My Path Through Research

The Trials and Triumphs of Doing a PhD

Experiencing Science…in Denmark

Danfoss Universe is a hands-on science theme park where both children and adults play their way to a knowledge of science. Here you can romp from one experiment and fun-filled natural phenomenon to the next.

I am currently in Denmark on a short trip to southern Jutland. As part of the plan was to visit friends in Sonderborg on the island of Als, I couldn’t miss an opportunity to experience some science in Denmark.

Even in the 30 degree temperatures gracing Denmark today I think a park such as this should definitely be on the to-do list of any kid (and older people). This was one of the most interactive museums\attractions I have visited. As the blurb explains, the science park is an interactive experience about everything, from water to energy, digital technology to the origins of the Danfoss company.

One of my favourite areas was probably the Explorama attraction. This zone concerned concepts of creativity and intelligence. There were over 50 activities to try your hands at, from trying to mimic sentences in other languages, to mathematical and logical activities and activities testing your interpersonal intelligence. My mum was a maths teacher who did her PostGraduate Certificate in Education dissertation on teaching maths in a fun way to kids which she tried out a lot of these activities on us poor(?) kids. However this meant that I grew up with a very proactive attitude to these activities such that I am always up to the challenge. So thanks mum for all the time you spent on entertaining us in a fun and educational way!

The other attraction I enjoy was the Segway track. They apparently have Europe’s first Segway track which you can try out in the form of a sort of obstacle course which gets progressively more difficult as you learn new skills. The eye-wateringly high entrance fee could probably be excused for this experience together with the extent of hand’s on possibilities in the park.

However it wasn’t just hands’ on exhibits that were available. There was also a science show organised once a day that, after the great experience of science shows at the Cheltenham Science Festival, I wanted to experience. Even though the 30 minute show was conducted in Danish, I found I could easily follow what was going on. I liked the fact that the show seemed to be structured in a progressive manner such that each demo built on a previous one. As with the Cheltenham Festival, there was also a big love for bangs – it seems like this is an essential recurring theme in science shows! My quibble however? The demonstrator was dressed in a lab coat and wore a grey messed up wig. I guess this only helps to reinforce the traditional image of a scientist. But is that all scientists are? Mad, eccentric people? I would guess (or hope!) not.

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