Museum of Science of Trento, Italy

Museum of Science of Trento (MUSE) is the Museum of Science of Trento. It is located south of the historic Palazzo delle Albere, in a building inside the Le Albere residential district, both designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano. It was inaugurated on July 27, 2013 and replaced, continuing its activities, the Tridentine Museum of Natural Sciences.

In 1846 the Civic Museum was founded, immediately called the Trentino Museum, with headquarters in Palazzo Salvadori, Via Manci.

In 1964 the Tridentine Museum of Natural Sciences was established, administratively linked to the autonomous province of Trento. From 1982 he moved his headquarters to Palazzo Sardagna, where he remained until 2013. Already in the 90s the museum modernized itself, organizing interactive exhibitions and expanding its educational offer, as well as being linked to other structures in the province of Trento such as the Alpine Botanical Garden Viote and the Terrace of the Stars, on Monte Bondone, the pile-dwelling museum of Lake Ledro, the air force museum Gianni Caproni, the geological museum of the Dolomites in Predazzo and the limnological station of Lake Tovel. In 2006 the museum established in Tanzania on ecological monitoring and environmental education center of the Udzungwa Mountains, located within the National Park Udzungwa Mountains.

Birth of MUSE
The growing crowding of exhibits and audiences in the Tridentine museum of natural sciences made the need evident, which emerged for several years with the slow but progressive change of the structure in Via Calepina, which now such accommodation was inadequate to modern museum parameters. This led, in 2006, to the approval by the Autonomous Province of Trento of the project for a new headquarters which was built as part of a larger urban redevelopment plan for the disused industrial area where the Michelin plants in Trento were located.

On 27 and 28 July 2013 the new headquarters was inaugurated in front of a large audience and the museum takes the name of MUSE – Museum of Sciences.

On June 26, 2014, less than eleven months from the opening date, it reached the threshold of 500,000 paying visitors, becoming in fact one of the most visited museum institutions in Italy.

On May 5, 2015 the millionth ticket was detached, MUSE thus crosses the million mark in just 21 months from the opening.

On June 30, 2017, almost 4 years after the opening, there were over 2.5 million visitors.

At 30 June 2018, 3.2 million visitors to the structures that are part of the MUSE network.

On 27 July 2018 he celebrated 5 years of activity with a packed program of workshops and visits by presenting the project for a new digital planetarium .

The building
The building, designed by Renzo Piano, is spread over a maximum length of 130 meters (east / west), a maximum width of 35 meters (north / south) and six levels (two underground and four above ground) in height. All floors, with the exception of the second underground level, are open to the public and host both exhibition activities (permanent and temporary exhibitions) and administrative and research activities. The total area is 12,600 square meters, 3,700 of which are dedicated to permanent exhibitions, 500 to temporary ones, another 500 to classrooms and educational laboratories, 800 to research laboratories and 600 to the tropical greenhouse housed at the west end of the museum.

The characteristic profile of the structure recalls the jagged course of the Trentino mountains and in particular of the Dolomites.

The building was built following techniques aimed at ensuring energy savings and environmental sustainability, which earned it the recognition of the LEED Gold certification.

The interior is characterized by a “big void” (Big Void) that connects all the floors of the museum, in which taxidermised animals are suspended and the original and complete skeleton of a common whale (Balaenoptera physalus) beached in 1995 on the coasts of Livorno.

Exhibition Path
The entrance of the MUSE is a large room (called Lobby) with glass walls, from which you can access the ticket office and the museum entrance, or on the other side of the room you can go to the museum bar or the shop of souvenirs. In the Lobby during the temporary exhibition Extinctions (16 July 2016 – 26 June 2017) it was possible to admire the skeleton of a specimen of Kaatedocus. According to the guides, the best way to visit the MUSE is from the upper floors to the lower ones.

5 Floor – Terrace
On the top floor, there is the panoramic terrace, not really part of the exhibition route, it offers a view of the city of Trento and the Adige valley.

