High Season July, August, September, Holy Week and Christmas- Seven days per week 10 A.M-6 P.M.

Low Season Saturdays and Sundays only from 10 A.M-6 P.M.  

Admission Adults, about $3 and children about $2 

A few miles beyond the airport on the road to Ejido, is the Museum of Science and Technology. It is located on the site of an old sugar mill, on an area of about ten acres. The dominate features are a beautiful lagoon, tall iron chimney and the old mill factory. The factory has been restored, and functions well as the major building of the Museum. The Museum entrance building is one of the few modern structures. Two other large structures, (a science lab and a publications headquarters are in sole use by U.L.A. and available for future expansion of the Museum). The property is owned by U.L.A. and is operated in conjunction with the government agency:FUNDACITE. 

The old mill contrasts nicely with the modern realities of the museum. Established in 1995, the museum utilizes students of U.L.A., as well as private universities, to teach and act as guides to the visitors and student guests. A high concentration of multi-media and interactive computer presentations involves the visitors in the various scientific presentations. 

Visitors are formed as a group, at the front entrance by coordinators and escorted to about two dozen major learning areas. At each stop they are introduced to a university student who instructs the visitors in his/her area of studies and specialization. The students work half days, allowing sufficient time for their studies. The overriding theme of the museum is one of hands-on, involvement- when ever possible.

The main entrance building contains the pre-historic section. Here we can see both graphic and interactive displays of the formation of the earth, the flora and fauna, with particular emphasis on the geographical area of Merida and Venezuela. Displays explaining tectonics, the jungles, rain forests and mans encroachment and resultant destruction of the people, their culture, vegetation and animals are all visually well presented. Computers are used by the visitors for more in depth information, using, whenever possible interactive CD-ROM´s. There is also a sales area with books, toys, games, shirts, hats and other learning and gift items.

Departing the main entrance building, visitors walk through an outdoor garden area with life size replications of T Rex and other pre-historic animals complete with a large color wall mural depicting the major time frames of the evolution from single cell to man.

Walking down the path and around part of the lagoon you come upon the main computer facilities of this teaching museum. The Computer Lab is in two sections-Internet and PC Training. The internet Section has 5 pc´s that are available and the PC Training area: 10 pc´s. Your initial entrance fee allows you an introduction and access to these pc´s. For more detailed instruction or use, you can buy low cost tickets which entitles you to more time and/or instruction. For example, a 12 hour PC course costs about $30. You can buy time on the internet, in increments as low as 15 minutes. 

Beyond the Computer Lab is the largest of the buildings, originally, the main factory of the old sugar mill. Here there are about a dozen areas of display and interactive learning in such scientific and engineering disciplines as astronomy, optics, robotics, human physiology, space, kinetics, laser light, inertia, experimental demonstrations, etc. all with the theme of hands-on, inter-active involvement. One area which many can relate to, makes use of the creative Lego blocks. The blocks have been used to build photo voltaic, pneumatic, electrical, and solar robots. Some of the robots are computer controlled! Want to construct your own Lego engineering robot? That's what this museum is all about-hands on involvement!

It´s easy to immerse yourself for a half or even a full day here. If you want to get physical there is an active mountain climbing area, where under the expert guidance of an instructor, you are outfitted with mountain climbers safety gear, given preliminary instructions, and attached to a safety line. The rest is up to you. The "mountain" is about 10 meters in height-complete with hand and foot holds which are moved periodically to continually provide new challenges for more experienced climbers who use the "mountain" to maintain conditioning. Nearby, is a large food court where you can buy lunch, drinks and snacks.

What makes this museum function so well as a teaching museum are the staff and employees, numbering about 20, and in particular the scholarship students who serve as guide/instructors. Here the brightest and most motivated from Merida´s various universities, (government and private) are teachers of the young and inquisitive. It´s a good mix, and one in which both the visitors and guides seem to thoroughly enjoy. 

Unfortunately, the displays are in Spanish only. A few of the inter-active CD ROM presentations are available in English, and for large groups of English speaking visitors, a bi-lingual guide can be made available. The staff realize this is a major shortcoming in their efforts to expose this learning experience to a wider range of visitors, and are working to expand this top tourist and educational attraction into a bi-lingual mode. 

Av. Andrés Bello, Urb. Las Tapias, Boulevard Cinco Aguilas Blancas,
Laguna La Rosa / TELEFAX : 074-715126 - 715478 / Mérida - Venezuela

Next Edition