Come and visit La Casemate as if you were there! | ECO SCIENCES

How about a little trip to France’s oldest center of scientific culture? So let’s go! We take you on a visit to the first years of Grenoble’s Masters in “Communication and Scientific and Technical Culture”, to Casemate and Cosmocité, two structures of the new Public Institution for Cultural Cooperation (EPCC) of Grenoble: Area of ​​Sciences!

For the little ones and maybe a little for the adults!

We begin the journey with Armelle CHALEON, mediator and designer at La Casemate. It takes us to discover the exhibition area on the first floor, dedicated to children aged 3-7, which is redesigned and updated every year. During the week, Armelle welcomes kindergarten classes, and on Saturdays, she is one of her fellow facilitators, guiding and guiding families through explorations of the land. Teachers and families are then invited to continue this awakening work begun during the exhibition thanks to the educational resources offered at the end of the visit.

When we arrived at La Casemate, the theme of the exhibition presented that day was “The 4 Seasons”. It aims to create an awareness of sense-based science for the non-literate masses. Workshops lead children to observe, touch, listen and feel to question and manipulate a musical background.

Like the vast majority of Casemate’s annual exhibitions, promotional materials were produced directly in the cultural center’s Fab Lab. The team also works with an illustrator from Grenoble who produces visuals.

Armelle then suggests that we test the various systems deployed. Like kids, we’re thrilled to be able to have fun in a space usually reserved for toddlers. By awakening our senses, we are happy to lend to various seminars.

Initiate, design, build: Fab Lab

After returning to childhood, we discover the floor where two other members of the Casemate await us: Jenny AVILA and Gaëtan BOBICHON, both “Fab Facilitators”. A somewhat interesting job that requires a good dose of creativity and versatility. Every working day is different with them. From creating scripted visits to designing workshops to community-driven Fab Lab hardware and software, all these activities allow them to never get bored.

Their workspace is the Fab Lab. Divided into several rooms, it offers a range of workshops and machines that allow you to carry out all kinds of creative projects, mostly by hand. The spaces are then presented to us, from the most quiet and orderly to the noisy and dusty.

The first piece is a paradise of three-dimensional modeling. Objects can be produced from digital files thanks to the 3D printers and scanners available here. Gaëtan then takes us to a second space, this time dedicated to two-dimensional design. Based on 2D files, several laser cutters are lined up ready to work on different types of materials. The third space has everything you need to work with textiles, such as a sewing machine, overlocker or even a digital embroidery machine. Finally, the last room has all the basic tools of a good craftsman and also offers a milling machine for factory use under this space.

Gaëtan explains that all of this equipment is available upon request or during the workshops scheduled at Casemate, as well as during the many machine and software introductions by Fab Facilitators.

A little closer to the stars

After visiting the Fab Lab, we head to the meeting room to learn more about the scientific structures attached to the Casemate.

The first Center for Scientific and Technical Culture (CCST) in France, Casemate is now part of a larger structure called “Territory of Science”, which also manages area events such as Cosmocité and Echosciences or the Festival of Science. Rated as EPCC (for Public Institution for Cultural Cooperation), this structure is managed by Grenoble Metropolitan, Grenoble Alpes University, Isere department, Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region and Grenoble Academy.

Audrey Korczynska, project manager at Casemate, presents one of the institutions of this structure in more detail: Cosmocité.

Located in the commune of Pont-de-Claix, south of the Grenoble conurbation, the facility will aim to disseminate earth, space and environmental science. Aimed to be entertaining and educational, it will be aimed at audiences of all ages, whether school children or families. So it will be a place where people can learn, experiment, discuss and have fun.

It is this building that was built on a former flour mill that supplied flour to most of the Grenoble region’s bakeries between the end of the 19th century and the 1970s. Therefore, it is partly inspired by the architecture of the former mill with its iconic tower. from the old building.

Audrey then elaborates on the different spaces that will make up Cosmocité:

  • A temporary exhibition for children aged 3-7 accompanied by workshops
  • Permanent exhibition on Earth and Space sciences
  • Belvedere terrace with 360° views of the mountain ranges
  • Two immersive rooms

These immersive rooms are presented to us in detail by cultural engineering project manager Emmanuel LAISNÉ. It explains the different technologies and devices used in two immersive rooms: the planetarium and the projection room.

The planetarium will feature many simulations of planets, stars, and the Universe as a whole. The projection room will be equipped with several projectors, allowing video content to be projected onto the floor and walls. It is also equipped with sensors that will be used to interact with visitors in the context of several activities, each more fun and entertaining than the other.

However, we are keeping a little secret about this new scientific cultural center so that the visitors’ experience is not spoiled. Cosmocité is due to open in 2023, which should delight young and old alike.

Article written by Lisa Troalen and Emmy Vanotti with the help of Margaux Siché and Anaëlle Gateau as part of the Master’s degree “Communication and scientific-technical culture” in Grenoble.

Free cover image. Image in the text of the article drawn by the master’s students.

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