September 6th 2014
Science museums around the world share the goals of making science accessible to the general public and encouraging museum goers to get excited about discovering something new about how the physical world works. The Israeli National Museum of Science, Technology, and Space is no exception. In Hebrew, the museum is known as HaMuze’on HaLe’umi LeMada, Tekhnologya VeHalal which locals abbreviate as Madatech.
The building that houses the museum was designed over 100 years ago and was the original home of the Technion – Israel’s Institute of Technology. The Technion moved on to another home and Madatech moved in in 1983. The museum’s renovation of the historic building won an award from the National Council for the Preservation of Buildings and Historic Sites in Israel.
Since 1983, nearly half a million people have been through the science museum’s halls. Madatech is not a place to look at artifacts behind glass. The museum’s 20 permanent exhibits feature over 600 interactive activities. Visitors can also screen seven Cinematix multi-sensory movies in 3-D. During the school year, you’re likely to run into one of the 2000 groups of Israeli school children who visit the 7 acre campus in midtown Haifa each year.
One of the distinctive features of Madatech is its commitment to ensuring that guests with disabilities have equal access to the entire museum. For the visually impaired, many of the interactive exhibits have touchable components. In addition, braille is used to explain the museum and many of its exhibits. The front desk offers binoculars, magnifying glasses and contoured maps of the museum.
An expansion of this commitment to ensure universal accessibility includes opening up the world of science to speakers of many languages. This is especially helpful for Israel’s many non-Hebrew speaking immigrants and international tourists.
As Israel’s national Museum of Science, Technology, and Space, Madatech has a particular emphasis on showcasing the myriad technical and scientific achievements that originated in Israel. Don’t miss the aviation room and the dark room. If your visit allows for it, try to participate in a science demonstration or an experience in one of Madatech’s 12 advanced science education labs.
The museum has a goal of giving every visitor, regardless of age, physical condition and native language, the opportunity to discover and learn scientific principles while having fun.