Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre has today welcomed its 11 millionth visitor to its iconic building located on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra.
Questacon was founded by Professor Mike Gore AM, whose love of teaching both students and the general public inspired him to develop Australia’s first interactive science centre based on the Exploratorium in San Francisco.
Since opening in Canberra’s Parliamentary Zone on 23 November 1988 as a joint Australia-Japan Bicentennial Project, Questacon has become a must visit destination in the Canberra region, winning gold in the Tourist Attraction category at the 2016 Australian Tourism Awards in Darwin recently.
Questacon Director Professor Graham Durant said Questacon’s first and oldest exhibit, the Gravitram (GRAVity and TRAMway) was designed and built by Shab Levy in his backyard.
“The Shab Levy kinetic sculpture is one of only 12 built worldwide and has been on display at Questacon since 1988. The Gravitram is a wonderful mix of science and industrial design which appeals to all ages. As of today, 11 million visitors have had the opportunity to see and interact with this Questacon favourite,” said Professor Durant.
Questacon strives to deliver dynamic experiences for visitors, showcasing exhibitions and programmes to mark significant happenings in science, such as National Science Week and raising awareness of international initiatives including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“Since opening in 1988, Questacon has experienced continued visitor growth with nearly half a million people now visiting the Centre each year.
“We often hear from many of our returning visitors that Questacon was their favourite stop during a school trip to Canberra. Many of those visitors are now inspiring the next generation and returning with their own children,” said Professor Durant.
Visitors of all ages find themselves immersed in interactive science experiences across eight themed exhibitions and participate in science shows delivered by the Questacon Excited Particles theatre troupe. Exhibitions including Mini Q, Questacon’s dedicated exploration space for 0 – 6 year olds, are shaping the future of even the youngest Australians.
Questacon’s second campus, The Ian Potter Foundation Technology Learning Centre, offers teacher programmes and school and holiday workshops and is the hub for Questacon’s national programmes and travelling exhibitions.
In its rich 29 year history, Questacon has engaged with over 33 million people through the technology centre, travelling exhibitions, outreach and international programmes.
“I am excited to welcome our 11 millionth visitor to Questacon, and look forward to inspiring millions more in the years to come,” Professor Durant said.