HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - With the cut of a ribbon, Infinity Science Center's new interactive Earth Gallery was officially opened, all thanks to a Natural Resource Damage Assessment Grant from the BP Deepwater Horizon settlement.
"This day is the culmination of three years of hard work. We've totally redone our exhibit program here," said Executive Director John Wilson. "We built out our Earth gallery in a way that's even better than we first imagined, as a result of this grant."
Infinity Board President Paul Guichet says it's amazing how much can be learned from each exhibit.
"We have some theaters here that are very, very interactive, 3D," Guichet said. "It's just an amazing facility that each time you come in here you find something new."
Wilson says the mission is simple.
"Our missions is to inspire the next generation of explorers, scientists, and engineers," said Wilson. "That's why we exist. That's our DNA. And so, toward that end, we try to build exhibits that will, in fact, inspire kids."
That's done through several interactive exhibits including a ride to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.
"It's a simulated trip down through the water column in the Gulf of Mexico where you finally land on the sea floor. And then an emergency comes over the speaker, and now you have to go fix a problem," said Wilson. "You have to fix a leaking blow out preventer, not unlike what happened in the BP Deepwater Horizon crisis."
And the goal of all this?
"Inspire science, technology, engineering, math - future generations of explorers and scientists," said Guichet.
The gallery also includes an interactive map that allows visitors to see how topography reacts with water during flood events like hurricanes.