4 Floor – High peaks

4.A. Adventures in the ice
In this section visitors can understand how glaciers are formed and natural phenomena such as rock erosion and soil instability. There is also the perfect reproduction (on ice) of a typical Trentino glacier. Exhibits at the top floor of the Museum show the geological and biological elements of the alpine environment. The visitor is accompanied on the peaks and conquered with live sensations usually only experienced at high altitudes. Level +4 is where the multisensorial tour of MUSE begins. The full immersion in mountain atmosphere is immediate. Entering in the great “Glacial experience” tunnel, a multi-visual 10-meter long space, you will find yourself flying above the Alps.

Between noises and impression of a live, evolving landscape, the visitor goes from a breathtaking glide on alpine and dolomitic peaks, on glaciers and forests, to diving along the most extreme sides, to finally flank the majestic and terrible experience of avalanches.

A reconstruction of a glaciered environment allows to identify the elements characterizing glacier dynamics. Moraines, alpine prairies, crevasses, erratic stones and ice mushrooms on the surface of a real glaciers you will be able to touch and feel.

4.B Climate and living organisms
In this section you can observe the effects of the climate on animals and how they have adapted to live at high altitudes by implementing mutations such as melanism and albinism. The exhibits are enhanced with images, videos and tales of moments of glaciological research and the are many things to stimulate your curiosity: from the interactive mechanical instruments that reveal the symmetry of a crystal of snow, to the cosmic ray detector that shows the shower of particles coming from space which at any time is falling on us. Like a trip back in time, the museum also offers a reconstruction of our past climate. To this end, MUSE will be the only museum to exhibit part of an ice core extracted by Italian researchers in Antarctica.

A multimedia system provides visitors the chance to see what are the main organisms able to live and carry out their entire life cycle on the edge and on the surface of a glacier. There will be the opportunity to observe insects and spiders moving over a glacier and – tapping your finger on one of these – to access tabs providing interesting facts related to the living conditions of these animals.

A thematic table shows the visitor how the biodiversity of high altitude environments is composed of organisms which have adapted to live in such extreme conditions. By magnifying model species of insects to twenty times their original size, you will have the opportunity to observe the adaptations they have to survive in extremely windy and cold environments with intense ultraviolet radiation. Alongside each display you will also have the chance to observe the real insect.

4. C Exploration and Research
Here is a short section dedicated to the great explorers who have crossed the mountain peaks of the world and everything you need to know for mountain exploration; High altitudes have always fascinated travellers and explorers, drawing them to the peaks and glaciers and driving the most passionate adventurers on to the most extreme feats, for which many have received major awards and accolades. Travellers and explorers were the first to come into contact with the world’s harsh environmental conditions, which are at the same time fascinating and mysterious, inaccessible to most people and yet in constant contact with humans and with other ecosystems on the planet.

Curiosity, passion, the desire to discover, and the adventurous spirit are still pushing men and women to conquer the highest peaks. At the end of the exhibition there is no shortage of interesting references to those explorers who were the first to face the unknown Alpine valleys and to reach the summits of unexplored mountains: you can find short films telling the stories of “historic climbers”, as well as about the mountain equipment once used, like old crampons, ice axes, hemp ropes and pitons.

3 Floor – Alpine nature

3.A. Labyrinth of alpine biodiversity
This section consists of an intriguing labyrinth of glass images and photographs and stuffed animals of the typical alpine fauna. There are no glasses between visitors and animals; To go from the snowy prairies of northern Europe to the sub-Mediterranean coast of Tuscany within a few kilometres is possible; on the Alps. The Alps, and in particular Trentino, are a vertical mosaic of different environments, populated by perfectly adapted and unique plants and animals.

The “In the labyrinth of alpine biodiversity” gallery proposes an immaginary descent along a mountain path in which 26 different environments, enriched with 2 aquariums, follow one after another, merging and interconnecting.

This evocative exhibit aims to allow the visitor to (re)live the emotions experienced in the wild, such as encountering wild animals, listening to their calls, witnessing an predator in action or spying on courtship rituals. Every room is set out in an intuitive and evocative way, using communication methods ranging from the more traditional stuffed animals, to interactive virtual surface technology.

