THE SPHERE THEATER contains Science On a Sphere (SOS), which uses computers and projectors to display data onto a 68 inch diameter sphere.  SOS was developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and is primarily utilized by museums and science centers for informal education. JMU’s Sphere Theater, located in Memorial Hall, is an educational tool that can enhance learning in many disciplines.


JMU was the first university to install SOS and is one of a few universities to use SOS as a pedagogical tool in university courses. Examples of teaching and scholarship related to SOS at JMU can be found at

A brief training is available for faculty and staff interested in using SOS for service, teaching, and/or scholarship. Faculty and staff SOS users have JACard access, reserve the space in advance, and self-host their classes or groups in the Sphere Theater. Faculty and staff interested in taking the training can email


Occasionally, The Sphere Theater will be open to the public with programs planned around a timely topic, weather or other event, or university events for parents, alumni, or prospective students. Please check back here for event announcements.

The Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability is now offering the opportunity for licensed teachers to teach their own lessons in the Sphere Theater. This self-hosted option allows teachers to review and select in advance the material they would like to use from NOAA’s online dataset catalog, develop their own lessons, and present the lesson in the Sphere Theater. An OESS staff member will be present to run the technology.

Only self-hosted sphere programs are offered this summer. Programming for the 2018-2019 academic year will be posted later this summer.

To request a self-hosted School Sphere Program, complete the REQUEST FORM.


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