The only space-themed science center in the Eastern Black Sea region and the second in Turkey, established in collaboration with the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, the Turkish Technology Team (T3) Foundation and the Eastern Black Sea Development Agency, was opened with a ceremony on November 21, 2023.
The center, built on an area of 2,200 square meters at the Pazarkapı site, was named after the late Özdemir Bayraktar, the architect of the domestic unmanned aerial vehicles developed in the Turkish defense industry, and became the best in its class.
The center, which has workshops in 5 areas: astronomy, aerospace, technology, mathematics and natural sciences, a planetarium (planetary house) with a seating capacity of 80 people and a dome diameter of 12 meters and 18 mobile units, includes mathematics, 21 Science, physics, chemistry staff, including biology, robot programming and art teachers are on duty.
Since its opening, 20,500 people have visited the Özdemir Bayraktar Planetarium and Science Center, where models of designs such as the Space Shuttle are built, the theory of which is explained to students in taster workshops, and models are built.
“School classes from surrounding towns can use the area free of charge, mostly on weekends.”
Özgür Kara, head of the youth and sports department of Trabzon Metropolitan Municipality, said that the science center targets the entire Black Sea region, especially Trabzon, and that students from surrounding provinces often come here.
Explaining that almost 15,000 of the visitors were students belonging to the national education system, Kara said: “It is a science center that serves the citizens of the entire region. We met with the national education directorates of Artvin, Rize, Giresun, Ordu and Gümüşhane.” . We have informed them by sending our center’s promotional materials to these places, and indeed they are coming. They come from surrounding provinces.” “School groups can use the area for free, mostly on weekends,” he said.
Kara stated that the training here is carried out in workshops, in the exhibition area and in the planetarium according to the Turkish Technology Team Foundation (T3) educational model.
Kara pointed out that the children visited the center with both joy and surprise, as there was no such educational area in the region before, and said:
“The children’s reactions are very positive because they put the education they received at school into practice and deepen it in the workshops. A 5-6 year old child who comes here asks, ‘Are we going to space?’ “Our curriculum is mainly aimed at the 7 and 14 year old age group in the workshops, but we can accommodate students of all ages and citizens of all ages here. We can cater to many age groups because we have adult films in the planetarium and exhibition units that appeal to younger age groups in the exhibition area. This is the case in the region. “We receive very good feedback because there are no educational activities and the Özdemir Bayraktar Science Center is the only one at the moment.”
Stating that the development of the science center continues, Özgür Kara said that there are currently 18 mobile units in the exhibition area and that this number will be increased to 42 by the summer.
“There are things about astronomy, I loved it here”
Pınar Karaismailoğlu, who came to the center with her children, thanked those who contributed to the construction of the center and said:
“My children were very excited before they came. Now her excitement has become even greater. It’s the children’s job to experience something and have fun, and this is the right place for them. They are happy too, and so are we. The kids.” It felt like they were in space, they felt like they were actually flying a plane, individual observation.” “They did it. We saw the excitement in their eyes. It’s a lot of fun and nice to see her like that.”
11-year-old 5th grade student Amina Alya Denizli explained that she loves astronomy very much and said: “There are things related to astronomy, I loved it here. When we looked through a telescope, it felt like we were seeing space. It was very beautiful, it was like I was in space at that moment. We recommend that you come here. That’s true for our state.” “Thank you for making this a place,” he said.