There are places where you just become a kid again! The Techmania Science Center in Plzen is just such a place and you can marvel and have fun here for many hours.
From the historical downtown you can walk to the Techmania Science Center. It is located on the premises of Škoda plants. This is not an accidental location. In 2005, the project was launched by the joint stock company Škoda Transportation with the University of West Bohemia in Plzen and opened in 2008. The hall in which the center is located is a former factory hall, which can now be used by young and old.
The Techmania Science Center aims to bring science closer to the general public and especially to young people and children in a playful way. In addition, the “makers” of the exhibitions also want to encourage people to deal with unanswered questions and thus inspire and motivate new people interested in science to pursue their passion.
Visit Techmania Science Center
A bridge leads to the main building of the science center.
Before we could even get to the cash registers, we were already caught up in the first experiment. A thermal imaging camera took pictures of us and we could check right away if our body temperature was okay. Since there were no other visitors waiting to enter the building, we had to try out right away how the images changed when we rubbed our cheeks a little warm and a short jog on the spot increased our heart rate a little. It’s amazing what changes such small movements can show.
From the entrance area, a staircase leads into a large hall. Even from up here, you can see a wide variety of stations, all of which looked insanely exciting and some of which didn’t even begin to reveal what might be on display there. We set off to discover science!
A small note on the side: At almost all stations, the descriptions of the experiments are also given in German. So you can try out really well and understand the results. I had the feeling that all stations were explained in such a way that children from about 8-10 years can understand them without any problems. But for adults it should not mean that it was only “kids stuff”. Very often we stood there really perplexed and thought about why what works how. Only through the explanations we then understood it.
So what can you discover at the Techmania Science Center?
We were first drawn to the “Sailing or Sinking” area. Here are large overseas containers in which the most diverse exhibits are displayed. It revolves exclusively around the theme of natural forces at sea and seafaring. For example, you can rescue yourself from a sinking ship, try out how water vortices form or steer a ship. Everything is designed to be interactive and through the activity you learn to approach the subject in a playful way.
In keeping with the theme of water, there is an exhibition area called Water World. Here, one deals with the water cycle. We played for a while with the Archimedes’ screw, a paddle wheel, on a canal that had been created, and thus, without really noticing it, we dealt with the laws of hydromechanics.
There is also an exhibition area dedicated to the Škoda company. On a history trail across a bridge, you can learn about the history of the company and the history of Škoda in Pilsen. Here you can see, for example, a steam engine from 1909 or, and this really excited me, a bus and locomotives of the Škoda company. Here I would have liked to see much more on the subject. I find old vehicles particularly exciting.
Trials upon trials
Have you ever studied the different brain sizes? In the Edutorium exhibition area, you can brush up on your school knowledge at interactive stations or simply take a closer look at current topics with children. In any case, I spent quite a while trying to assign brains of different sizes to different creatures and was completely wrong once or twice.
Do you guys always have such a blast photographing in the “crooked rooms”? We play with the optics in these rooms every time we have the opportunity and try not to upset our senses too much.
I particularly liked the fact that there are special offers especially for the younger children. Long tubes through which to talk or large areas for movement and play not only stimulate the brain, but also the muscles of the children. Without them even realizing it, the children are offered experiences that support their cognitive and motor development. Phew, now the sports teacher has spoken out of me. But that’s what learning is all about, having fun discovering something!
During the tour we passed a very strange sculpture. The artist David Černý has created something here that should be viewed very critically. He has clichéd Europe’s 27 EU states, namely how a country is perceived with its typical characteristics.
I am little surprised when I discover Italy as a soccer country. Why Poland is depicted as a potato field conquered by Catholics was not quite so clear to me. I really had to smile at the depiction of Germany. Here, the German’s favorite child is taken up – the subject of the car and the autobahn! That has me actually not surprised, if one considers, which political value this topic takes in our country.
Leaving the large science exhibition building, you can go to another building directly opposite. The Techmania Science Center offers its visitors the first 3D planetarium in the Czech Republic and a lot of exciting information about space, planets and space travel. Admission is included with the purchase of the ticket for the Techmania Science Center and you can move between the buildings as you wish.
Of course, we also went to this area of the center. Unfortunately, there was no show in the planetarium and so we had to make do with the exhibition. But honestly, the exhibition is really worth a visit. Especially the topic space travel interested me very much. For example, there is an exhibition with the different rockets that have been used for space travel so far.
But also information about the earth, plate tectonics and for example the formation of tornadoes (you can try it out yourself at an experiment station) can be found in the planetarium of the Techmania Science Center.
My conclusion from this visit: Science is fun! I can really recommend everyone to spend a few hours at the Techmania Science Center and – and I’m talking about adults here – to try things out. Here you can make mistakes, here you can try things out, here you can discover new things. You just have to dare!!!!
U Planetária 1
301 00 Plzen
Monday-Friday: 8.30 -15
Sunday, public holiday, Czech school vacations: 10-18
Adults: 260 CZK
Children and family tickets are offered.
The visit was part of a research trip to Pilsen.