This summer marks one year since the opening of the new Ventspils Science Centre VIZIUM, giving Latvian students and families the opportunity to explore the world of science and technology in an exciting and fun way. Science Centre VIZIUM offers you the opportunity to enter a virtual world where you will experience the thrill of riding a roller coaster, going on a virtual journey and getting out of a virtual maze!
The Science Centre’s exhibition consists of seven galleries dedicated to different themes: the Healthy Lifestyle Gallery, the Children’s Gallery, the Smart Technology Gallery, the Physics and Mathematics Gallery, the Geography and World Gallery, the Human and Self-Perception Gallery and the Simulator area. Everyone will find something to do and a topic to explore and discover at VIZIUM. However, the exhibits that are the most interesting and curious are the ones that offer access to a virtual world and a whole new experience of using technologies that many people have never experienced before. Virtual reality is a digitally created three-dimensional environment that transports people into a fake reality. It can simulate places in the real world or represent fictional environments, giving you the feeling of being part of it.
An absolute visitor favourite – the virtual reality ride simulator – offers the chance to get your adrenaline pumping and experience a range of emotions. With the help of virtual reality goggles and a moving platform, it offers the thrill of a roller coaster ride, experiencing free falls and sharp turns.
The real adventure is the virtual journey – with the help of virtual reality goggles and a special platform, you can enter a virtual labyrinth or an ancient building, where you have 3-5 minutes to complete tasks and get out of the maze. The exhibit has three platforms, so you can go on a virtual adventure with your friends! There is also a screen next to the simulator that displays what visitors see in their goggles, allowing others to watch the game in action.
Creative minds will have the opportunity to express themselves and create art by drawing in virtual reality. By putting on virtual reality goggles, visitors are transported into a completely different world – a blank virtual square that serves as a blank canvas for the creation of artworks. With the help of controllers, you can let your imagination run wild and draw whatever your mind can come up with around you with different combinations of colours and virtual brushes.
And for passionate hockey fans, virtual reality goggles will give you the chance to make your dream come true and be on the same ice as the Latvian national hockey team. Wearing virtual reality goggles, visitors can enjoy a hockey game from the point of view of different players – goalie, defenseman, forward or referee. The screen, located right there, allows you to see what you see in your virtual reality goggles, giving other visitors the chance to follow what is happening on the hockey rink.
The aim of the Science Centre is to educate children and young people about STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics, so each exhibit is designed to give them the opportunity to learn something new through active participation and engagement, such as historical facts, how technology works, the laws of physics and the human body, and various regularities that we encounter in our daily lives without even imagining that they have a scientific explanation.
Virtual reality exhibits are just a small part of the wide range of activities that Science Centre VIZIUM offers to its visitors – in addition to exploring the exhibition hall, there are also themed workshops and educational science shows!
VIZIUM is a great leisure activity for families and groups of friends, but for safety reasons some exhibits, such as the virtual reality ride simulator and virtual reality drawing, can only be enjoyed by adults and children over 10 years of age.
Tickets for the exhibition hall, workshops and science shows can be purchased on www.vizium.lv and at the box office of Science Centre VIZIUM. More information available by phone: 66776633, by e-mail: email@example.com, on VIZIUM social networks (@viziumventspils), as well as on the website www.vizium.lv.
The event takes place as part of the project Establishment of an Innovation Centre in Ventspils of the Activity Innovation Centres under the programme ‘Science and Education’ of the EEA and Norway Grants for 2014–2021.