Lifting yourself up with a pulley or feeling electrical tension on your body – all this is possible at the new Luxembourg Science Center, which is supported by the FNR’s Promoting Science to the Public (PSP) programmes.
To fascinate visitors for natural sciences and technology in a playful manner – that is the mission of the Luxembourg Science Center, which is located in the former industrial school (“Léierbud”) of ArcelorMittal in Differdange.
A broad range of interactive exhibits and experimental stations designed to encourage children, teenagers but also adults to experience natural phenomena themselves instead of just observing them. Among the highlights is the largest Tesla generator in Europe, a giant transformer able to generate a tension of up to 1,7 Million Volts!
Reach those who show no interest during school classes
The hands-on concept of the Science Center contrasts the often negatively connotated school experience of many young people – with the purpose to inspire them for professions in mathematics, chemistry and physics.
„It is natural for us to learn music with the help of an instrument and to do sports at a designated training hall“, says the initiator of the Science Center Nicolas Didier, “but mathematics are only taught through books.” This is similar in the natural sciences. “That way, you at best gain the five percent of pupils that are really interested in the subject”, says Didier. “Our job should be to reach the other 95 per cent.”
Setting the course for the future
There is a reason why the Luxembourg Science Center is located at a former industrial school. The Luxembourg Science Center wants to portray the history of the natural sciences in their industrial and economic context and thereby make the use of technical advances more tangible.
According to Didier, to be prepared for the future, Luxembourg does not just need a lot of motivated scientists and engineers; research and the spirit of innovation must also return into people’s consciousness. That’s also the reason why the association around Nicolas Didier has taken on this ambitious project, which has been classified by the Luxembourg government as a project of national importance.
This article was originally published on science.lu.
Authors: Patrick Kahr, Uwe Hentschel, Michèle Weber (FNR)
Photo © FNR