The Experimental Zone is a large open space that takes up most of the upper floor of the Copernicus Science Centre, dedicated to humans and nature. You can experiment on your own with more than 200 exhibits that form 19 thematic groups.
The space can be divided into two sections.
THE EASTERN SECTION (beside the orange pavilion) is dedicated to humans. Here you become the subject of surprising experiments. You will see how your senses and skills allow you to perceive, interpret and describe the world. You will test the capabilities of your own body, your sensitivity to light, your colour perception and susceptibility to illusions.
New to the Copernicus Science Centre and this part of the exhibition are exhibits illustrating biological processes taking place in nature. For the first time in our science centre, you will have the opportunity to observe living organisms and the changes they undergo as a result of interacting with their environment. You will see photosynthesis with your own eyes and take a look at hydras and growing fungi. Look for the exhibits: “Decomposer Fungi: Lion’s Mane”, “Decomposer Fungi: Coprophages”, “Predators: Hydras”, “Herbivores: Daphnias”.
The Image in the Eye
Human Anatomy and Physiology
Human Capabilities – Test Yourself
Movement – Sight
Light and Colours
Light and Optics
Shapes and Patterns
The eastern section was reopened after a rearrangement in April 2018. Previously, it was home to the Humans and Environment and Light Zone exhibitions.
THE WESTERN SECTION (by the blue pavilion) focuses on physical phenomena. Here you will find exhibits related to waves, the electric current, fluids and chaotic phenomena. You will go for a walk with a gyroscopic suitcase, build a magnetic bridge and be amazed at the capabilities of a rotating table. You will experiment with stroboscopes and sound. You will learn what Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for and you will see cosmic radiation.
Electricity and Magnetism
Waves and Vibrations
Gyroscopes and the Moment of Inertia
The western section was reopened after a rearrangement in May 2016. Previously, it was home to the New On the Move exhibition.
Experimental Zone Concept
It was made available in April 2018. As a result, we have gone through another stage in the process of improving the exhibition space and exhibits, which we began in 2015, after 5 years of operation.
Read, why we keep improving and what were the stages of change.
Exhibits combined into thematic groups
The world is one interconnected, interdependent whole, which we are exploring in a comprehensive way. Dividing knowledge about it into subjects splits it apart and disintegrates the image of the whole. As a result, we get to know only unconnected fragments. At Copernicus, we want to integrate them. That’s why we decided to create a huge Experimental Zone, where we divided the exhibits into 19 thematic groups, allowing for a better combination of themes and emphasising the interdisciplinary nature of the experience. With each exhibit, we provide new stimuli and at the same time, we can refer to the knowledge acquired at the previous one.
Exhibit groups present a given phenomenon from many sides, which makes it easier to remember and understand complex processes. For example, it is not easy to see the interconnectedness between a water wave, a sound wave, a light wave or a Mexican wave. It is only through dozens of experiments that various examples of this phenomenon can be observed and a comprehensive understanding can be achieved. Thus, at the exhibition you will learn about magnetic phenomena in a comprehensive way, thanks to the “Magnetic Clouds”, “Funky Fluids” and “Magnetic Bridge” exhibits.
Exhibits precisely presenting phenomena
The exhibits you will find here are ambitious and educational, as well as accessible and absorbing. They allow you to search, study and make mistakes. They present real phenomena with the utmost precision and you can discover them in the course of interaction. We built most of them in our own workshop, which is something we are very proud of.
They include, among others, all biological phenomena: “In a Drop of Water”, “Sandbox”, “Annoying Echo”, “Drawing in a Mirror”, “Splitting the Rainbow”, “Shades of Grey”, “Draw a Film”, “Shapes of Light”, “Cheshire Cat”, “Colourful Shadows”, “Perfect Symmetry”, “Bright Black”, “Velvet Hands”, “Infrared Camera”, as well as all biological exhibits. Some exhibits were imported from the best designers in the world. Others still underwent a process of renovation and improvement.
We have limited multimedia in the exhibition to a minimum, to focus on real experiences.
Minimalist design that favours concentration
Before the modernisation of the Copernicus exhibitions, the exhibits were brightly-coloured and there were many additional coloured elements in the space. We’ve made it all uniform. Currently, the exhibits have light-coloured plywood cases, with steel, glass or plexiglass elements. Calming the space visually was important to us, to focus attention on the content of the exhibits, instead of their form.
We added moveable elements – the rods and buttons are yellow, which makes orientation and using the exhibits easier. We’ve also changed the instructions to make them clearer. They contain illustrated elements that show what should be done, followed by a description of the phenomenon.
There is a lot of light on the upper floor, especially in spring and summer; however, some of the exhibits require darkness. That is why we have set up two pavilions (blue and orange), where there is semi-darkness – perfect conditions for some exhibits and rooms.
The colourful pavilions also serve as landmarks.
Relaxation zones and coffee shop
As part of the improvement process, we organised relaxation corners (beside each pavilion), where you can gain strength for further visit. Such separate sections are especially important for pre-schoolers and young students, who like to gather in a separate place. Now you can sit on benches or carpets and catch your breath, or look through one of the books from the available minilibraries.
A cafe is coming soon to the Experimental Zone. Meanwhile, you can visit the open terrace overlooking the Vistula River.
Open to everyone as part of entry ticket to Copernicus