Cover Photo Image

Science On a Sphere (SOS) is a visualization system that uses networked projectors to display still and animated datasets onto the outside of a large, suspended, opaque sphere (68 inches in diameter). It was developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and is often used for interactive learning activities that increase citizens’ understanding of Earth as a system and the role of humans in the ecosystem. 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. Science on a Sphere at JMU is also frequently used for middle school visits, which are arranged through JMU's Middle School Visit Program, and the STEM Education & Outreach Center. JMU facullty and staff who would like to use SOS should email

Science On a Sphere is location 5 on the tour map

SOS Projection
SOS Projection
SOS Projection

Faculty and Student Perceptions of Learning on a Spherical Display System, Christie-Joy Hartman, Joy Ferenbaugh, Kristen St. John, and Jennifer Mangan, 14th Annual National Conference and Global Forum of the National Council for Science and the Environment: Building Climate Solutions, Washington, DC, January 28-20, 2014.

Back to Top