Six amazing things you can see at Mumbai's Nehru Science Centre

When most of us were in school, a visit to Worli's Nehru Science Centre was on the field-trip list. Revisiting the museum as an adult was an enjoyable experience for me. Here's my list of best things to check out at Mumbai's favourite science museum.

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Six amazing things you can see at Mumbai's Nehru Science Centre

1. Energy Model

This *is* the most popular exhibit at the science museum and I recommend you interact with this one, even if you are a grandparent. This mini roller coaster that takes a ball for a thrilling ride: down slopes, in concentric circles and on a ride on roller skates showcases how energy is converted from one form to another.

Visitors can raise a ball to a certain height using their muscle power and then release it onto a slanted track. The ball releases its potential energy which is converted to kinetic energy and is used to perform several tasks like moving a wheel, hitting a hammer on a metal plate, and moving a trolley down the track. The energy gained by the ball is converted to different energy forms, hence the exhibit is called the Energy Model.


2. Head on a platter

Looking for a photo oppurtunity? Then you totally must not miss this one out. The optical illusion that lets visitors make their bodies disappear is a trick that uses mirrors (every magician's secret friend) to reflect the patterns of the tiles on the floor and walls.


3. Pin Screen

Press your hands on this bed of of moving blunt-tipped pins to create art in a few seconds. The pins on the table will rise to create a 3D shape. Originally created by American artist Ward Fleming in 1976, smaller hand-held versions of this are sold as toys today and the technique is also used to create pin animations.

4. Nail Seat

Ever wondered how magicians sleep on a bed of nails without getting seriously injured?

Well, this exhbhit will let you try that. You can try sitting on three types of seats and answer the question this exhibhit asks: Which seat is more comfortable to you and why? The answer lies in the science behind the exhibhit: More the area of contact, lesser is the pressure. Say what?

Pressure is the application of force over a particular area. In mathematical terms, pressure is equal to force divided by area. So with more force comes more pressure, and with more area comes less pressure. Due to this, the seat with more nails (while it looks the scariest, is the most comfortable) because when there are more number of nails in the area of contact - reaction force per nail becomes negligible.

5. Virtual harp

Move your hands in thin air to play music. Yes, it's possible. This exhibit allows visitors to play various notes on a harp by moving your hand between two sets of pipes. The movement of your hand is sensed through sensors and accordingly the chord is played.


6. The Giant Heart

If you thought Mumbai doesn't have a big heart, you were mistaken. This massive 18-feet-tall human heart model allows visitors to walk into it and observe its bicuspid and tricuspid valves. As you step into it, loud heart beats echo around you. A must-visit for everyone who loves biology.

While I did enjoy interacting with many of the exhibits, there were a few that were not functioning and I was told that a special department works on repairing these. I hope we get to see new exhibits in the coming years because museums like these are the true and rare gems of Mumbai and with new introductions, old visitors like myself will keep coming.

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