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An artists' impression of the large exhibition hall being renovated for 2022 to coincide with Esch-sur-Alzette's status as European Capital of Culture
Photo: Luxembourg Science Center
Space will be given a more prominent role as will Luxembourg’s industrial heritage in a planned expansion of the Luxembourg Science Center in Differdange.
Less than a year after opening to the public, the government announced its expansion to a former ArcelorMittal steel site which houses the world’s biggest explosion motor gas machine.
“This is what we call our ‘dinosaur’. It has a huge wheel that turns and produces electricity,” education project manager Stuart Atkinson told Delano, adding that the “groussgasmaschinn”, as it’s called, still works and has protected status.
Atkinson explained that the machine was built at the turn of the century and was the starting point of the idea of the science learning center a decade ago. While waiting for the permits and renovations on the hall to get underway, the science center was able to open in the 3,000 square metre “Léierbud” building opposite with 60 experiment stations. But by 2022, it hopes to be able to open some 500 experiment stations when it occupies 21,000 square metres.
The same year, the centre will open a planetarium, similar to that found in the Cité des Sciences in Paris. “Our idea is to do a mix of the iMax and Planetarium. And one of our workshops which will open soon in phase one is called the space show,” Atkinson said, explaining there will be a room entirely dedicated to space. This focus comes from the face the science centre serves as the Luxembourg bureau of the European Space Agency. In coming months, it will begin training primary and secondary school teachers in space matters.
“They know they are not going to get 10,000 astronauts out of Luxembourg. They want us to push stem subjects. The chance of being able to use these students later is greater,” education expert said.