Lee & George W. Lester, II How Nature Works
The Lee & George W. Lester, II How Nature Works gallery demonstrates how energy from within the Earth's crust and energy from the sun have shaped the Earth as we know it today. Visitors view and interact with the exhibits to better understand the magnificent forces and processes that have helped create the world today.
How Nature Works: Rocks
The How Nature Works: Rocks exhibit includes dramatic landscape models that reveal how the world is shaped by geological forces that are themselves powered by the enormous energy deep within the planet.
Each display represents both a moment in Virginia's past and a corresponding process that is happening somewhere else on Earth today. Together, these models communicate the connections between geological energy, the movement of continents, and the way the landscape looks today, in a clear and memorable fashion.
How Nature Works: Life
A striking display of plants and animals fill the How Nature Works: Life exhibit. Visitors learn that almost all living things on Earth depend, directly or indirectly, on the sun as their energy source.
Thus, in the center of the space a forest of botanical images reaches up towards the glowing "sun", demonstrating the central role of green plants in converting sunlight into food. At the perimeter, visitors encounter a moose eating water plants, a tiger hunting a deer, and a black bear caring for its cubs. Together, these examples and the accompanying array of smaller specimens show how energy flows between all living things.