Museuos Cientificos Coruneses (the Science Museums of La Corunna, Spain) visited Universeum, Sweden’s largest Science Museum. Photos of the visit can be seen at http://connect.eucasc.eu/study-visit-mc2-universeum
Universeum, the aims
“Everything is related to everything and everything matters”
This is the basic approach of Universeum, which defines both its exhibition project as its program of activities. Moreover, its basic aims are:
– Awake careers in science and technology in young people.
– Address the various manifestations of technology in exhibitions and activities.
– Emphasize the relationship with the environment and promote sustainable development.
– Develop an educational platform.
– Encouraging the use of the five senses in the different experiences of the museum.
– Relate what you already know and what you are learning.
– Asking questions forever.
– Continuing to offer the public the experiences that make them know themselves better.
Universeum, the building
It is the largest science center in Sweden. It has seven floors that show from tropical forest to a large aquarium with sharks, a room to know your sports skills and another to explore the outer space.
The visitor goes from an exhibition to another in a very handy way, focusing on the idea that everything relates to everything. The size of the building is very adequate on a human scale, so that the visitor does not feel lost in a complex network of rooms.
The museum opened in 2001 and is located next to a theme park, which has a positive influence on the number of visitors.
Universeum collaborates in an active way with the City Council, the University and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. It also promotes relations with the public and private sector.
The exhibition proposals
“Discover the ocean, rain forest and outer space on the same day”
This is the invitation that Universeum makes museum visitors.
The exhibits are highly interactive. They can be manipulated in an intuitive way, which facilitates the interaction. The technology is at the service of experiences that visitors can not easily find elsewhere.
The texts that accompany each exhibit are short and direct style. They are written in Swedish and English.
There are not many computers directly exposed to the public. By contrast, computers are not visible but software provides a variety of interactive experiences.
The visitors come from across the country, since it is the largest science center in Sweden.
“Take a look below the surface and discover the different species of anemone fish swimming with sharks at the aquarium ocean.”
A considerable part of the museum is dedicated to the ocean. The visitor can find a tank with rays, a number of aquariums showing the North Sea and a large ocean tank with sharks, rays, corals and hundreds of fish.
The tanks are freshwater, saltwater and brackish water. The temperature is adjustable. Is a closed circuit system.
They have a quarantine and a veterinarian clinic that deals with the health of living beings.
Swedish laws are very strict for keeping animals in captivity, so that the care of this part of the museum is very demanding.
The Way of Water
“Learn more about our own glaciers and mountain regions in the Way of Water”
This area propose to visit a living model of the Swedish landscape, running from north to south, and highlighting their relationship with water. Among the species that can be observed are snakes, frogs, birds and fish.
“Meet Arriba and his family in the rain forest. He is a Goeldi’s marmoset that, among other things, is very good climbing and jumping. Although only measures 25 cm tall, can jump up to eight meters from one tree to another.”
This impressive wing of the museum is a living model of the rain forests of South America, with monkeys, poison frogs, birds and butterflies that can live in freedom. There are also crocodiles, anacondas and alligators.
You get an immersive experience in which we must mention the effort to ensure that all elements are real. Hence, all the vegetation is natural and the feeling of high humidity can be experienced.
It is a room with capacity for 30 people.
Audiovisual programs are designed for Universeum´s technical staff and adapted to give a lecture to groups of students at different levels.
Kaleido: outer space
“Come and learn more about the sun, our own planet and black holes.”
It offers visitors an space adventure between stars, planets and the international space station.
Featured interactive exhibits
– Infra-red camera in which the visitor can see the variations of temperature in different parts of his body. It can use a sheet of methacrylate to cover your own heat.
– Model of the ISS to real scale.
– Magic Planet: ball changing its surface to reflect the surface of the solar system planets.
– Room to performance as the weather man. The visitor record himself giving a weather report; then he can see his report on the television.
– Interactive floor displayed fish swimming; if you step on it, they escape swimming at high speed.
Crime Lab Expo
Is an exhibition of recent opening. These are some of his proposals:
– Center for fingerprint identification.
– Discover what is false.
– Experiment with the lie detector.
– Face recognition to access a place.
– Investigate the source of plastic bags.
– Voice recognition.
– Camera with infra-red beams to walk without touching them. Outside visitors can see the whole scene in infrared.
“Test your athletic skills”
Room to test your own physical abilities. These are some of the interactive proposals,
– Climbing wall.
– Screen that displays the image of the visitor as handball player. He plays to try to get a goal or stop the ball.
– Horse riding simulator. It is a model scale horse to ride different modes: walk, trot, canter. Visitors can stop the horse with the pull of the reins.
– Athletics track to run a career and recording time.
“Care for the Road”
Room dedicated to road safety education, with modules such as:
– Cab of a truck to which the visitor can access.
– Police Car. Visitors can also go inside.
– Shock Test: Simulates a collision at different speeds.
– Interactive crane to move objects.
– Exhibit for measuring your reaction time when you drive.
Universeum has an extensive daily program of activities that are called every thirty minutes. There is a wide diversity of topics: mathematics, environment, astronomy, evolution, forensics, … In general they are related to the museum’s contents.
Schools usually prefer a visit that also includes an educational activity. This activity is included in the price of admission.
The museum believes there is a low season and a high season, which means increased the staff to attend the visitors.
There is a proposal to turn the museum into a classroom. Schools can subscribe for one school year to take this service.