Science City, a one-of-a-kind edutainment park in India, was developed by the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) and inaugurated on 1st July 1997. One of the major attractions of Kolkata, it is one of the world’s largest conglomerates of science museums and activity centres. Presenting science and technology in an intriguing ambience makes it engaging and informative for young and old alike. The idea behind Science City was to rid the public of the fear that prevails in the name of Science and project science as a subject of fun and imagination.
Science Exploration Hall
As you enter the premises, the laboratories and museums awaiting you mesmerizes! The Dynamotion is a must-visit to see the “Paradise of Science” in action. The Time Machine and 3D Theatre create an out-of-this-world experience. Treat your senses to a grand feast with exhibits on maritime activities at the Maritime Centre, a Musical Fountain synchronised to music and light, a Butterfly Enclave and the recently developed Science Exploration Hall.
The Interpretation Area
The Science Exploration Hall, a 5400 sq metre facility over three floors promotes enquiry-based learning among children. The Interpretation Area showcases the earth’s formation and the origin, evolution and diversification of life. There is a multimedia presentation on the migration patterns of various human species. An interactive kiosk presents in-depth information about the skulls of pre-historic hominids from different parts of the world.
The prime attraction of this hall is the Dark Ride. After a dynamic presentation on the formation of the earth and the evolution of various life forms, seven sections showcase the milestone events of evolution. Visitors are taken in slow-moving three-seater electric cars on a guided track supplemented by 56 robotic animal models, artificial plants and special light and sound effects. This pre-historic journey unfolds the story of evolution and the diversification of aquatic and terrestrial life forms. The sight of the various species of animals from the Stromatolites to the dinosaurs in their mimicked natural habitats is nothing short of spectacular.
Science and Technology Heritage of India
The museum on the first floor presents 5000 years of the Science and Technology Heritage of India through period setting dioramas and interactive exhibits. These give a vivid idea of the significant contributions of India in the fields of astronomy, mathematics, medicine, linguistics and logic from 2500 BC to 4th century. Interesting exhibits such as miniature replicas of the cave paintings of Bhimbetka, the Wheel of the Konark Temple, the Iron Pillar of Delhi and the Yarghu – the portable cannon cleaner of Akbar’s regime – are prominent. Astounding are models that practically arrive at the value of pi, the Indian system of Nakshatras and the Brahma discs, which prove that for us Indians playing with big numbers of the order 1014 goes back to our mythology, much before calendars came into practice! The vast array of industries that evolved from agriculture, metallurgy, musical instruments and coin mining to town planning, perfumery, glass technology, maritime activities and medicine has been effectively portrayed through models and dioramas.
The Science and Technology Hall opens into the gallery on Emerging Technology that traces the recent advancements of technology in fields such as robotics, energy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), medical science, human genomics, alternative fuels and encoding of information and the role of quantum mechanics, information and communication science and molecular biology in these technologies.
Children find it exciting when an 18-inch robot speaks to them. A 3D film on MRI technology explains how MRI functions and helps in medical diagnosis. The ‘Body Implants’ exhibit explains how prosthetics help in leading a normal life, while the ‘Convergence of Technologies’ exhibit shows how a single device can do multiple functions. There’s also a 3D printer which is a major eye-catcher.
A beautifully decorated staircase leading to the third floor suddenly opens into a panoramic view of the night sky with a circular hall surrounded by a screen. There is a broad walkway with a railing at its circumference and seating for twenty people. Between the railing and the screen, there is a wide gap filled by the models and dioramas of early man.
The digital panoramic presentation is a world-first and a unique depiction of the important milestones of the last six million years of human evolution. The show starts with a static panoramic image followed by a twelve-minute dynamic film with narration in three languages, projected on a giant cylindrical screen with the help of eight powerful digital projectors. The film has been shot in South Africa and India and is merged with photorealistic computer generated 3D images, while the entire installation of the panorama has been done on the Science City premises. The film depicts the evolution of various human species such as bipeds and the making of early stone tools, advanced tools, hunting techniques, use of fire, cave dwellings and paintings, burial systems, community living, etc.
The Science Exploration Hall is a mammoth contribution by the NCSM, which is the apex body of science and museum centres in India under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
‘Science City is continuously upgrading its infrastructure to stay abreast of the latest trends and growing demands of the visitors, especially of children. It envisions to create general awareness and appreciation towards science and technology through non-formal means. Summer camps for young enthusiasts exploit their scientific and logical mind and help them develop a scientific approach towards problem solving,’ explains Subhabrata Chaudhuri, Director, Science City.
Science City Museum
Address: JBS Haldane Avenue, Mirania Gardens, East Topsia, Kolkata – 700046
Entry Fee: Rs 50, Below 3 years – free
Dark Ride: Rs 40, Panorama: Rs 60, Combo: Rs 80
Parking: Available (Paid)
Closed: Only on Holi