Life Science Centre

Visitor Attractions, Science Communications

In this day and age, education is a constantly evolving thing. In a world where so much information is available on the internet, how do you continue to engage and encourage people of all ages to enjoy education? Well the experts behind Newcastle’s Life Science Centre have hit the nail on the head.

Life have curated a tactile, thrilling, experiential science centre to engage curiosity, encourage play and all in a safe space where parents, children, students and, well anyone (!) can learn. By putting the emphasis on science through the avenue of hands-on, exploratory education, it’s transformed the way people absorb the information. So when the Life team began designing their newest exhibition room, and wanted to include something truly powerful that could inform and thrill on a whole new scale, they came to Pufferfish.


With a strong reputation for offering really potent science education, Life Science Centre wanted to include a custom room to their new space centre. They wanted to be able to give presentations to school visitors, to corporate clients, to staff, and all while not effecting the flow of visitors through the museum. They knew it needed a centre piece for the room, and they came to Pufferfish to offer the ‘WOW’ factor.

Our large format PufferSpheres offer exceptional strength when it comes to giving visual context to detailed global information. Seeing data come to life in its inherent format can intensify understanding and also encourage conversation and debate, when a static map might fail to achieve those reactions. Having seen our PufferSphere® range in action, the Life team approached us to include an interactive, large format sphere as their centre piece for a custom lecture theatre. With seating planned to form a circular border to the solution, it would ensure the room was an open, thrilling and highly memorable space that would allow people to engage with presentations, booth from seats and when walking through the wider exhibition.

With traditional lecture theatres being dark, closed in spaces (Uni flashback, here we go!) they wanted to ensure this was the opposite. They wanted to create an inviting space, a space where learning is fun and enjoyable - not intimidating at all. And how do you achieve that? Catch the eye, capture the imagination, and offer something never seen before.


Not only did this project require our latest, top of the range PufferSphere® to act on centre stage, but due to the nature of the work Life do, it also required bespoke software. With such a variety of dynamic visitors, they needed the ability to create and edit their own presentations for a spherical format, and frequently. Our technical team then got to work on a custom software solution that would be easy to use, and something that could host a great number of detailed presentations.

At Pufferfish, we take pride in being agile, adaptable, and always thinking on our toes to problem solve for our clients, and this project was a great example of this.

With a custom technology solution can come bespoke software, and the result was an intuitive, user-friendly application.

Being accessed by a mobile phone, laptop, PC or tablet, the application included both an easy to assemble menu, a drag and drop feature for images and video assets, a content hosting library, and the ability to build and edit slides – even with crib notes – and the ability to be integrated with additional technology if needed (TVs, PC, etc). The bespoke software also included a mode setting, allowing autonomous use, live use or interactive use. This meant that if a presenter wanted to stop changing slides via tablet to engage with their audience, answer questions, encourage discussion, etc, they could set the presentation to pause or to continue autonomously in the background. And with the crib notes feature, they could still stay on track with the notes on their mobile device controlling the presentation.

Ultimately, the bespoke software increased the usability of our solution for Life, but it’s also been a great collaboration for our businesses to create something that problem solves and increases engagement with our technology. We’re in the game of ensuring nothing stands in the way of education – and now Life have a custom solution to use as and when they need it.


Due to the detailed scientific information required in their presentations, Life also worked with us to get access to powerful content for their PufferSphere®. With access to 600+ data sets, we are spherical content specialists and have access to a huge amount of 4K material and a large variety of data stories; so with the help of our in-house GIS Cartographer, we shared with Life detailed climate change data sets, animated geographical maps, and planetary content.


With our PufferSphere® 1500 glowing, mesmerising content and custom presentations on the go, the newest exhibition room at the Life Science Centre is a truly powerful addition to an already ground breaking museum. With information being showcased on an awe-inspiring sphere, our solution has done what it promised – it’s transformed the way information is being used, viewed and understood.

We’re thrilled to be working with such an innovative museum in the UK, and are proud to support them in their mission to make education and science a thing of fun, of exploration and of creativity. See their website for more information, and if you’re based in the North of England – make sure to go along and see the first installed PufferSphere® 1500 in the UK!


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