A day that has been six years in the making, Aberdeen Science Centre has finally re-opened after a £6 million refurbishment.
Professor Catherine Heymans, the Astronomer Royal for Scotland, unveiled a plaque to mark the opening today.
Joined by primary seven students from Hanover Street Primary in the morning and numerous guests in the afternoon, everyone got the chance to try their hand at the centre’s 60 new exhibitions.
The centre’s exhibits are aimed at all ages and are themed into six zones: Energy; Space; Life Sciences; Make It, Test It; and a dedicated area for the under-6s, as well as the Shell Learning Zone, where science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are brought to life.
Future of science is with youngsters
The science centre was fortunate to welcome Professor Heymans, who is a world-leading astrophysicist and the first woman to be granted the title of Astronomer Royal for Scotland.
Impressed with every inch of the newly revamped facility, she argued that the children inspired by the centre will be the scientists who lead discoveries in the future.
The Edinburgh University lecturer said: “I think if we look at the big challenges faced by Scotland in the coming years, such as becoming net-zero by 2045, these aren’t going to be solved by old fogies like me.
“They are going to be solved by today’s children, it’ll be the children who come to this centre over the next few days, weeks, months and years who will be pushing technology further.
“We need there bright minds to carry on, all kids love science, what other job do you get to come to work, ask questions that have never been asked before and work out exciting ways to answer them.”
With around 100 guests gathered to listen to Professor Heyman’s speech, she unveiled a commemorative plaque, declaring the site officially open.
Open for business
Bosses at the centre were keen to point out that the site is not just an asset to the city but for the rest of the north and north-east of Scotland.
Acting chairman for the board of trustees for Aberdeen Science Centre, Sandy Morton said: “This has been the culmination of six years of intensive effort, not just the redevelopment of the building but all the exhibits and we’re all really excited to come to the end of that journey.
“It is a tremendous asset, when you think about Aberdeen as being such a centre of technology and advanced science, this has been a long time coming.”
The centre recently received its first accolade since reopening, the Travellers’ Choice Award from the world’s largest travel platform, Tripadvisor.
Previously known as the Certificate of Excellence, the Travellers’ Choice Award recognises places that earn consistently positive reviews by visitors, who rate services, quality and customer satisfaction.
Bryan Snelling, chief executive of Aberdeen Science Centre, said: “Although we have had a challenging first year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which also delayed our celebratory event, we are now open seven days a week and have welcomed thousands of visitors through the doors, as well as school groups and corporate guests.
“This is a celebration of all the work that has gone into redeveloping the centre to transform it into a modern visitor attraction which showcases STEM innovations through educational and fun exhibits and events.”