About Teknikens Hus

Images from Teknikens Hus

Teknikens Hus is the northernmost science centre in Sweden and one of the first in the country. The science centre opened in May 1988 and has welcomed more than 4 million visitors over the years.

The idea of creating a permanent science centre for children, a house of technology, was originated at the Lulea University in 1979. The need for activities that could emphasize science and technology at an early stage in the school system was clearly demonstrated by teachers and children who visited the new university. Planning activities went on for several years within the university. Eventually, in the mid-80-s, financing for the project was obtained. Construction started in 1987 and in May 1988, Teknikens Hus opened to the public.

Teknikens Hus is an independent, non-profit foundation. The board constitutes of  the founders: Luleå University of Technology, the communities of Norrbotten, the city of Luleå and the LKAB mining company, SSAB steel producer and Vattenfall, hydroelectric power producer.

At the time of the opening in 1988, more than 26 million SEK had been raised, either as donations of money or as materials, from companies and private donors. No government subsidies were granted for the investment.

The annual expenditure is to approximately 50% covered by own income from entrance fees, exhibition rental and production, in-service teacher training, projects and endowment revenue. The remaining half is covered by grants from state government, communities, the city of Luleå, the Luleå University and the Norrbotten County Council.

The permanent exhibitions in Teknikens Hus reflect the region and its technology. Here visitors can explore mining, steel production, forestry, hydroelectricity, astronomy, space technology, flight and aerodynamics, the everyday technology in our homes and many other things. The approach in the exhibitions is holistic and great emphasis has been made to create wholeness and context and the engagement of all senses. This concerns the exhibits themselves and the setting, stage design, as well as the “spaces in between”.

Many of the exhibits are unique. The fully operating paper machine where the visitors can make their own paper to bring with them, the small hydroelectric power station, the full scale lumber forwarder driven literally through the wall, the rock drill and the model steel plant are examples of exhibitions that can be seen nowhere else in the world. The reality based concept of the exhibitions in Teknikens Hus creates an inspirational learning environment that helps both children and adults to put pieces of complicated processes together and explore the technology and science behind them.

Adjacent to the exhibition hall are several public workshop facilities and also an outdoor area with exhibits and activities used in the summer season.

A planetarium
The exhibition also includes a small planetarium with a Digistar3 system where the universe and starry skies are shown together with programs about space technology and full dome films with different themes.

Temporary exhibitions
Throughout the years Teknikens Hus has hosted over 150 temporary exhibitions from many producers in Scandinavia and Europe. These exhibitions give the opportunity to broaden the perspectives and to communicate science and technology from other spheres than the regional and local. The themes have ranged from particle physics from Cern in Geneva to artists’ views on gene technology, from the beauty and mathematics in quilt to the history of computer games.

The temporary exhibitions are replaced several times every year giving the many repeated visitors a fresh view and new inspiration. A number of these exhibitions are also produced in-house at Teknikens Hus. Some of them, with themes for example on climate change, polar research and the physics of air, are available for travelling and have been exhibited in science centres and museums in Scandinavia, Europe and the Middle East.

Education and programming
Teknikens Hus is a regional resource for science and technology education. The permanent and temporary exhibitions are one of the foundations for the educational programming in the science centre. The educators at Teknikens Hus deliver inspirational classes to groups form schools all over the region as well as programs for the general public in weekends and on holidays. Courses for teacher students at Luleå Technical University and in-service training for teachers in the region are delivered continuously. The stars and northern lights are presented daily by the educators for school groups and the general public in the planetarium. In the Media Studio students can produce their own newscast and in the Robolab the secrets of programming of robots are revealed.

Programs containing activities, workshops and various forms of science communication are carried out in weekends and on holidays. These are designed to fit mainly a family audience where adults and children participate and learn together and from each other.