„A superb exhibition: instructive, exciting, entertaining. And everything around it is very nice too. It should be permanent, really!” – this was one of the numerous guest book entries of the DESY-EXPO “Light for the New Millennium”. More than 106,000 visitors came to the DESY-EXPO in the period of 5 months, 450 school classes among them. The high number of visitors exceeded the expectations by more than 25 percent and documents the great public interest for modern science. An opinion poll among 100 teachers and 786 other visitors reveals the criteria for success: hands-on exhibits and interactive models, original components and equipment from current DESY research, the dialogue with DESY scientists and physics students who were permanently present in the exhibition, the comprehensible adaptation of difficult research themes with explanatory texts and pictures and – last not least – the friendly atmosphere created by the presentation.

The 1,200-square-meter exhibition was built up in a future research hall of the German Electron Synchrotron (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron) in Hamburg and was open to the public from June 1 till October 31, 2000. It was a Worldwide Project of EXPO 2000, and it was bilingual (German/English). The DESY-EXPO was open daily from 10 a.m. till 7 p.m.,
on Thursdays till midnight. Admission was free. There was a special program on the 22 Thursdays with lectures and activities attracting about 19,000 visitors. Half of them went to see the exhibition afterwards. 39 of the overall 87 exhibits and models were interactive, a total of 42 were produced at DESY. 16 hands-on exhibits demonstrating physics phenomena from everyday life were developed and produced by the science museum PHÄNOMENTA in Flensburg, Germany.

This presentation points out how and why a national physics basic research center like DESY approaches such a large exhibition project, which kind of experience was gained in the fields of planning and concept-development as well as in the realization of the exhibition, the concept of the publicity campaign, how the public and the visitors reacted to the project, and how to benefit from all this in the future.


 

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Licht der Zukunft – Light for the new millennium
An exhibition project of EXPO 2000 at the research center DESY

Petra Folkerts  

„A superb exhibition: instructive, exciting, entertaining. And everything around it is very nice too. It should be permanent, really!” – this was one of the numerous guest book entries of the DESY-EXPO “Light for the New Millennium”. More than 106,000 visitors came to the DESY-EXPO in the period of 5 months, 450 school classes among them. The high number of visitors exceeded the expectations by more than 25 percent and documents the great public interest for modern science. An opinion poll among 100 teachers and 786 other visitors reveals the criteria for success: hands-on exhibits and interactive models, original components and equipment from current DESY research, the dialogue with DESY scientists and physics students who were permanently present in the exhibition, the comprehensible adaptation of difficult research themes with explanatory texts and pictures and – last not least – the friendly atmosphere created by the presentation.

The 1,200-square-meter exhibition was built up in a future research hall of the German Electron Synchrotron (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron) in Hamburg and was open to the public from June 1 till October 31, 2000. It was a Worldwide Project of EXPO 2000, and it was bilingual (German/English). The DESY-EXPO was open daily from 10 a.m. till 7 p.m.,
on Thursdays till midnight. Admission was free. There was a special program on the 22 Thursdays with lectures and activities attracting about 19,000 visitors. Half of them went to see the exhibition afterwards. 39 of the overall 87 exhibits and models were interactive, a total of 42 were produced at DESY. 16 hands-on exhibits demonstrating physics phenomena from everyday life were developed and produced by the science museum PHÄNOMENTA in Flensburg, Germany.

This presentation points out how and why a national physics basic research center like DESY approaches such a large exhibition project, which kind of experience was gained in the fields of planning and concept-development as well as in the realization of the exhibition, the concept of the publicity campaign, how the public and the visitors reacted to the project, and how to benefit from all this in the future.


 

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