Thursday 15 July 2010

NEMO Science Center (Amsterdam)

[Post published by Liviu on Liviu's [in Netherlands] Blog]

7th of July: some sun, some clouds, quite a nice weather compared to what we usually get in Amsterdam.

NEMO Science Center (Amsterdam)
Admission: free for Museumkaart holders since 1st of July 2010 - indeed, they've just (and finally!) added it to the museumkaart pool of museum. Feel free to check the detailed price list (the Dutch version seems more reliable and more often updated).

There are lockers at the entrance, of course, but they cost 0.50 euro for each closing/opening session!!! That's right, once you have inserted the coin... it's gone! Good-bye! (This is the first time I've seen something like this and got me really annoyed!)

Pictures are allowed, of course, but there's not much to make pictures of. I made some pictures out of my museum visiting style inertia, only that. (Please note that I linked inertia to its scientific definition.)

My opinion on NEMO

For children / kids = Great museum
  • Everything is to be touched, indeed.
  • Kids are running like crazy in there.
  • There are a lot of experiments / tests things for them to do:
    • building an efficient damn with small sand bags along a river in order to send the most water to a mill (there are 4 mills connected to big display so everyone knows how well they do)
    • the factory
    • the human powered elevator
  • Kids seem very satisfied and exhausted at the end of the day

For grown-ups (like me) or science fans = Bad-bad-bad museum
  • There's a lot of noise, huge background noise - my head hurt even when sleeping :)
  • If one is familiar with science, then there's nothing spectacular to see.
  • The experiments or problems or facts displayed do not come together with a [thorough] explanation of the real science fact, they just get there displayed and that's kind of it. Therefore do not expect explanations and/or to learn thoroughly something.
  • Only expect to be amazed at some points.
  • The only interesting parts for a grown-up might be:
    • the household appliances section (in the Glass Ballroom area, at level 1) - wow! I've never had any idea that most of these appeared quite early in the 20th century - you can see very old models of:
      • vacuum cleaners
      • washing machines (and clothes driers using a man powered centrifuge at its early stages)
      • ovens (classic and microwave)
      • television sets
      • boilers
    • level 3, with its Teen Facts section - it's about sexuality and it's pretty educative and gives several explanations to some facts. I'm not mistaking if I say this section offers the biggest ratio of details per m^2 of museum.

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If you have a kid and you want him/her exhausted due to having had lots of fun, take him/her to NEMO for a whole day! He/She shall enjoy it and (who knows?) might get a taste for the real science in the future.

If you're everything else but the parent of a kid... it's your choice whether to visit NEMO or not.

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