3.B. Changing with the seasons
A thematic table illustrates to the visitor that the biodiversity of high altitude environments is represented by organisms adapted to live in extreme conditions. Through the presence of some model species of insects enlarged twenty times compared to the original size of the animal, the visitor has the opportunity to observe what adaptations they have in order to survive in very windy, cold and intense ultraviolet radiation environments. Alongside each reproduction there will be the possibility of observing the real insect. The big differences in the Alpine seasons make life at certain times of the year especially difficult for plants and animals. The survival strategies and adaptations that have developed are numerous and diverse, with some surprising ways to make the most of favourable periods.

The strong seasonality of alpine environments is used as a link in the discussions devoted to the study of migration, flowering and pollination, life in water and thermoregulation. Natural objects, stuffed animals and replicas, documentaries and video diaries, interactive exhibits and multimedia games all allow you to explore the adaptations related to survival in environments that vary dramatically with the seasons and to understand the underlying physical phenomena.

3.C. Explore the woods
This is the educational area for children where the latter can learn to recognize the various animals and have fun with the games provided by the museum. Despite being an area for children, the skull of a giant panda and a Smilodon are present under a display case; The “Explore the Forest” gallery is dedicated to the desire for knowledge and the pleasure of discovery. It is a space specially designed for young visitors (4-9 years), to be enjoyed alone, with parents or with the presence of a facilitator. The space aims to allow children to explore the natural world around them through the use of the senses. The overall atmosphere of the room is involving, stimulating children’s natural curiosity and facilitating “scientific” discovery.

“Explore the woods!” Contains several exhibits, some of which are interconnected, including an interactive multimedia game (“Catch your dinner”, a battle between predators and their prey, where the aim is to figure out what food to take and how to take it), a series of original natural specimens and replicas which can be handled and observed, measuring instruments, stuffed animals to hold, sounds, smells, lights, and also a number of animal costumes to stimulate symbolic play and simulation. “Explore the woods!” is a real “discovery room”, full of fascinating natural specimens and experiences.

2 Floor – Geology, mines, environmental risk

2.A. Geological history of the Dolomites
Section dedicated to the geology of the Dolomites, and to the various geological events that led to its creation; The Alps, and in particular the Dolomites, are unique in the world because of their geo-paleontological characteristics and their natural beauty, a value acknowledged by the UNESCO World Natural Heritage declaration signed in 2009. The exhibition floor +2 introduces the knowledge of the evolution of the Alps on a journey rich in multimedia, accompanied by a careful selection of geological objects (rocks, fossils, and minerals).

It is an invitation to discover, whilst having fun, the evolution of geological environments of the past: ancient mountains, volcanoes, deserts, tropical seas, coral reefs and deep ocean. The exhibition allows you to delve into the geodynamic processes that following the enormous pressures generated during the Alpine orogeny led the ancient seabed to rise above the sea level and, by folding and fracturing, to form the Alps. This part of the museum offers a look at the geomorphological processes that occurred in the more recent history of the Earth and which are still active: glaciation, mountain slopes, and karst. Their combined action gave us the alpine landscape as we see it today.

2.B. Subsoil resources
In this section the various minerals and metallic elements present in the world and their exploitation in everyday industry are described and presented, as well as the history of how these are transformed into everyday objects; Subsoil resources bring to the forefront the relationship between man and nature, one of the dominant themes of MUSE, on the second floor. Some of the greatest achievements of mankind in fact pass through the discovery of a geological resource, such as metals or building materials.

At the gallery entrance a timeline accompanied by archaeological finds, antiques and modern industrial products guide the visitor through the history of mining in the Alps, with a look at its fundamental stages in the rest of the world. The miners’ work is retold through objects that were part of their daily lives, from helmets and lamps to surveying tools. From the mines, now part of the economic past of the Alps, we proceed to the quarries of ornamental stones, a resource which still holds great importance and is known all over the world.

2.C Environmental hazards and civil protection
Section dedicated to environmental disasters and the work of the Civil Protection, and to the innovative ideas that are used today to prevent them; Landslides, avalanches, floods, earthquakes, eruptions, fires…
Italy is prone to various natural disasters, whether they be natural or human-induced. This gallery presents the environmental risks, the Civil Protection Service’s activity of forecasting, prevention and intervention and the rules of conduct in case of alert and emergency.

