Getting Esplora ready for visitors.

The Science Popularisation Unit (SPU), at the Malta Council for Science and Technology, have planned and developed a world-class science centre for Malta. Esplora is inspired by the San Francisco Exploratorium, a concept by Frank Oppenheimer, which gave rise to numerous such visitor attractions throughout the world, Science Centres provide a setting for people to get closer to science through hands-on interaction.

The SPU core team gathered relevant information from open and successful science centres throughout Europe and produced a masterplan with specific project objectives. The remit behind this ERDF funded project is to evoke an interest in science and technology amongst all ages of the community, and in turn influence young people and steer their career choices towards the sciences.

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Esplora is located in and around the various buildings which were famously the Royal Navy Hospital at Bighi, this superb location means that for Malta this is a unique visitor attraction on the Grand Harbour, a working harbour to this very day, which is steeped in history and without doubt one of Malta’s tourist highlights.

With this in mind, five of the beautiful historic hospital buildings have been restored and the outdoor spaces elevated and designed, to both create a space to house the activities of the science centre and to ensure visitors enjoy the views of the Grand Harbour to the full.

This careful planning is now all coming to fruition, and in order to make sure our visitors will enjoy a memorable and fun time here at Esplora, the team has been undertaking ‘Operational Walkthroughs’, by putting ourselves in the shoes of our visitors and considering people’s requirements for a great day out!

Walkthrough

Everyone’s input is important, a lot of functions need to be squeezed into Esplora’s re-purposed buildings and we must make sure all observations and queries brought up can be answered. Typical considerations are; crowd management; bookings; rest areas; changing and feeding babies and young children; first aid room; storage facilities; parking and drop off; accessibility on-site; emergency situations; large groups; buggy parking; exhibits cleaning and maintenance; daily checks of exhibition floors and the list goes on.

It is amazingly exciting getting Esplora ready for our visitors – we can easily visualise all the spaces filled with people enjoying themselves. It will soon be time to start what we call our ‘deep clean’, which is the final step prior to opening our doors.

Esplora will be placing #Malta on the #ScienceCentres world map.

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