Principia is an interactive science museum. It consists of three main areas: The "Faraday Room" where experiments are performed with a digital planetarium star projector that enables us to see the sky from anywhere in the universe and the "Tomás Hormigo Room" with more than 80 interactive modules. It also features an astronomical observatory on the terrace.
Principia is a living space, continually developing, in which visitors have the opportunity to learn and experience for themselves in all areas and aspects of science. And, above all, Principia is an interactive science centre created to promote scientific and technological dissemination in a pleasant way, but without sacrificing the accuracy of its contents.
All branches of science (Astronomy, Electricity, Mechanics, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, including Waves and Perception) are present in the centre, which is divided into four different rooms or spaces: The Interactive Modules Room called "Profesor Tomás Hormigo", the Faraday room, the Planetarium and the Astronomical Observatory.
In the first space, the "Tomás Hormigo" room over seventy interactive modules of different scientific subjects are permanently displayed. These demonstrate the workings and mechanisms that explain many of the phenomena that occur in nature, and different areas: mechanics, waves, mathematics, perception, electromagnetism, biology, geology and chemistry.
The next room, called the Faraday Room, is a multifunctional space holding 100 people, in which we have the opportunity to take part in the experiments. Definitely a memorable experience and a fun way to learn.
We can conduct experiments with high voltage discharges and electromagnetism that will make our hair literally stand on end. We will learn why cell phones do not work inside the elevators, applying the principle of the Faraday cage. We can inflate a balloon without removing the knot and place an egg in a bottle without pushing it, thanks to the principles of pressure.
We shall see that it is possible to bring down a bridge using only resonance. We'll see colours changing spontaneously or water that does not fall due to surprising chemical reactions. And we can approach the exciting world of astronomy and then admire it in all its splendour at the Planetarium.
Principia's enveloping planetarium has a 5-metre diameter dome on which a digital projector recreates the whole sky. Here we can see the most significant constellations of both hemispheres, reproduce the movements of the sun, move to anywhere in the universe or display astronomical events that have not yet occurred.
In addition, each Planetarium session is run by an expert monitor who adapts his presentation to the profile of visitors, answering our questions and focussing, if we wish, on the current time of year. In short, the monitor satisfies the audience's interest. The displays are not recordings, but personalised sessions. A unique opportunity to get the answer to what we always wanted to know straight from an expert.
And so all this astronomical knowledge can applied in real time, Principia has its own genuine astronomical observatory on the upper deck, where, under a movable dome over 3 metres in diameter, is a very powerful telescope for making observations while protected from inclement weather. And so that as many people as possible can enjoy this experience, the telescope imagery is projected on the screen in the Faraday room, thanks to a CCD camera using digital technology.
An impressive show, which takes place once a month, with the collaboration of the "Sirius" Astronomical Association of Málaga, and one you can attend for free. But Principia's educational vocation goes much further, evolving in step with scientific progress and complementing the centre's offer with scheduled meetings and events throughout the year. There are conferences every Saturday, educational workshops, series of scientific films, exhibitions and a traveling museum are organised, and there is a complete library consisting of over 1,200 videos of scientific content, which can be viewed and consulted in Principia Centre's facilities.
We could say that the Principia Science Centre is the empirical demonstration that understanding, learning, and discovering the secrets of science can be fun. That's why, after our visit we will feel wiser.
The idea for this museum was defined in 1994, following the organization of an educational innovation project, under the name of "the month of science," that brought together in the city in the Technology Park of Málaga over one hundred scientific apparatus made in various secondary schools.
Four years later, the building at Avenida Luis Buñuel that now houses the facility was built near La Rosaleda football stadium.