The centers, which have been introducing children and adults to science and technology in an entertaining way for over six years, were until recently almost self-sufficient and were able to attract over 1.7 million visitors per year. However, three-month break due to coronavirus crisis, termination of school expeditions and slow return toward the previous state sent the attractive organizations to the brink of collapse. However, they do not wait, they do not idle, but they fight. Some of them have already opened, others are opening in upcoming days, they are preparing a rich program and inviting visitors to come and support them with their visit. They also appeal to the government and ask for quick financial aid.
Leading Czech scientists and technicians have now started fighting to save the three most endangered science centers, filming a challenge asking public and private institutions and visitors not to let the attractive centers fall. They also remind that the state invested 2.5 billion crowns from public sources into their construction six years ago.
“To save them, an investment in order of several millions crowns or system support ensuring the attendance of school groups would now be enough. This goes hand in hand with a recommendation to schools by their founders and the Ministry of Education to visit these centers, as it is not just a regular school trip, but on the contrary an experiential form of education, “says Jiří Dušek, director of the Brno Observatory and Planetarium and Member of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic.
“Science centers are crucial to attract the next generation of skilled and enthusiastic people for science, research and innovations, and thus for the advanced economy. Such thing takes a long time to build, costs a lot of money and includes highly qualified workers. But it can be destroyed in a moment, “recalls Eva Zažímalová, President of the Czech Academy of Sciences.
Science will find a solution to the current and future human problems, do something about it – take your children and grandchildren and visit your science center, “appeals the most cited living Czech scientist Pavel Hobza from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Science.
“It is absolutely necessary that the centers survive, because people who work there are experts. If we lose them, the centers will have no influence on the further development of education, “warns Czech astronomer Jiří Grygar.
What is the situation in the individual centers?
iQlandia in Liberec
Public benefit organization, which was one of the 10 most visited tourist destinations in the Czech Republic. Annual revenues and costs CZK 50 million, self-sufficiency 99%, loss of sales for April and May CZK 10 million, they laid off 30% of employees in April, without support they have to go into insolvency in the autumn. Save iQlandia – subscribe to a ticket and become a patron of science.
The world of technology in Ostrava
It is part of the registered association Dolní oblast Vítkovice, annual revenues and costs CZK 40 million, loss for March and April CZK 5 million, currently released all employees on agreement and actively uses the Antivirus program.
Public benefit organization, annual revenues and costs CZK 50 million, self-sufficiency 66%, loss for March and April CZK 6 million, 65% of employees will probably be laid off in April, then it will be open only 4 days a week. Support the Techmania Science Center!
VIDA! science center Brno
The contributory organization of the South Moravian Region, annual revenues and costs approx. CZK 60 million, self-sufficiency 35%, loss for March and April CZK 2 million, now without savings, however least problematic, it is kept afloat by the founder and the city of Brno.
Jiří Dušek, director of the Brno Observatory and Planetarium, Member of the Czech Association of Science Centers
tel. 775 354 555, firstname.lastname@example.org
Video on youtube.