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Acceptable ID for NOAA Open House

Visitors to the NOAA Silver Spring Campus who are U.S. citizens must present a U.S. photo ID, such as a current state driver's license. Foreign Nationals must present a valid passport or a permanent resident ID ("green card"). All IDs must be originals only -- no photocopies accepted.

Other accepted forms of ID include:

  • Passport
  • Passport card
  • DOD CAC card
  • Federal Agency HSPD-12 IDs
  • Veterans ID
  • Military ID
  • Military Dependents ID
  • Trusted Traveler card - Global Entry, SENTRI, or NEXUS
  • Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC)

NOAA Open House

Saturday, February 11, 2017
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Located near Silver Spring Metro Station
Click here for a map of the campus
Public parking available
Free and open to the public
Note: A government-issued photo ID is required for adults.

Explore your world and learn how NOAA—the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—takes the pulse of the planet every day and protects and manages ocean and coastal resources. Join us on NOAA’s Silver Spring, Maryland, campus for a series of free activities, including engaging guest presentations, interactive exhibits, and hands-on activities for ages 5 and up. Meet and talk with scientists, weather forecasters, hurricane hunter pilots, and others, who work to understand our environment, protect life and property, and conserve and protect natural resources. Early birds can also take a tour of the NOAA National Weather Service’s Operations Center and NOAA Exploration Command Center. Please join us the following week, beginning Tuesday, February 7, 2017 for a series of free lunchtime presentations at the Gateway to NOAA exhibit on a variety of timely topics. Click here for more information.


Get your “Passport to Science” and start your NOAA Open House journey at 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Look for the statue of “the Hand” and enter through the revolving doors. Registration desk open February 11 from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. NOAA Open House events take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What to See and Do

Build a Buoy – Join NOAA in this hands-on activity where children and adults can design, build and test their very own buoy, all while learning how NOAA uses buoys to study oceans and estuaries.

Your Nose Knows! – A hands-on, nose-on table demonstration of how NOAA Fisheries inspectors check seafood quality. Put your nose to the test to see if you can tell “What’s that smell?!”


Pollock Puppets  Learn about Alaska pollock from a NOAA Teacher at Sea Alumni and then make your own fish puppet!


The Nation’s Nautical Chartmaker Before digital images and “printing on demand,” nautical charts were hand-engraved on copper plates and reproduced on single printing presses. See an actual historic printing press, historic copper plate engraving, and printed charts produced by 19th century chartmakers: the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, a NOAA predecessor agency.


Ocean Acidification – Decades of ocean observations show that carbon dioxide absorbed by the ocean is changing the chemistry of the seawater, a process called ocean acidification. Learn how this change in the ocean’s chemistry will affect life in the ocean and those who depend on it.


Be a Backyard Meteorologist! In order to predict the weather, we first need to observe the weather. Come learn about the different tools the NWS meteorologists use to observe and predict the weather including weather balloons, rain gauges, anemometers, and thermometers and learn how your backyard weather data can help meteorologists forecast the weather.


Whale Tail Hats – Use your creative side and artistic talents to decorate a construction paper whale hat that you can take with you!   


Wind Blown Step into a hurricane-simulator booth to experience the power of winds up to 75 mph!

Spin the Wheel of Science – Spin the “Science Wheel” to learn about different NOAA satellites and how they provide critical information that helps us understand our environment, make accurate weather forecasts, and save lives.


Search and Rescue Around the world...around the clock...NOAA proudly stands watch.  As an integral part of worldwide search and rescue, NOAA operates the Search And Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) System to detect and locate mariners, aviators, and recreational enthusiasts in distress almost anywhere in the world at any time and in almost any condition.  Explore rescues made in the United States this year with an interactive map and handle the different beacons that take the “search” out of search and rescue!


Scavenger Hunt – Visit Gateway to NOAA and challenge yourself with a scavenger hunt!  How many questions can you answer about NOAA by exploring the exhibits at Gateway?  Give it a try – you never know what you’ll learn!


Brass Brains – Before electronic computers, the calculation of tide predictions was made by a mechanical machine made of steel and brass, known as “Brass Brains.”  This machine was used to calculate tides from the early 1900s until the 1960s!  Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the machine and see a demonstration of how it works.


Ocean Exploration Command Center– Want to explore a mysterious shipwreck or see an example of an animal different from all other life we thought existed on Earth?  Visit NOAA's Ocean Exploration Command Center where you'll learn how scientists ashore are connected live to ocean exploration missions in distant and remote parts of the world. You'll also learn how to see live video from the seafloor on your own computer as ocean exploration missions unfold.  It’s all in the Exploration Command Center! 


See Science on a Sphere ® – See Earth in a way you have never seen it before! Science On a Sphere ® (SOS) is a room-sized, global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six-foot diameter sphere.  Imagine a giant animated globe with a fascinating visual display of all types of data that helps illustrate Earth science. (A limited number of tickets for this activity will be available on site on a first-come, first-served basis.  Ages 7 and up.  Photo ID required for adults.  Personal belongings subject to inspection)


Visit NOAA’s National Weather Service Operations Center – Learn first-hand what NOAA’s National Weather Service does during high-impact events and what they are doing to build a Weather-Ready Nation.  (A limited number of tickets for this activity will be available on site on a first-come, first-served bases.  Ages 7 and up.  Photo ID required for adults.  No bags, backpacks or ice chests allowed, with the exception of small purses and tote bags.  Personal belonging subject to inspection).


NOAA Heritage Week Contact Information
For the latest information about the NOAA Open House and other NOAA Heritage Week events, check this website fand follow us on Facebook at for updates. Questions about the NOAA Open House may be emailed to or call 240-533-0710.