Berlin’s Ottobock Science Center

CONTRIBUTED BY HEATHER LIDOWSKI

Berlin’s Ottobock Science Center | www.germanyja.com Berlin is a city stuffed with things to do and locations to visit.  It’s easy to quickly fill up an itinerary for a visit to Germany’s capital.   I have a suggestion for something to include on the itinerary for your next trip to Berlin.  Nestled in the heart of the city about a block south of the Holocaust Memorial, you can find the Science Center Berlin, an interactive center that explores how the body moves.  I’m glad I took the time to explore it while in Berlin.

The Science Center Berlin is operated by Ottobock, a company dedicated to developing and manufacturing medical technology.  Otto Bock founded the company in Berlin in 1919.  Bock was a prosthetist who crafted devices that could help those injured during World War I.  In the decades since Bock founded the company, it has steadily grown and contributed to the field of medical technology.  

Berlin’s Ottobock Science Center | www.germanyja.comThe Ottobock Science Center Berlin opened in 2009 with a permanent exhibition designed to help visitors “discover what moves us.”  The building itself was designed to mimic how muscle fibers fit together.  I found its modern appearance striking in a city filled with so much history.

Once inside the Science Center Berlin, its interactive displays invite visitors to experiment with how their bodies function and respond to the surrounding environment.  In one area, you can walk across a screen imbedded in the floor.  As you walk, the scene on the screen changes to mimic walking across deep ravines or narrow surfaces.  You instinctively alter your gate to keep balance even though you are always walking on a safe, solid floor.  Other displays help you understand how muscles and tendons work together to move bones.  You can try manipulating a robotic hand to use different grasping techniques to pick up objects or use interactive displays to understand which muscles are used when you walk and run.

Berlin’s Ottobock Science Center | www.germanyja.comAn important focus of the science center is the work the Ottobock Company does with medical technology.  The company is a leader in developing medical devices that can assist those with disabilities.  Several of the displays reflect that emphasis.  Visitors can experience what it is like to navigate Brandenburg Gate in a wheelchair using a virtual course.  In another station, visitors learn about the complex network of electric currents that help muscles control a prosthesis successfully.  By experimenting with all the displays, one gets an idea of just how important the field of medical technology is.

So, as you travel from one notable historical location or museum to the next while in Berlin, I suggest that you set aside some time to visit a place dedicated to understanding the human body and its interactions with the modern world.  The Science Center Berlin deserves a place on your itinerary.  

Berlin’s Ottobock Science Center | www.germanyja.comMore information, including how to schedule a guided group tour, can be found at www.sciencecenterberlin.com or by contacting the Science Center Berlin at info@sciencecenterberlin.com or +49 (0) 30 39 82 06-0.  Science Center Berlin is located at Ebertstraβe 15a, 10117 Berlin.  It is easily accessed using the Potsdamer Platz railway station or bus connections 100, 200, 347, M41, M48, and M85.  Admission to the science center is free, and its hours are 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Thursday through Monday.

Tips For Your Trip:

Berlin’s Ottobock Science Center WebsiteBerlin’s Ottobock Science Center | www.germanyja.com

Email: info@sciencecenterberlin.com

Phone: +49 (0) 30 39 82 06-0

Location:

Ebertstraβe 15a
10117 Berlin

Nearest rail station: Potsdamer Platz

Bus connections: 100, 200, 347, M41, M48, and M85

Hours:

Monday – Thursday: 1000 – 1800

Admission:

Free!

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