Through animated graphics and interactive multimedia you can participate live in the handling of an emergency, in the multi-risk operations room of the Civil Protection, to find out how to make a weather prediction, when the alert procedures come into force and why an effective system of risk prediction is based on knowledge of the area and the identification of naturally hazardous areas.

A series of films present stories of disasters that have occurred in Italy, with testimonies of the protagonists and interviews with university researchers. Finally, you can interact with a couple of experimental exhibits: you can discover the physical principles that underlie typical phenomena such as alpine debris flows and snow avalanches or even observe how embankments built along streams for flood protection work.

1 Floor – From the first men on the Alps to the global future

1.A. Alpine Prehistory
This section explains how primitive man arrived in the Alps and how he managed to survive it as well as his behavioral evolution. It is also said that the Neanderthal man also lived in the Alps for a certain period. In the exhibition there are 5 hyperrealistic models of primitive men (1 Neanderthal, 4 Sapiens) as well as some tools and burials found in the area; A spiral structure invites the visitor to enter the world of prehistory. The main local findings stored at the Science Museum are displayed in glass cases that illustrate the main phases of the cultural, economic and social prehistory of the Alps: the Neanderthal presence on the Southern Alpine range during the warmer phases of the last glacial period in the middle Paleolithic, the arrival of Homo sapiens at the end of the great ice ages in the Upper Paleolithic and his venture into the Alpine valleys in the Mesolithic period, the introduction of agriculture and farming in the Neolithic period and the great technological innovations of metal working in early history.

The exhibition is enriched by multimedia devices providing thematic analysis alongside exhibits and replicas of human figures in their busy daily activities, introducing the visitor to an immersive space where videos evoke the drama and excitement of living in prehistoric times. Two aquariums are home to lake species in two different archaeological contexts: a mountain site and a stilt house dwelling.

An exciting journey through time to discover the lives of our prehistoric ancestors, the hunter Neanderthals with the shaman at the Dalmeri shelter, hunting at high altitudes and working with clay, life in stilt houses and fire worship in the proto-historic era.

1.B. Behind the scenes of research
Section in which it is shown that most of the most successful experimental equipment was inspired by the natural environment, and how the museum itself was inspired by the beauty of the Alps; Science museums are places of research and documentation. The collections are the result of collection campaigns and studies carried out in the context of specific research projects, and are the material evidence of different natural environments, of fossil and mineral deposits, and of human activity.

By studying these objects, we can assess the state of the environment, document the past, and provide materials for prediction models. Together with the data files produced by monitoring and research activity, these collections form the cornerstone for the study of our land and for the development of new scientific knowledge.

The MUSE research laboratory area and the displays in front of it invite the visitor to take an interest in the museum’s scientific activities and get to know an area normally reserved to staff.

The four research laboratories are dedicated to the study of fauna (vertebrate and invertebrate), botany, limnology, geology, palaeontology and prehistory. The laboratory’s glass walls are designed to encourage the participation of the visitor to the daily work of the museum’s scientists while they conduct their research.

Facing the research laboratories there are twenty display cabinets and one hundred drawers that house prehistoric, geological, biological and palaeontological artefacts, recognisable as natural objects and artefacts observed or found in nature. These objects can be examined close-up in order to fully appreciate their cultural and scientific importance.

1.C Sustainability and innovation
Section very similar to the previous one, but which also shows the damage caused by man when he violates the laws of nature, as well as showing some research on sustainability and research taking place in the world; The apparent change of balance in our soil, oceans, atmosphere, and biogeochemical cycles, in addition to the excessive rate of biodiversity loss due to anthropogenic pressures, are reflected in the stability of the Earth’s system. The intrinsic correlation and complexity of natural systems makes it difficult to make forecasts.

At the heart of this room is the attempt to answer this question. A suspended interactive sphere displays the data of complex environmental systems in an intuitive and attractive way to the visitor, while in the surrounding area issues of economy, society and technology are dealt with, taking the visitor on a journey in search of a paradigm that accounts for the culture of limits and complexity.

