Vorsprung durch Technik in Berlin
Even the most casual reader of the blog will have got the idea that we like science museums. It’s not our only interest, but it’s probably the one thing we all like a lot.
Jennifer has a bit of an enduring interest in feminism, economics and Jewish history. The fact that the stop before ours on the ubahn is named after Rosa Luxembourg is something she finds captivating. As is the fact that there are brass cobblestones outside our apartment commemorating a Jewish couple who lived here until 1941.
For Declan it’s more natural history. He likes living animals and their history and science. Stuffed animals make him sad. He and I both also like art galleries, Monet being our particular favourite artist. It’s not that the others don’t like these things, it’s just that they’re not top of their list.
For Callum it is, as he will tell you, hard science. Give him a solid bit of physics or engineering and he’s happy. Luckily for him the rest of us are equally happy looking at a cool early train, a bi-plane or the first computer. Which made the German Museum of Technology great way to spend the day.
The Museum is broken into three broad parts. The first is full of boats, planes, and a variety of technology. This includes a great display on early computers with one of the clearest descriptions of binary and its impact that I’ve seen, The second has trains – lots of trains. All displayed in the perfect Thomas the Tanks Engine round house.
The third section is a hands-on exhibit. It contains a lot of what have become for us ‘the usual suspects’. We’ve seen so many science museums over the last three months that we tend to get a great deal out of comparing and contrasting exhibits with others. So we can say that the way this museum demonstrated wind-powered sail was better than the similar exhibits we saw in Munich and Haifa. The lack of English explanations would have been far more confusing if we hadn’t been able to refer back to similar exhibits elsewhere.
The highlight was that this was the first place we’ve visited where you get to activate the high-voltage exhibits yourself. They’re smaller than in places like Singapore; but let’s face it there’s something about pressing a button and creating lightning that is just awe-inspring.