On 22 April, with its interactive exhibits, chemistry shows and engineering creativity workshops, the RTU Futurimo Riga curiosity centre will open its doors to visitors.
Futurimo Riga will be open to visitors from 10 a.m. of 22 April. Alongside with interactive exhibits for children and families, at the end of the opening week, it will be possible to participate in science shows, rich with chemical experiments, and exciting activities in the engineering creativity workshop of the Energy and Electronics Centre, where one can make a lamp and participate with it in a competition.
The centre will operate from Tuesday to Sunday. Owing to cooperation with Riga City Council, classes for pupils of Forms 7-9 will be held on weekdays. They will be conducted by RTU academic staff and students, who will open secrets of physics, chemistry, engineering and natural science.
«The major and most valuable resource of Latvia is talents. This centre is aiming at creating interest on the part of children and youth from the very early age, to develop their talents and skills in the fields where we will always need additional specialists – engineering and natural science. Therefore, I am very proud that Riga municipality, jointly with Riga Technical University, have established the Futurimo Riga centre, this way contributing to the state’s future and promoting the development of STEM education in Latvia. I am extremely thankful to Riga Technical University for a very successful cooperation, having implemented this significant project of the university and the municipality. Riga municipality promised to cooperate with our universities and support the Knowledge Mile creation in Pārdaugava. And we are doing it – by building a bridge across Kīleveina grāvis to the new academic centre of the University of Latvia, by transferring ownership of a land plot for the needs of the Riga Stradins University campus, and now – being the chief financial supporter for establishing Futurimo Riga,» said the Mayor of Riga Mārtiņš Staķis.
«The future of Latvia is innovations; therefore, RTU, through its different programmes and activities, is developing creativity and creative work skills in students, educating new innovators, future engineers and researchers. Still, in order to arise interest in young people to study STEM subjects at a secondary school more profoundly and later to build their career in STEM areas, their interest in exact and natural sciences should be promoted already from the early childhood. It is the intention to arise curiosity in children and youth to engineering, natural science and future technologies that stimulated RTU to establish Futurimo Riga,» said the Rector of Riga Technical University (RTU) Tālis Juhna.
Establishment of the curiosity centre can hardly be possible without cooperation partners – Riga City Council and its enterprises, Mikrotīkls, Latvenergo, Latvijas Mobilais Telefons, Latvijas Finieris, Industry Service Partner, Saint-Gobain, Sakret, Forbo Flooring and the European Hits radio.
The first exhibit installed in the centre was the one from the municipal company Rīgas Ūdens.
«Water management is developing continuously; however, the power of water and gravitation laws have not changed in the course of centuries. Thus, also the mission of Rīgas Ūdens to provide the city residents with qualitative drinking water remains unchanged. Now the four historical water towers of Riga will have another one added – an about five metres high replica of a historical water tower. The exhibit visually demonstrates the water feed principle and provision of pressure in the water-supply system of the city. We hope that this object will promote interest of pupils in nature science and water as one of the most important resources for life, and already in the nearest future increasingly more students will choose studies related to water management. As we in Rīgas Ūdens are looking forward to graduates from engineering studies – jobs will always be available at us!» said Krišjānis Krūmiņš, Chairman of the Board of Ltd. Rīgas Ūdens.
Three exhibits have been created with the support of Latvenergo, allowing to find out via game elements how wind generators and wind stations, electric car charging stations are functioning and to open the history of electricity, as well as laboratory premises have been arranged.
Chairman of the Board of JSC Latvenergo Mārtiņš Čakste: «In order to really increase the number of students in exact and engineering sciences, it is significant to arise interest already in childhood, as this is the time when personality of future engineers and researchers starts developing. That is why the Futurimo Riga curiosity centre has such an important and probably a decisive role for children and families, as exactly this way children can start learning engineering in an exciting and practical way by acting and searching for replies to their questions. An initially captivating toy can later become a life challenge and a profession.»
«We are satisfied that by providing support to the RTU Futurimo Riga curiosity centre we have an opportunity to promote interest in children and youth to engineering and stimulate selecting study programmes, professions and jobs significant for the national economy. Visitors of the centre will have an opportunity to try two expositions of LMT – a drone simulator and the «Game in Movement» innovative activity created by the LMT team, demonstrating, with the help of a balance board, car driving, its movement and direction, influencing it with one’s balance. Celebrating the opening of Futurimo Rīga, LMT presented an opportunity to four classes of pupils to attend the curiosity centre,» said the LMT President Juris Binde.
The Futurimo Riga curiosity centre is appropriate both for preschool age children and pupils, and for their parents and teachers. Thus, the centre has a smart city, revealing what technologies are required in a sustainable city of the future. This is the only curiosity centre in Riga, where, alongside with interactive exhibits, scientific classes, shows and technical creativity workshops will also be held, allowing children to create themselves and find out through practical activities how widely physics, chemistry, natural science and engineering can be applied.
The centre is open for excursions of pupils, whereas families with children are especially welcome on weekends. Seminars will be also held at Futurimo Rīga, supporting and inspiring teachers in teaching STEM subjects, as well as children camps arranged and holidays celebrated there. Additional information and tickets.
The centre was opened solemnly on 20 April with participation of representatives of RTU, Riga City Council, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Economics and major enterprises of the Latvian national economy.