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Sci-tech Museums Register a Decade of Progress

Source: Science and Technology Daily | 2022-06-30 11:23:49 | Author: WANG Xiaoxia

Students were listening to the lecture from Tiangong space station at a sci-tech museum. (PHOTO: XINHUA)

By WANG Xiaoxia

Development in the modern world is increasingly more reliant on the progress of science and technology, which subsequently sparks people's curiosity about these advances.

Now, to narrow the gap between science and society, a rise in efforts to improve public access to scientific and technological knowledge is underway. Museums of science and technology may well play a fundamental role in the communication of this knowledge, so that an informed and enlightened public can make decisions based on facts.

China has made great progress in the promotion of science and technology information in the past decade, with improved infrastructure, innovative exhibition techniques and broader participation across society at large.

Equal access

China has promoted the construction of infrastructure for popularizing science, including national sci -tech museums in recent years, ensuring science popularization to benefit more people.

From east to west, China has, to date, built 408 sci -tech museums, and hosted more than 850 million visitors over the past decade.

To ensure equal allocation of science education resources among urban and rural areas, a total of 1,112 science popularization sites have been built in rural middle schools, and training courses have been offered to nearly 5,000 teachers from villages newly lifted out of poverty.

A national online platform, China Digital Science and Technology Museum, has seen its users increase to more than 15 million. It is also available for rural residents, as all China's administrative villages have access to broadband Internet.

On March 23, the second class from Tiangong space station was live streamed with nearly 100 science museums and venues across the country, including the museum on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

As a result, the proportion of scientifically literate Chinese citizens increased to 10.56 percent in 2020, nearly twice that in 2015, said Zhang Yuzhuo, vice chairman of the China Association for Science and Technology. And according to National Action Plan for Scientific Literacy 2021-2035, this figure will exceed 15 percent by 2025.

Innovative services

Different from other museums, science and technology museums tend to become practical places, where science plays upon the senses and can be experienced in every conceivable way. These museums are therefore educational, cultural and scientific.

Over the past 10 years, to meet public demand, science popularization venues around the country have adopted specialized and innovative exhibition techniques to share scientific and technical information in an intelligible, meaningful and enjoyable way.

In January 2022, the Palace Museum and the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum co -organized a multimedia exhibition called "Catalog of Animals Collected in the Qing Palace," where specimens are combined with cultural relics and ancient paintings, an integration of science and arts.

To popularize science information in schools, Chongqing Science and Technology Museum has customized more than 150 lessons for students, to trigger their interest in science.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the China Science and Technology Museum has launched online exhibitions on fighting against COVID-19 and on traditional Chinese medicine, to guide the public toward a scientific understanding of the pandemic and master the knowledge of pandemic prevention.

Broader participation

The science literacy of citizens cannot be improved without the effort of volunteers. In the past decade, China has seen broader participation in this effort among society as a whole, with 120,000 registered volunteers at science and technology museums nationwide.

A number of science popularization specialists have emerged, who have passed on the scientific spirit to enlighten the youth.

Sha Guohe, academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has devoted himself to popularize science among teenagers for 20 years. Sha designed and made dozens of experimental devices, and held more than 1,000 science classes for dozens of primary and secondary schools. He received a Most Beautiful Scientists and Technological Workers in 2021 award.

In 2016, a science and technology museum was opened at Huaiyang Middle School, a rural middle school in Henan Province, with physics teacher Liu Huadong serving as curator. Over the past six years, he has turned voluntary work into a career, visiting two remote rural schools every month to popularize science.

Meanwhile, by promoting the spirit of scientists, various popular science practices are helping to form a social environment that upholds science and advocates innovation, to stimulate young people's interest in science and awareness of innovation.

Editor: 王晓夏

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