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NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center Visitor Center

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The scientific mission of the NWSC is to help scientists better understand our planet, and how human activities are affecting it. This mission inspires the guiding principle at the heart of the center's design: to maximize the benefits of this facility to society, while minimizing its environmental impact.

  • That principle meant creating a facility that would use energy and water resources efficiently, be adaptable to new technologies, make use of sustainable and recycled materials and reduce or eliminate waste both during construction and during operations.
  • The result is the facility you see described in these pages. During its construction, more than 70% of construction waste was diverted from landfills and used for recycling, and the building itself is made with over 510 tons of recycled concrete, 60 tons of recycled wood and 26 tons of recycled metal.
  • Combined with water savings of up to six million gallons per year, super efficient office space and the use of renewable wind energy, the design and construction of the NWSC has earned it the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Gold certification.

The NWSC is operated by NCAR's Computational and Information Systems Laboratory under sponsorship of the National Science Foundation.

Viewing the exhibits in the Visitor Center of the NWSC is a wonderful way to spend a morning or afternoon. Enjoy a free, self-guided tour that offers an informative view of weather, climate, supercomputing and the broad spectrum of atmospheric research at a world-class science laboratory. Learn about current Earth science research spanning our planet's changing climate to the genesis of severe weather phenomena. Find out about computational science and see one of the fastest supercomputers in existence today.

Topics Include:

  • Energy, Fire and Water in the West
  • Extreme Weather
  • Climate Science
  • Science and Society
  • Young Scientists


Field trips to the NWSC Facility are available to school, camp, club, and home school groups Monday through Friday throughout the year. The typical field trip includes a self-guided tour of the interactive exhibits in the Visitor Center. Each exhibit incorporates hands-on science activities designed to meaningfully engage students in science learning. Groups may spend as much or as little time in the Visitor Center as desired. For groups with students 5 to 12 years old, we suggest a minimum two-hour visit so that they have adequate time for exploration of the NCAR exhibits. Children under the age of 18 should be supervised by an adult at all times while at the NWSC.

We recommeded that teachers and/or school group leaders visit the facility in advance of their scheduled group visit, to become familiar with the exhibits and to ensure a successful self-guided tour.

To schedule your field trip, please provide the following information:

  • A selection of three preferred field trip dates and times
  • Ages/Grade and number of students, and a roster of student names (for use as an emergency roll)
  • Number of teachers and chaperones participating, incuding names and organization represented.
  • Method of transportation to the NWSC
  • Any individuals with disabilities or needing special accommodations
  • Your phone number and email
  • School or organization phone & mailing address
  • Field trip lunch plans (seating is limited to the outdoor courtyard, weather permitting, and maximum capacity is 60)

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation:
Mon8:00 AM5:00 PM
Tue8:00 AM5:00 PM
Wed8:00 AM5:00 PM
Thr8:00 AM5:00 PM
Fri8:00 AM5:00 PM
Sat10:00 AM4:00 PM
Notes: (Closed Sundays and Holidays)


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