Differdange

Luxembourg Science Center: of giant electromagnets and lifting cars

The „Science Center“ will move into the former „Léierbud“, just opposite of the old steel factory, where parts of the Differdange International school are hosted at the moment.
Photo: Lex Kleren

(na) – “By the end of march, we will have installed 55 out of our 100 experiment-stations at the “Science Center”, says initiator Nicolas Didier, who is clearly looking forward to March 27.

On that day the “Science Center” is supposed to open for the first time. “We are not planning a big, official Opening-Ceremony”, he says almost apologetically. Didier has been promoting the project for years now.

School classes only at first

In a first stage, only school classes shall be visiting the “Science Center”. In October, the “Science Center” will also open to the public.

That’s when the “International School”, which currently has classrooms in the “Léierbud”, is moving into a new building only a few meters away, onto the premises of a former recycling center.

Target audience: pupils

The target audience of the “Science Center” are primary school pupils, but the first three years of secondary school are not to be forgotten. “Those, who still have to decide on which subjects to concentrate on”, Nicolas Didier clarifies.

Nowadays many pupils have to decide which subjects to specialise in, like mathematics or chemistry, without really knowing what they are getting into, he criticises. Thanks to the experiment-stations of the “Science Center”, the pupils should have the opportunity to discover the possibilities different school subjects provide.

Three laboratories to experiment in

Next to the 55 stations, there will also be three laboratories where the children will be able to work on some more precise experiments.

Nicolas Didier underlines “The pupils are supposed to be able to experiment on their own.” The themes will be matter, thermodynamics and the kitchen. All is financed through government aid as well as numerous Luxembourgish enterprises.

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A giant electromagnet

But until all is ready, the construction works at the “Léierbud” still has to be completed. At the moment for instance, there is still an excavator standing in the middle of the hall, digging a huge hole. “That will be the foundation for our giant electromagnet” Didier explains.

Lifting a car through muscle power

Next to the building, a special car will be installed which can be lifted up by a child thanks to leverage. But even without this attraction, the centre shouldn’t have to worry about a lack of visibility in the near future.

As due to the restructuring of the “Entrée de ville” in Differdange, the Rue Emile Mark will be temporarily redirected through the former car park of the “Léierbud”. Therefore, drivers will be able to witness the construction from front row seats in the daily traffic jams.

2022 back to the "Groussgasmaschinn"?

In the long run, Nicolas Didier plans to set up the “Science Center” in the industrial building of the “Groussgasmaschinn”, which is on the premises of the Differdange ArcelorMittal-plant and is currently not accessible.

But after ArcelorMittal said in 2016, that they planned making the building that was constructed in 1905 available, active discussions are under way at the government level. It would even be conceivable to take over the ancient “Centrale thermique” next to the mentioned building, Didier goes on.

But there remains the question of the expensive renovation of the halls, which could be made accessible via the bypass of Differdange. Hopes remain high to achieve the project by 2022 – during that year, Esch and the southern region could be able to call themselves cultural capital of Europe.

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