Future Worlds' science content is undergirded by several crosscutting concepts, including cause and affect and systems modeling. The exhibit engages visitors in sustainability science issues that involve predicting and explaining the impacts of environmental events.
Future Worlds focuses on three aspects of sustainability: energy, water, and food. The exhibit's design aims to confront learners’ everyday ideas about the tradeoffs of micro-scale and macro-scale environmental decisions and assess the impacts of their own choices.
Future Worlds is an educational resource as well as a research platform for investigating cyberlearning technologies. Pilot tests in the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences have shown that learners achieve significant gains in sustainability understanding.