Exploratoriet switching focus in new exhibit – "A fun direction"

Exploratoriet in Skellefteå has previously been known for its science experiments and inventions. However, their new exhibit has a slightly different focus: it teaches about various disabilities. "I have never seen anything like it, not in Skellefteå at least" says Märta Löfgren.

Arya and Alice try "playing lemon" together with the "mad physics professor" Saga Grahn Nilsson.

Arya and Alice try "playing lemon" together with the "mad physics professor" Saga Grahn Nilsson.

Foto: Theo Lindberg Persson

Engelska2024-07-08 12:00

When Norran arrives at Exploratoriet, it’s bustling. Kids are running in all directions. The dark clouds in the sky, hinting at incoming rain, have driven families to indoor activities today. Children spending the afternoon at Exploratoriet have the opportunety to watch the "Mad Physics Professor" perform. During the show, the professor demonstrates how to make a marshmallow swell, how to light up a broken bulb, and how to play music using lemons. It's a great combination of knowledge and fun.

Arya and Alice try "playing lemon" together with the "mad physics professor" Saga Grahn Nilsson.

– The goal is for everyone to find it enjoyable. The youngest should have fun watching a funny professor, the slightly older children should start to find the experiments interesting, and the even older ones should begin to wonder how the experiments work. We also try to make the adults laugh a little, says Märta Löfgren.

But for there to be any audience at all, the weather has to be that of the classic Swedish summer – anything but sunny.

– Everything depends on the weather. Last week, when the weather was beautiful, we had only about two families here, says Saga Grahn Nilsson, who played "the mad professor" today.

The mad professor travels around Europe, trying experiments. She then brings them all back to Skellefteå.

What is the usual response to the shows?

– Many adults often say it was a good show with fun experiments. It's nice to hear because we put a lot of time into it, says Saga.

– Many slightly older children (seven-eight years old) also come up after the shows and have questions and thoughts about how it works. The idea is that they should learn something and be able to try the experiments at home, says Märta.

The latest addition to the Exploratorium is just as important as the physics and chemistry exhibits. In the new section, you can experience what it’s like to live with a disability or various diagnoses. There's an obstacle course for wheelchairs, a reading test with dyslexia, or you can try having ADHD in the "ADHD box."

The ADHD-box at Exploratoriet. Here you can see what it is like riding the bus or sitting in class as someone with ADHD.

– I think it's super important, and I also think it's a fun direction. Previously, we’ve had a lot of exhibitions about science, electricity, mining, recycling, and so on, says Märta.

In the ADHD box, you try to focus on a conversation while many realistic distractions pop up on screens around you.

– I think you learn a lot by trying the box. There are a lot of things you don’t think about and some things you absolutely don't know, says Saga.


The new exhibition which will be called "A Skellefteå for everyone, not everyone works like me" ("Ett Skellefteå för alla, alla fungerar inte som jag") is not completely finished yet. It is financed by money Skellefteå kommun has been allocated.

”This exhibit is financed by prize money from the Access City Awards. The Access City Award is the EU's yearly accessibility prize. It is awarded to European cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants that actively work towards accessibility accommodations for the elderly and people with disabilities. Skellefteå won in 2023.”