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"Built for Speed" Exhibit at the Cal Academy Opens Tomorrow!

Built for Speed Preview

What marine animals swim the fastest?  How many bones does an orca have?  What does a squid and an F-16 plane have in common? Find out at the new "Built for Speed" exhibit at the Cal Academy!

Today is the member's preview of the new "Built for Speed" exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences.  I had a chance to check it out, and can report that it's really great.  

One of the coolest parts of the exhibit is the Orca Articulation section, where Academy scientists and volunteers are assembling the bones of an entire orca whale live on the museum floor over the next month.  It's going to be awesome seeing this giant whale skeleton come to life over the next weeks!

Built for Speed Preview

Once the whale is completely built, it will be displayed at the Academy, alongside our other two whale skeletons. A time-lapse video will show the process from beginning to end.

Other highlights of "Built for Speed" include:

  • A "Fast Fish Challenge" area where visitors can build their own fish using different sculpted fish parts
  • An entire 45-foot long AC45 catamaran suspended above the museum
  • Interactive displays about the mako shark, humbolt squid and orca that explain what make these such fast and remarkable animals

This is the first Academy exhibit where I have been able to observe it go from conception to launch.  Seeing ideas that were thrown against the wall, brainstormed, reworked, prototyped, and then implemented on the museum floor has been really amazing to witness.  And our youth programs have our own small contributions to the exhibit that were exciting to see, including artwork our Digital Learning youth helped create, a social media campaign that's promoted as part of the exhibit, and even a photo credit for a picture that I took!

I love this upcycled plastic art installation created by local eco-artists Richard and Judith, with help from Academy youth!

Built for Speed Preview Built for Speed Preview

A sign pointing to our eco-teens social media campaign.

Built for Speed Preview

"Built for Speed" opens on May 10th at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco California, in the heart of Golden Gate Park.


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