The Madatech National Science, Technology and Space Museum in Haifa, is a large museum crammed with hands-on activities that will please both adults and children. Not far from the Bahai Gardens, in the Hadar neighbourhood of Haifa, the museum is housed in the large edifice which is the old Technion building. The Madatech building was built in the early 1910s, visited by Albert Einstein in 1923 and then made into a museum in 1984. Today the museum hosts some 200,000 visitors annually, many of them children on school trips.
The Madatech National Science, Technology and Space Museum can be broken up into five parts for mapping out. The ground floor of the main building contains the front desk, a café, a children’s play area, a gift store and several exhibits such as the history of the printing press and The Road to Safety Exhibition. In the Road to Safety Exhibition children and adults can sit side-by-side on crash simulator, operated only by a museum guide, which proves the need for seatbelts while driving. Be prepared, the crash is quite a jolt! Continuing up a narrow staircase (elevators are also on-site), the first floor comes to view. On the first floor are exhibitions such as the Natural Science Room with over 100 stuffed animals and birds all found in the Haifa area including eagles, mongooses and jungle cats. Other exhibitions include Puzzles & Games, Green Energy and Acoustics & Waves, all going into depths with hands-on displays and tools for everybody to benefit from. In the Green Energy exhibition children can learn about combustion, solar power and light power, many of the displays featuring little lights that illuminate with the power generated at the display. Children can also race sailboats on a table with fans, mapping out wind currents with guided lines on the table. Also on the first floor is the Einstein Hall where an exhibition was made in honour of Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first and only astronaut. Included in the exhibit are some of his personal belongings found at the crash site of the Columbia space shuttle that tragically crashed on descent over Texas.