Travelling science museums Challenges and experiences in science communication in Brazil
Jessica Norberto Rocha
Travelling science museums aim to make science more popular and reach the audience in its own space and time. When an exhibit moves, things, time and space are different. Travelling science is challenging, specific and unlimited: you have to be creative because of the reduced space, you need a sharp didactical approach because of the short time, you must go straight to the point because you can afford just a few exhibits. Furthermore, its maintenance is continuous and expensive. Everything that is interactive, hands-on, manipulative and moves around a lot, needs maintenance, paintings and adjustments frequently. In this session we propose to present the history and development of travelling museums in the world and in Brazil, specifically. From the experience of two pioneers and well known Brazilian travelling science museums - Caravan of Science and Ponto UFMG Itinerant Museum - we are also going to discuss and analyse challenges and strategies of communicating science to a broad range of publics in very different social contexts in which traveling museums can go. They are interactive science and technology centres that, because they are built in mobile units, they can visit towns, which usually do not have access to this kind of activity, in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, as well as in the whole country. Each one has its own tractor trailer adapted into an exhibition area. They do not only transport artifacts and equipment to build external exhibitions, shows and workshops, but they also offer activities in their internal rooms. Therefore, in this paper we propose a reflection on science museums based on mobile units and their relevance in the task of communicating Science to a broad range of audiences, especially those who live in areas with short supplies of other science and cultural equipments.
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