In Skellefteå you will find Sweden’s newest Science Center. Here, science and technology challenge you to think outside the box and play your way to insights about the nature of our fantastic world. Welcome to Exploratoriet — the Exploratorium!
Physically, the Exploratorium is located at Nordanå in Skellefteå. Next door is the Skellefteå Museum and nearby you will find an art gallery and a theatre hosting many cultural events. It could be said that, the story of the Exploratorium began all the way back in 1969.
— That’s when Dr. Frank Oppenheimer opened the world’s first Science Center in San Francisco, explains David, Operations Manager at the Exploratorium in Skellefteå. Oppenheimer called the newly opened museum The Exploratorium and it was centered around the fantastic world of science. — And that’s the way it still is, David says with a smile. Here and now, in Skellefteå.
PART OF THE BIGGER PICTURE
Dr. Oppenheimer wished to boost the will to discover amongst coming generations of scientists. With his Science Center concept he did much to inspire curiosity in the fields of science and technology. Today, 47 years later, there are more than 3,000 Science Centers throughout the world, 19 of them in Sweden. Features that they all share include interactive exhibitions and the experimental environment. Skellefteå’s choice to name their Science Center ‘The Exploratorium’ is partly a tribute to Dr. Frank Oppenheimer but it also has a direct meaning. — You come here to explore and experiment, explains David. We want to inspire thinking outside the box, making you an active participant in your own experience. It can be everything from understanding the inner workings of a sewer system, to why a light bulb glows or what it feels like to be in the eye of a hurricane. Put simply, we want to create lots of aha moments, lots of insight into the way our world works.
The Exploratorium gets much of its profile from the heart and soul of Skellefteå. — We have permanent exhibitions on the themes of forest, water and minerals. Natural resources that have, for a long time been and to some extent still are important to Skellefteå. The modern city is also an important part of our shared identity and that too has its place in the Exploratorium. — Here, the process is more interesting than the result. Take Thomas Edison for instance. One of the greatest inventors in the history of mankind. It is said that he conducted more than 2,000 tests in his pursuit of getting that light bulb to glow. Do you think he considered those 2,000 failed tests a waste of time? Quite the contrary, he felt that the process had shown him 2,000 ways how not to make a light bulb glow. There are plenty of examples of failures turned into success. The key thing is to stay curious. How do we do that? We take risks and dare to fail, and most of all we have fun doing it. — This is precisely what we do here, at the Exploratorium in Skellefteå.
Even though anyone can have great fun at the Exploratorium, it is primarily geared towards children between the ages of five and fifteen. In the building there is also a café. For opening hours, current exhibitions and programmes: www.exploratoriet.se>>