natural selection, makes Amazon Adventure a perfect fit for us.”
Early support from the giant screen industry for the project has been overwhelming with over 50 theatres endorsing the film’s concept and themes. SK is working to raise the remaining financing, with the intention of going into production in 2015.
Pacific Science Center and all of the project participants gratefully recognize the great importance of National Science Foundation funding to launching far-reaching STEM education and informal learning initiatives such as the Amazon Adventure project.
About Pacific Science Center: Pacific Science Center began as the United States Science Pavilion during the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. Millions came to explore the wonders of science during the World’s Fair and upon closing ceremonies, the Science Pavilion was given new life as the private not-for-profit Pacific Science Center, becoming the first U.S. museum founded as a science and technology center. On July 22, 2010 Pacific Science Center was declared a City of Seattle Landmark. On October 22, 2012 Pacific Science Center celebrated making science fun for 50 years.
About SK Films: SK Films is an award winning creator and distributor of cutting edge 3D and 2D natural history and other fact-based content for multiple platforms from giant screen/IMAX® cinemas to mobile applications. Working with world-leading talent and with an unwavering commitment to quality, our mission is to entertain and inspire audiences and immerse them in the awe and wonder of the world we live in.
About Tangled Bank Studios: Tangled Bank Studios, LLC, is a production company dedicated to the creation of original science documentaries for broadcast and theatrical distribution. Founded in 2012 by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as an extension of its longstanding science education mission, the company produces programs that capture compelling stories of discovery across all branches of scientific inquiry, including the recent three-part series Your Inner Fish, broadcast on PBS.
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