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Discovery Pavers

As you step into Science Plaza, you'll find works of art under your feet! Seventy-four granite paving stones, called the Discovery Pavers, are scattered throughout the Plaza. The words and images sandblasted onto these special stones challenge you to discover the creativity and wonder in science. Look closely at the pavers, and you'll find questions, riddles and quotes about discovery, work, play and imagination.

Artist Larry Kirkland worked together with the Science Center staff to choose words and images for the pavers. The pavers' messages tell us that science is for everyone—we all do science when we ask "what?", "how?" and "why?" about the world around us.

Examining the pavers before installation
 

Each paver is made from a 60-pound slab of Imperial Red granite. The pavers were cut from a quarry in Banglor, India, and then shipped to Oregon.

It took several steps to make a paver. First, artists copied the words and images for each paver to a flat rubber mask stuck on the stone. Then they cut stencils of the images into the mask. To transfer the images onto the granite, the pavers were sandblasted with the masks attached, so that only the part of the paver exposed by the stencil design was stripped away. After the sandblasting was completed, the artists painted over the designs to make them stand out.

 
The pavers were created from the same durable granite used to mark gravesites. And like the timeworn tombstones in old cemeteries, the stone of the pavers will last for a long time.
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