Grand opening of Kortosfera in Olsztyn on September 1st

Mateusz Pikulinski, Head of the Center for Innovation and Dissemination of Science at the University of Warmia and Mazury, which officially begins its work on September 1, spoke about the UWM Kortosphere.

What offer will the first guests of Kortosfera await?
In the exhibition section, there are 140 exhibits spread over four levels. In the laboratory part, we have prepared a presentation under the slogans “The Colorful Magic of Liquids and Gases” and “The Hidden World of Microorganisms in Food”. We also have a high voltage lab, where you will be able to, for example, see a storm up close. Fortunately, it is completely safe.

You need a ticket to get to Kortosfera. Where to get it?
Tickets can be booked via the website or purchased here, on the spot – at the ticket office or ticket machine.

Demonstration classes were held in the Cortosphere during the summer holidays.
Our guests were the children of university employees. They were among the first to become acquainted with our exhibits, as were the teachers and laboratory technicians. Later, a group of our main contractor also showed up to test our proposal. This will allow us to adapt it to the needs of future visitors. The greatest value for us is the fact that we have been able to put smiles on the faces of our beneficiaries. I hope that there will be many smiles every day, and that the people who visit us will say: “Wow!” We have something great and beautiful in Olsztyn, we are very proud of it and I think our university will be proud of it too.

The smile you speak of, that of the youngest visitor to Cortosfera, is a feature of the show and the teachers alike.
This is correct. They are a young team, but they are ready for their work. It is made up of people who know the processes presented in the exhibition part and in the laboratories, and who have completed studies in microbiology, chemistry or biotechnology for example. These are people who have an idea of ​​how chemical reactions happen, for example, so they’ll not just talk about formulas, they’ll do experiments with our guests. Our show is set up in such a way that everyone can watch the exhibition part on their own, but it will also be possible to visit it with a teacher. In the lab, we focus on structured activities. The most important thing is that it will be held on Monday under the slogan “A Laboratory Without Barriers” and will be directed to people who learn in private schools. This is my original project, the only one of its kind in Poland. We’re way past beta and I think it’s going to be a really big thing.

How many people will work in the cortosphere per day?
We have six teachers and four laboratory technicians, and there are also people responsible for administrative work, marketing, cooperation with the social and economic environment and many other issues. I think eventually the total number of employees will be about 25.

Kortosphere is a unique place on the map of our region. We know that you have set ambitious goals in the field of educating the youngest residents of Warmia and Mazury. What do you think this education should look like in order to deserve to be called the education of the future?
When it comes to Cortosfera, I think it’s important that we can engage the people who will be visiting. Therefore, education must be real, open and accessible to all. The topics covered in our center are primarily related to the fields in the university. We are talking about agriculture, food, physics, chemistry and biological processes that we observe every day. It is important for us to convey this in a way that the recipient will understand. In the lab space, we’ll explain and show what might be difficult.

Behind you is an important meeting not only with the children, but also with another group of recipients with whom you will work very closely, ie with the teachers. What were their reactions?
I have very positive feelings after this meeting, because the teachers from the schools in our area were very surprised by our high standard and the subject matter. Our laboratories are well equipped, which is not so evident in the case of schools, so this is something teachers are very happy about as well. The program we have prepared will be updated, so visiting Kortosfera also for teachers will not be a one-time adventure. We want change and development. We shake hands with schools, who are our main recipients, and hope we can give them a token “five”. At the same time, I should note that we regularly receive calls asking questions about when we open our doors.

I already answered the question about the opening date a while ago, so we know it will be September 1st. And what days and hours will you be able to visit from now on?
The exhibition part will be open seven days a week. On weekdays we will be open from 9 am to 7 pm, and on weekends from 10 am to 6 pm, and the laboratories will be open for visitors from Tuesday to Sunday, because Mondays as I mentioned will be for the laboratory without the barriers project. “Registration will be in Classes are made possible through the online booking system.

We’re almost on opening eve. You have a lot of hard work behind you. How would you sum up this stage of preparations for the opening?
It was a crazy but beautiful time. There were tears and there was joy. For me and my team, it is a great value in the form of a life experience. We are glad to be able to work at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, and that we have been able to build a brand that is now opening up to the city and the region. This is a big possibility for us, great opportunities that we got by taking on this project. We have shouldered this burden and have done so at the highest level.

Thanks to this, the university will be present in the lives of not only adults, but also children, who will be involved in the process of understanding the world, life, the external environment and the processes that we observe every day in the Cortosfera. In our center, we address issues that distinguish us from others, and we can be proud of that. I am.

Source: UWM
Interviewers: Daria Bruszewska-Brzetola and Piotr Zawer

About the cortosphere:

Kortosfera Innovation and Science Popularization Center is located at ul. Dybowskiego 11A, next to the UWM Congress Center and the headquarters of the Faculty of Humanities. On each of the five floors of the building there is an exhibition on a different theme. On the ground floor there is the “Underground Kingdom”, on the first floor – “I cultivate, therefore I exist”, on the second floor – “Man-omnivorous” and “Laboratory of Higher Energies”. The third level is the “How to Feed the Future” exhibition, and the fourth level is “Young Space Explorers”. In addition, there are specialized laboratories, a microscope workshop and rooms for scientific presentations. The usable area of ​​the building is about 2.6 thousand square meters. square meters, and the exhibition area occupies about 1.7 thousand square meters. The total value of the project is PLN 32.9 million, of which PLN 16.6 million comes from the Warmia-Masuria District Regional Operational Program for the period 2014-2020.

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