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National Science Museum, Rangsit, Bangkok, Thailand

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Uploaded on Nov 17, 2009

The National Science Museum in Rangsit, just north of the capital, is spread over six floors and aims to be a thoroughly modern hands on experience, each floor is open plan and stuffed with a diverse array of exhibits which are mostly marked in English as well as Thai helping to make it as an interesting experience for the non-Thai adult as it is to the local student and at 60 baht it is good value. There is also a cafeteria and gift shop. Each of the six floors has a distinct theme, kicking off with Pioneering Scientists which explores the work of early thinkers. This floor also has several high-profile exhibits that focus attention once one enters the complex, including a full-size cutaway "hybrid" Toyota Prius.

The second floor is themed History of Science and Technology and it traces the origins of mankind and the evolution of science and early technology. According to the museum's website: Science has come a long way since we believed that the earth was flat and messages were delivered on horseback. On this floor, the history of science and technology is outlined by some important advances in the development in areas of communications, energy, the earth and space, matter and living things. You can also come fact-to-face with one of our ancestors: Lucy, the best example of Australopithecus afaresis, is brought to life as she gazes at the advances which took place long after her time. Also on Level 2 is a section called Fragile Earth which highlights the impact of deforestation, pollution and nuclear testing on the environment of the planet.

Floor three is titled Basic Science and Energy and this covers a vast array of topics including the principles of light, sound, heat magnetism, chemicals and forces with plenty of interactive exhibits that clearly demonstrate these principles to students. Have you ever listened to a conversation in an echo chamber?, says the website, Or played in a fluidised bed? How about watching crystals grow? Might you want to walk in a power tunnel? You can do all of this and more on the third floor. The exhibits here are all related to basic science such as sound, electricity, forces, mathematics, forces and matter. You can get your hands into all kinds of exciting ideas and be amazing where science might be hiding! But if you're feeling like sitting down, we can help you out there too: come into our cinema and relax for five minutes while watching videos related to various topics in science and technology.

The fourth floor is dubbed Science and Technology in Thailand and this level introduces the visitor to many aspects of Thailand such as its agricultural and industrial development as well as geology and geography. The official summary for this floor says: How do people live in various part of Thailand? What does Thailand look like geographically? How has this shaped its flora, fauna and climate? The exhibits on Level 4 are related to how humans (and Thai people in particular) have used science and technology and to change everyday life. It also focuses on the changing face of Thailand which is incorporating ideas from other cultures into traditional techniques such as farming. From the geology to ecology of Thailand to the issues of construction relevant to Thailand's conditions - you can discover science in a uniquely Thai way.

The penultimate level Science and Technology in our Everyday Lives has a wider focus and covers the human body, genes and health issues, as well as communication methods, transportation, infrastructure and energy. A house-of-the-future offers a snapshot of optimised, environmentally-conscious living in the midst of modern appliances while solar-powered panels and cars offer future future ideas. Have you ever wanted to be a surgeon? says the museum. A pilot perhaps? On Level 5, you can have a go at both while you practice keyhole surgery and land a plane. Of course both are only for practice, but they show that science is hiding in the most exciting places! The theme of Level 5 is that science is everywhere and especially in our bodies and when we use transport to move around. There is a large area where you can find out about the human body including the nervous, respiratory and digestive systems as well as finding out how fit you are. Look at how we transport ourselves around and see what the future might look like in Visions for the Future - where might you be?

The final floor changes the direction of the unfolding theme sharply and instead it takes a close-up look at Thai cultural heritage, and the arts and crafts, focusing on traditional issues such as creating clay utensils, using animals to plough fields, spinning and weaving. Zooming up the final escalator it offers a contrast from the shiny metals and plastics of the previous floors as one is thrust into a softly lit floor that is all brown woods and ornately handcrafted objects from a long past age.

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