PUCRS Science and Technology Museum
The PURCS museum, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, features roughly 800 exhibits. Explore the paths of evolution and check out the interactive exhibits in the Voyage of the Beagle and Traces of Evolution displays; see a 50-foot- (15-meter-) long Bryde's whale skeleton in the Aquatic Mammals Space; imagine yourself as an astronaut in the Human Gyroscope, a zero-gravity simulator similar to those used by NASA; and check out the stars (even in broad daylight) in the Planetarium.
Things to Know Before You Go
PURS Science and Technology Museum is popular with families and those with an interest in the sciences.
Comfortable clothing and shoes are recommended, especially for the zero-gravity simulator.
The museum is not wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The museum is located on the campus of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, about a 15-minute drive east of the center of Porto Alegre. There is paid parking around the campus. You can also take the number 343 bus from the center of town to the museum; the ride takes about 45 minutes.
When to Get There
PURS Science and Technology Museum is open from morning through early evening, Tuesday through Sunday. Plan to spend 2–3 hours at the museum to see all of the exhibits. The museum runs regular Great Saturday learning sessions tailored toward younger visitors. The busiest times are typically weekend afternoons.
The Van der Graaf Generator Experience
The museum’s Van der Graaf Generator Experience is one of its most popular interactive exhibits. Invented by the American physicist Robert Jemison Van de Graaff in 1931 to create static electricity, the generator is famed for its hair-raising effects. Visitors are invited to put their hands on the machine and try to get their hair to stand on end.