By Luciana Leitão

The building is beautiful. The facilities are wonderful. The location is perfect. Macao Science Center is one of the few buildings done recently with a beautiful design that fits with the landscape and is of great added value for the community.

It was designed by world-renowned Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei — who won in 1983 the Pritzker Prize, called the Nobel Prize of architecture — and it is instantly recognisable by its silvery, cone-shaped exterior. It features 14 galleries arranged in a spiral and with an arch shape. But it is much more than just a beautiful building.

Macao Science Center consists of the Exhibition and Convention Centres. It also holds a Planetarium, generating 3D visual effects, providing an entertaining and educational journey travelling through space and time. It features a same-scale model of the Shenzhou-VII spaceship, along with automatic intelligent robots. It aims at promoting science education among youngsters and residents and it is successful in doing so.

The different galleries offer fun and educational activities for children and youngsters, allowing them to learn about science while exploring it at the same time. The 12 permanent galleries cover topics like Space Science, Fun Science, Children Science, Science Express, Robotics, Acoustics, Physics Mechanics, Genetics, Eco- Conservation, Sport Health, Sport Challenge and Food Science. There are two more galleries reserved for special exhibitions. These provide interactive and hands-on experience. Not many places like this for children in the territory.

Outside, you have the extra of having one of the best views on Macau sunset. Breathtaking. Right in the middle of NAPE — one the least interesting sites of Macau’s contemporary urban landscape, in my opinion —, Macao Science Centre is a breath of fresh air.