National Park Science Center

in Mittersill National Park Centre

 

Science Centers are used world-wide as instruments for educational and technology policy. They sensitise the public - in particular the younger generation - to science and technology as well as their interrelation with regard to the development of society. Furthermore, Science Centers create public places for interaction and communication. Here thinking processes are prompted, approaches contemplated and tested. Through interactive and informal learning, natural scientific and/or technical phenomena become "tangible" in the truest sense of the word.

 

 

In the NP-Science Center in Mittersill, two laboratory spaces are waiting for young researchers to give free reign to their curiosity. By means of demonstrative experiments, interactive models and the specialist knowledge of the national park rangers, they explore life and climate in the highlands, the geology of the Tauern window and much more.

 

Member of Association ScienceCenter-Network

 

The ScienceCenter-Network is a association of more than 130 partners from the fields of education, science and research, exhibition design, art, media and economy. The aim of the network and its partners is to make science come alive and understandable in an easily accessible way.

 

The environmental education by the Hohe Tauern National Park Salzburg has been a partner in the ScienceCenter-Network since 2007.

More about the association: www.science-center-net.at

 

Eight different modules can be booked here, with each module taking 2 hours.

 

The national park centre in Mittersill also houses the largest exhibition about the nature reserve – the NationalparkWorlds. To supplement a module in the Science Center, we recommend booking a tour through the NationalparkWorlds guided by a national park ranger.

Cost SC Module per school class: € 100

(Max. number of participants per group: 15 pupils)

 

Cost SC Module and Worlds tour per school class: € 150

 

Vision Globe

 

An interactive video-globe of the latest generation was installed in the Science Center in 2013. The globe visualises and animates contents on the topics of climate and weather (natural influencing factors, climate factors, the effect of people,...).

Several of the following modules make use of animations on the VisionGlobe.

There is also a module underway specifically for students between 14 and 16 years, dealing mainly with the topic of "climate change".

 

Modules in the Science Center

Surviving in the highlands - Alpine ecology

(recommended from 3rd grade)

 

The mountain model has heavy snowfall. The relief and wind do not distribute the snow evenly however, but according to a specific pattern. Ibex, marmot, white hare or snow grouse – they have all developed different strategies for surviving in winter in the highlands.

 

But in summer, too, cold and hot, wet and dry alternate quickly and small-scale. Animals and plants employ various tricks to adapt to this. The peak white butterfly, for example, needs an "operating temperature" of 30-40°C, which it only reaches by angling its wings to serve as solar panels.

 

Microworld of the national park

(recommended from 3rd grade)

 

Armed with scoop nets and magnifying glasses, we head out into the forest and meadows and then to watercourses. The forest floor and watercourses hide a multitude of micro-organisms. Back in the lab, the creatures become giant "monsters" under the microscope.

 

By looking at the microworld's species composition, we can draw conclusions about the quality of the watercourses and soil.

 

National park with open ears

(recommended from 3rd grade)

 

Every habitat has its own typical soundscape – be it the purling of a stream, the wind whooshing in the treetops or the sounds of various animals.

 

With the help of the audio tower, the sounds of a specific habitat can be compiled and an exciting story invented to accompany them.

 

A mountain range is born

 

(recommended from 6th grade)

 

How were the Alps formed? What was Pangaea?

 

60 million years ago, the African tectonic plate began drifting north towards the Eurasian plate. This collision of continents resulted in the transformation of rocks, entire mountain ranges pushed on top of each other and, ultimately, the arc of the Alps being lifted out. This elevation is still not completed to this day.

 

The sand, flour sand and brick sand layers in the pop-up model illustrate the formation of this fascinating mountain range.

 

The incredible power of the water and glaciers shaped the way our landscape and valleys look today. These processes are modelled on a smaller scale in the erosion tub.

 

Altitudinal belts - A journey into the Arctic

 

(recommended from 6rd grade)

 

On a mountain tour from the valleys up to the highest glacier regions of the national park, we cross all the climatic zones of Central and Northern Europe.

 

Animals such as the white hare or snow grouse immigrated here from Arctica during the ice-ages.

 

With the aid of the mountain model and northern hemisphere, animals and plants are matched with the respective altitudinal belts and vegetation zones.

 

Weather kitchen and Climate lab

(recommended from 6th grade)

 

In the highlands, climate change becomes clearly apparent. Glaciers recede, rockfalls block trails and the flora and fauna also react. Exciting experiments focusing on the weather elements of foehn, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure and wind explain the processes of how weather is generated.

 

The extreme climatic conditions in the highlands are explained as are fundamental process of climate warming. Even the greenhouse effect becomes measurable in a matter of minutes in a Co2-miniatmosphere.

 

Snowflakes and Iceworlds

(recommended from 6th grade)

 

Water in all its aggregation states shapes the environment in the Hohe Tauern. In frozen for, water crystallizes into snowflakes, frost and ice crystals.

 

In this module, students will learn the hexagonal structure of snow and ice and the different effects this has on the texture of snow and, as a result, the way we deal with and handle snow.

 

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