World-class venues pull out all stops

International Museum Day inspired all the city's museums to go all out in highlighting the depth and scope of their specialties and exhibitions.

Shanghai has many world-class museums, and this weekend they pulled out all stops to mark International Museum Day. Visitor numbers showed a thumbs-up from the public.

The Shanghai Science and Technology Museum said it hosted more than 20,000 visits on Friday and Saturday. The museum mounted special activities to mark the Shanghai Science Festival.

The science museum was filled with booths set up by companies and institutes to display the latest technologies. Visitors, especially children, were encouraged to engage in activities.

At the booth run by Chalmers Laboratory, Swedish student Mans Ostman, 24, from Chalmers University of Technology, showed youngsters a self-sustaining greenhouse controlled by a computerized system. It’s part of the Belt and Road International Science Popularization Park.

Ostman said it’s good for children to be exposed to science education.

“Society is developing with technology,” he said. “I think it’s good that everyone has a little bit knowledge about how things work, like computers and electricity. Everything is pushing toward quite advanced technology.”

Another Belt and Road participant was Farrukh Hassan, from Pakistan’s First Biotech LLC, who exhibited eco-friendly biological fertilizer. The bottled fertilizers, marked with different colors, were added to soil samples on a table to show how they work.

“Students and people here have a great interest in science,” Hassan said. “They know many things about different technologies.”

German researcher Kaspar Bienefeld, director of the Institute for Bee Research at Humboldt University in Berlin, introduced children to the world of bees.

“Bees are very important,” he said. “About 10 percent of total agricultural productivity in the world depends on bees. If there are no bees, we will have less food.”

His booth showed how bees are selectively bred to save endangered species and safeguard diversity.

Ding Tianyi, 12, who visited the Science and Technology Museum with his parents and younger brother, was thrilled by some of the exhibits.

“I liked the high-tech things, like the sensor gloves,” he said.

Ding’s brother, who has a passion for robots, told Shanghai Daily that the robots he saw at the museum were far more complicated than what he was taught at school.

“The events here are very nice and allow the kids to fully participate,” said Yue Wenfeng, who took his 8-year-old daughter to the museum. “They are easy to understand as well. These events broaden a child’s vision and develop their interest in what will happen in the future.”

The museum hosted other special activities for the science festival.

Naoko Yamasaki, an aerospace engineer from Japan, gave a talk on her experience as a female astronaut in the space age.

“I think science education for the younger generation is very important because our daily life is so strongly connected to science and technology,” she said. “Without science and technology, there would be no innovation.”

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