New interactive museum encourages inner scientist


AP Archive
(27 Jan 2017) LEADIN:
A new interactive museum on the outskirts of Copenhagen is encouraging visitors to harness their inner scientist.
Experimentarium is a new 880 million Danish krone (approx. $126 million USD) hands-on learning space, which aims to inspire the next generation of Danish scientists and inventors.

Forget slide shows, display cases and endless text, here at Experimentarium – around six kilometres north of central Copenhagen – the exhibits interact with you.
The child-friendly museum first opened in 1991, but it took three years to renovate and construct this new 9,000 square-metre exhibition space.
It’s now filled with 16 interactive exhibits, including this wacky ‘Bubblearium’ and ‘The Beach’ which teaches visitors about the science and power of water.
“The idea is that you involve yourself in doing something that is new, difficult, special, but using your own senses, creating an image of the world using your own senses,” says CEO Kim Gladstone Herlev.
There’s plenty of technology too, including the ‘Labyrinth of Light’ exhibit that includes this futuristic interactive laser harp.
When visitors touch a beam of light, it plays a different note on the scale.
Despite the various technology, Gladstone Herlev says they hope the museum will show another side to the world, away from smartphones and social media.
“You cannot fight the social medias and the smartphones, we do not want to fight these things, but we want to show people that there’s another approach to the world,” he says.
“And actually, everyone forgets about their smartphones once they’re interacting with the exhibits here.”
Experimentarium is also home to this interactive film theatre, which encourages audience members to participate in the feature they’re watching.
It’s claimed to be a world first.
‘The girl who wouldn’t sit still’ is a story about a young girl who goes on an exciting quest to fight a mysterious mist that’s slowly descending on the world.
Sounds fun, but the true aim is to encourage visitors to get active.
“When we go to work, when we go to school, we sit down and have all these technology gadgets – we have phones, iPhones, iPads, computers – technology that takes our time, sitting down all the time,” explains exhibit designer Henrik Helsgaun.
“And that’s a big issue in the western world, that we sit down too much.”
Motion sensors track audience members’ movements and allow them to take part in exciting tasks, such as riding a wooden raft down swirling rapids.
“You have to move – right, left – you have to jump, duck, wave your arms,” says Helsgaun.
“So very simple things and very simple things that is needed for your body to more active to have a more physical body.
“So, we are taking this very interactive arena theatre and taking this actually very serious topic and squeezed it into it in a very funny, adventurous, we can call it a game if you like.”
Elsewhere, the museum teamed up with Danish transport and logistics company Maersk to create this interactive port exhibit.
Visitors learn about global trade and its impact, simulating the spread of goods on this massive marble run.
The museum says it expects to welcome around 500,000 visitors in 2017.
The aim: to inspire the next generation of Danish scientists and inventors.
“We are a nation that kind of wants to be forerunners on niches like new technology, new ideas, innovations and stuff,” says Gladstone Herlev.
“So we hope to raise kids to be new inventors – maybe just for themselves in their own homes, maybe the world famous inventors of Denmark.”
Experimentarium opened 26 January 2017.

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