If you’re a fan of Marvel (and science) and you live near New York, check out the brand new exhibit at Discovery Times Square. It’s called Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. – an acronym that stands for Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network (someone at Marvel really, really likes acronyms). It’s a 6-month long exhibit that showcases props, costumes and interactive exhibits that feature characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The idea is that you can pretend to be an agent in training for S.H.I.E.L.D. There are sections based on each movie Avenger, such as a Captain America exhibit that lets you test your mettle to see if you measure up as a super soldier, or a Hulk room that show you how the Hulk’s brain looks like. There’s a villain room and an artifact room, and there are many detailed items, costumes and props for the Marvel movie fan. The neat thing is that they’ve also snuck in real science into the pretend-world of Marvel superheroes, so you do get to learn something while checking out the comic book stuff.
The folks who made this exhibit consulted with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California for the science. In the Thor room, there is an entire exhibit dedicated to the topic of exoplanets. Exoplanets are planets outside the known solar system, and they use Jane Foster’s astrophysics research to contextually frame the discussion. The Iron Man room has discussions on aerospace materials when talking about Iron Man’s armor. There’s information about gamma radiation in the Hulk room. NASA hopes that visitors will pick up an interest in science and technology when they visit the exhibit, especially the young ones. I for one find the intersection of science and science fiction to be one of the more entertaining aspects of the genre.
You can visit the website for the exhibit (which has additional content), and if you’re in the area you can head down to 226 W 44th St, New York. Tickets are available from this website or at the box office.
Nur is a tinkerer of programmable things, an apprentice in an ancient order of technomages. He enjoys fantasy, sci-fi, comic books, and Lego in his spare time. His favourite authors are Asimov and Tolkien. He also loves Celtic and American folk music. You can follow him on twitter: @nurhussein