Science Centre Delft reopens as ‘one-and-a-half metre museum’

Time slots, small groups, sanitiser stations, one-and-a-half metres. The Science Centre Delft reopens on Saturday 6 June. Will visitors still get the full experience?

You can touch, but only with gloves. (Photo: Science Centre Delft)

A museum that revolves around touching and discovery must surely suffer under the new corona measures. Or not? Anyone who has visited the Science Centre Delft will swear that it won’t be half as fun if you cannot touch the buttons. But, promises Marketing Manager Lonneke Velds, the Science Centre Delft will not be anything less than the full experience. “You can still touch, but just with gloves on.”

According to Velds, the measures actually give a unique opportunity for an in-depth visit. “It’s usually heaving here on Saturdays but now you can have the full experience in groups of up to five people (at least one adult, up to four children, and members of one household).”

‘You can touch, and you must stick to the route and to your time slot’

The tour takes two hours and consists of entry to the exhibition, a demo and a workshop. Upon arrival, visitors disinfect their hands and put on gloves. Touching and exploring is permitted, deviating from the route and the time slot are not. So a few experiments are closed. “Instead, we are offering a workshop and an interactive demo. We normally give the workshop on Sundays only.”

(Photo: Science Centre Delft)

Police officer
Velds is not worried about people not sticking to the one-and-a-half metre rule. “Our staff will keep an eye on things and encourage visitors to do things like use the sanitiser stations. But they will not act as police officers.” To safeguard the safety of staff and guests, screens have been placed at the ticket desk to avoid physical contact. Up to 15 people will be allowed in every half hour and there will be regular cleaning.

Viable concept
In the over two-and-a-half months that the Science Centre Delft has been closed, much extra work has been done. “We have done a lot of cleaning, as well as renovations. We have even built an escape room. We also designed the Science Centre @Home programme (in Dutch) through which children can explore the world of technology and science.”  

The opening is a test. “We will do an evaluation at the end of June,” explains Velds. “Then we will see if the Science Centre Delft can stay open. You may want to do lots of good things, but if they are not viable, we will have to reconsider our choices or change our approach. If people like the new programme, we can open the Museum six days a week in the summer.”

  • The Science Centre Delft is open in the weekends from 6 June onwards. Please note: online reservation is required.
News editor Marjolein van der Veldt

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