Universum Bremen, an interactive science museum

Leaving Botanika Bremen I took a bus to Universum Bremen. This science museum is next to the University of Bremen. You must walk less than five minutes to get the entrance.

Universum Bremen

This silver building seems like something out of a science fiction movie. No doubt, it was modeled to look like a flying saucer placed on its side. But other people say it looks like a mussel shell. This building, which opened in the year 2,000, has 40,000 stainless steel scales. Universum Bremen was designed by a local architect named Thomas Klumpp.

In 2007 they made a new 5,000 square meter outdoor area called ‘EntdeckerPark’ with 25 exhibits. The most popular is ‘Turm der Lüfte’ which means Tower of Heaven, since you can climb its 27 meters. The outside area focuses on wind, water and movement.

Next to this park is SchauBox which is a cube with a rust red exterior. It is the entrance of Universum Bremen.

Every year this exhibition changes. When I went I explained urban movement with the title “On the move – your paths. Your decisions. Your future”. Upon entering you should register with a ball that has your name and country. How do we travel today and how will we travel in the future? These questions were answered interactively. At each station you must place your ball and play a game. In the end you will receive your score depending on how good you are in urban planning.

Exhibits

At the end of SchauBox you will cross over a bridge to Universum Bremen. In total, you will find about 300 interactive stations. Since March 2015, the exhibits are divided into three areas: human, technology and nature. Each one has its full floor. Make sure you have time to invest in this museum and try to go during the week when there are fewer people.

Humans

In the human area you learn about yourself and the other 7 billion people who live on our planet. Why is an individual so unique? What do we all have in common? This place allows you to learn new things about your body, including how a human arises during pregnancy. What are genes and how do they work? Among other questions.

Use all your senses to learn about perception, communication and cognition, with a variety of exciting practical activities. Human assembly talks about the possibility of artificial humans and a variety of “spare parts” for our body. While memories allow you to see how your silhouette moves. Create color art while moving. Human detector is a game that you must do with another person to see if they are telling the truth or lying. Be creative with your questions.

Technology

Do you know how the technical objects of your daily life work? In this exhibition you will learn about gear mechanisms, electric motors and the effect of signal transmission. Learn how electricity is made while driving it. The lightning machine lets you see them in detail when they go through high tensions. With a fan you can create a stream of air and keep a lightning bolt in place. A manual generator allows you to generate energy. Do you know how much energy things require? Or what happens when you have several devices running at the same time?

One of the most entertaining exhibitions of Universum Bremen is a track that can be toured by 10 billiard balls. The scorpion robot was designed using a scorpion as a reference. It was created for difficult terrain like Mars.

Nature

I spend more time in the nature gallery than in the other two. In the earthquake room, the walls shake violently at the press of a button. Sitting on a sofa you can experience three real earthquakes: San Francisco (1,906), Albstadt (1,979) and Izmit (1,999). Great data has added climate information, zones and ocean currents to explain how our planet is interconnected.

Expedition Cosmos ventures to the stars and explores the smallest components of matter. Use a microscope to see how ice crystals form in a few seconds. Plasmasphere allows you to play with high voltages inside a glass ball that has another ball in the center.

Bremen Drop Tower

When you are arriving at the University of Bremen be sure to pay attention to the Bremen Drop Tower. It is a thin cylinder that is 146 meters (479 feet) high with a blue tip that illuminates at night. This microgravity tower is unique in Europe, and there is only a few in the world. Therefore, it attracts scientists from all over the world who are going to do experiments at the Center for Applied Space Technology and Microgravity at the University of Bremen. The experiments are in the fields of astrophysics, biology, chemistry, combustion, fluid dynamics, fundamental physics and materials sciences.

The Bremen Drop Tower can produce nine seconds of weightlessness. In the inner part there is a tube where a capsule containing the object or product of study is launched. Many of the equipment used for space missions are first tested in this place. Even NASA has a similar center in Cleveland, United States. But Bremen is the cheapest center to do these experiments.

There are plenty of things to do in the city of Bremen and without a doubt, Universum Bremen is one of the best.

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