Theory classes can get boring but what if you could see your science lessons unfold in front of your eyes? Drop in at the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum (BITM), Kolkata, and spend time engaging with activities and interactive models based on Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biology, Astronomy, Electronics and more.
The science museum on Guru Saday Road was established in 1959 under the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), Ministry of Culture, Government of India. BIRM is open from 9.30am to 6pm on all days except Holi and Kali Puja.
To ensure safety in COVID times, anyone stepping into BITM is required to undergo thermal checking. Hands-free sanitisation booths have been installed at various spots inside the museum and masks have been mandatory.
BITM has 12 galleries in the old and new buildings. Each gallery houses science exhibits and interactive models. Visitors can also carry out experiments on their own. Post COVID, the switches have gone hands-free and one has to only wave one’s hands on the sensor-led switches.
The entry fee at BITM is Rs 50 per head. Package tickets for groups of school students come at Rs 45 per head.
BITM technical officers Tarun Das and Gautam Seal took Edugraph around the museum. Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store:
Housed in the old building, to the right of the main entrance, the Transport Gallery has more than 90 exhibits portraying over 50 models besides interactive activities. The gallery provides useful information on water transport, airborne transport and surface transport. Some of the exhibits are Underground Metro Railway in Kolkata, Transport of Materials, Air Transport models, Underwater Submarine model and Locomotive models
Don’t miss: 1926 Rolls Royce and Fiat Tipo used by scientist Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose.
Digital Adventure Gallery
The Digital Adventure Gallery was introduced in 2018. It has about 16 exhibits showcasing digital technology. Some of the exhibits are Virtual Assistant, Drive Zone, Digital Canvas, Balloon Burst and Colour Sensing Robot. This gallery is a big hit with children as they can interact with robots, colour digitally and play games.
Don’t miss: Augmented Reality Zone
The Electricity Gallery has several attractive exhibits explaining various aspects of electricity and its history. Students can try out interesting experiments to understand the concepts of electricity better. The prime attraction of this gallery is the high-voltage theatre where electricity is generated using the set-up of various models such as the Van de Graaff Generator, Tesla Coil and Plasma Ball.
Don’t miss: High-voltage theatre
The Mathematics Gallery was inaugurated in 2010. It aims to make mathematics interesting with graphical illustrations and interactive exhibits. The Children’s Activity area and Musical Maths exhibit make this gallery fun for students.
Don’t miss: Math Demo Corner
Popular Science Gallery
The Popular Science Gallery is where simple science concepts are demonstrated. The exhibits include Radio Bucket, Video Racing, Momentum Multiplier, Strength of Air Pressure and Obedient Ball.
Don’t miss: Uneasy Tunnel, Water Goddess
The Biotechnology Gallery simplifies cutting-edge technology with its 52 interactive galleries. Here you will see Identify My Parents, Plant Cell model, DNA model, Origin of Life and other such exhibits.
Don’t miss: Walk Through Cell and Identify My Parents
With 50 exhibits on copper, zinc, aluminium, steel and iron, the Metals Gallery explains everything metal. The exhibits include several models and diagrams. Some of the exhibits demonstrate tilting open-heater furnaces and blast furnaces.
Don’t miss: Flowcharts on metals and metal map of India
Motive Power Gallery
This gallery showcases 81 exhibits on the different kinds of power humans have invented. It depicts use of animal power to nuclear power. The history behind the invention of various engines is also depicted here.
Don’t miss: Car gear model with acceleration, brakes, clutch
Apart from exhibits explaining various concepts and showcasing fun experiments, you can see here a statue of Newton under an apple tree discovering gravity. Other exhibits showcase experiments like Weight on Moon and Gravity Well. The gallery showcases 28 interactive exhibits on gravity, mechanics, light and electromagnetic fields.
Don’t miss: Newton’s statue.
This gallery is one of a kind as it has everything from technology to the mechanics of television. One can see ancient TV sets, valves, analogue cameras, early animation systems and analogue studios. It is situated on the second floor of the old building.
Don’t miss: Chroma Key Show studio
World in Darkness Gallery
This gallery is specially designed for visually impaired persons to learn about the earth and universe through braille compliant exhibits. There are about 19 exhibits in this gallery.
Kids’ Zone: There’s a Kids Zone on the second floor of the new building where children can have fun. There is a Doll House, Pool of Balls, slides, swings and more.
Bubble Show: Three shows are conducted daily where different tricks are shown with bubbles made of soap solution. Bubble in a Bubble, Fire Bubble and Rotating Bubble are some of the most popular tricks. Tickets cost Rs 10 per head.
The Floating Tap: There is a floating tap in the garden which is a water fountain with an invisible pipe system.