This weekend my friends and I had the pleasure of visiting the Galileo museum in Florence; we unanimously decided that we should pay a visit since all of our future careers are in STEM. The first floor was dedicated to maps and astronomical gadgets, all of which were very beautiful and seemed incredibly detailed. It was interesting to see how much of an influence the Medici family had on the field of science, and how many of the well-crafted instruments were due to their investments.
Delving deeper into the museum, there were many large maps as well as globes that showed the continents from the perspective of cartographers back in the day. It was incredible seeing how accurate the maps were without the help of advanced technology. Likewise, it was very fun to see what varied and what was nearly identical to maps of today. One room away was the room that housed my favorite pieces!
This room housed Galileo’s gadgets and upon walking in, we were greeted by a large bust of Galileo himself, however, the pieces that grabbed my interest the most were Galileo’s telescopes. I was on the Science Quiz Bowl team in high school and was assigned astronomy as my topic, so getting to see the telescope that Galileo discovered the four moons of Jupiter with was surreal! Seeing how simplistic they were, yet how well they worked showed that science was based around knowing a concept and manipulating elements that could help prove a concept. For example, although the telescopes aren’t huge, the lenses within them worked in a way that allowed Galileo to observe the skies which led to his famous discoveries.
Overall, seeing how much society has progressed in a few hundred years was very eye opening. I think that having children visit museums like these and can spark an interest early on, and who knows, maybe they will become the world’s next famous inventor! This ties into the UN’s sustainable development goal of “quality education.” By utilizing the museums that are in Florence, school systems can have class days that get the students out of the classroom and into a place that fosters learning in a creative way. The children will not only learn about science, but also history. I believe that this approach is beneficial and may encourage many students to pursue the sciences, which may translate into students finding their passion early on in their academic careers.