The Centre of Administration and Operations of the ASCR, v. v. i. and the South Moravian Centre for International Mobility visited Universeum, Scandanavia’s biggest science museum to learn about activities within the Science Museum – mostly in the field of science popularization, cooperation with schools, providing services to schools and teachers and working with broad population. Here is what they learnt:
Target group of Universeum: Universeum is targeting a wide variety of visitors: the main group comprises of families with children, others are the general public, school groups, teachers, and others.
Types of activities we have done and seen during the visit:
1) museum exhibits
2) presentations of learners and guides
3) introduction to the public programs
4) visit of the Aquarium and Rain Forest
5) visit to the music recording room
6) meeting with the management representatives (CEO, Scientific Director) and discussion about science communication, popularization, scientific programmes for students, funding and cost plus, managing of science museums, discussion about Swedish education system and science and research field.
7) Introduction of the project EUSO (European Union Science Olympiad) and discussion about with organizer – Minna Panas.
Observations we have made?
Universeum – science museum is highly professionally managed. Universeum is funded by two universities of Gothenburg – Technical University and Gothenburg University, Swedish industries in Gothenburg and government. Organization of the management within opening times, shop and other services are easy accessible. Fee for target groups is also reasonable priced. There is plenty of the enthusiastic employees everywhere in-between exhibits and especially by the entrance. They are happy to give guided tour to the smaller groups of visitors. There is also program for high school students who can come to work in science museum as guides for young children. They can also write report about some scientific topic and cooperate with theirs teachers. High school teachers are also target group. Teachers can come to Universeum and learn how to do experiments which can be showed back at schools. The exhibitions are divided between two basic fields – nature sciences (Aquarium, Rain Forest, Exposition about Sweden – Water way) and technical sciences (Exhibits Explora, Krimlab, Kaleido).
All exhibits are made to be used instinctively; instructions and explanations are usually bilingual (English and Swedish). One third of exhibits is changed every year. Exhibitions are thought up by the scientific and management teams. Universeum cooperates with university professors, researchers, businessman and managers of industries in Gothenburg (VOLVO, SAAB, AstraZeneca etc.).
Exhibitions of Universeum are very interesting and very well promoted maybe that is why Universeum is most visited science centre in Sweden.
Benefits of the study visit
The biggest benefit for us was the possibility of consultation various types of the science popularization, cooperation with schools, providing services to schools and teachers and working with broad population. Due this experience we can think about preparing new ways of our nowadays activities and think about new types of activities of science communication and popularization. Study visit in Universeum was really beneficial to us, we could see well-run science museum, to get know financial and managing conditions which we can use for the further new science museums and science learning centres which are built now in Czech Republic. One of the inspirations represents the cooperation with high schools – working for museum is very popular amongst the students. Another very beneficial experience is knowledge how to co-operate with universities and academic professors.
The visit was a great and very beneficial opportunity for introducing both organisations and as we hope, will be successful beginning for the future partnership in new projects and activities.
Date of the study visit: from 6th May 2010 till 9th May 2010
Participants: Vladislava Pospíšilová and Michaela Žaludová (Centre of Administration and Operations of the ASCR, v. v. i.), Dana Bekker Vejborná and Jitka Šeneklová (South Moravian Centre for International Mobility)