1.D. Show Room & Fab Lab
Small space in which the work of the 3D printer is shown and its countless uses in common use. The open labs allow you to get in touch with the museum’s researchers and with a part of the museum’s large collection, displayed in the showcase. There is also a fab lab and a NOAA sphere; In this area, the research centres and companies operating in our region, along with their international partners, are able to showcase their work and share their experiences with visitors. Finally, in the “Fab-Lab” laboratory, everyone has the chance to create their own new technology. With the ability to design and print your own inventions in 3D you will have the opportunity to create your own tailor-made technological objects. You can also download an object invented in America or China, and print it in 3D in the Fab-Lab. The concept of open source expands, and from software towards hardware.

0 Floor – Interactive science

0.A. The discovery begins from the senses
The entire ground floor is that of the lobby, the entrance to the museum, often used also for events. An area is also dedicated to interactive science and one, the Maxi Ooh!, to younger children (0-5 years). An experience which will dazzle, excite, amaze: doing, thinking and living science.
An area for children – because MUSE wants children to be there – which allows them to do what they can do so well: touching, smelling, looking, seeing, and hearing. Maxi Ooh! is a place that allows you to live the experience through your senses, providing new and different opportunities every time.

In its lines and colours, Maxi Ooh! appears to be a neutral place: still, waiting… that is, unless there is someone inside. It does not move unless someone moves, it does not show anything if noone is doing something. But when children come in, Maxi Ooh! becomes a lively environment of wonder, discovery, and knowledge.

Maxi Ooh! expresses the meaning of who we are inside. Its colours and moves are in dialogue with the thoughts, actions, and gestures of those who inhabit it. It is an experience capable of opening up new horizons for children who always have their eyes open for what is interesting, not taken for granted, rewarding and fun.

Maxi Ooh! suggests but does not require, immediately becoming a place of trust. Each sphere is devoted to a particular sense, although children know how to learn and experiment with everything, body, mind and emotions. It is a space without directions, where there are no adults teaching, only participating in the amazement. That is why the Maxi Ooh! audience consists of babults – pairs of children and accompanying adults – that together discover the environment, share experiences and a new way of being together.

Floors, walls, rooms with sensors, the virtual and the real, react and change along with the space and its possible uses. Even the water in the bathroom could move in new ways, as well as change lights and different surfaces that give the skin different sensations, depending on the choices and the curiosity of those who enter. Within and between the spheres the science game evokes the elements of life, referring to the child’s sense of his/herself as creators of unexpected situations. Maxi Ooh! is a pleasant and interesting environment where discoveries are made through the senses, and in the company of others.

0.B. Science Center
The Hands-on gallery is located on floor 0 of the Science Museum, just after the entrance to the exhibition areas from the lobby. In this area there are a dozen interactive stations devoted to the basic sciences, which involve the visitor in short experiments related to the concepts and principles of physics, mathematics and natural sciences, which can be observed in everyday life. It is a pleasant and enjoyable experience to visit, but at the same time rigorous and scientifically correct: through playful experimentation the audience can approach sometimes complex scientific concepts while having fun.

– 1 Floor – History of life

– 1.A Traces of life
In this section of the museum that counts throughout the lower floor it is possible to retrace the entire journey of life on our planet thanks to graphs, fossils and reconstructions of some of the most ancient life forms of our planet such as Anaspidiformes, Cephalaspis, Cyathaspididae, Athenaegis, Sphenonectris, Coccosteus (fossil), Dunkleosteus, Wiwaxia, Hallucigenia, Bathyuriscus, Anomalocaris, Arthropleura, Meganeura, Pneumodesmus, Palaeocharinus, Ichthyostega and Hylonomus.

The section also consists of some skeletons of other larger animals and belonging to relatively more recent eras such as Inostrancevia, Desmatosuchus, Lavinipes cheminii (fossil footprints), Grallator sp. (fossil footprints), Plateosaurus, ” Dilophosaurus ” sinensis, Talarurus, Pteranodon, Triceratops (skull), Alphadon, Halisaurus, Ophtalmosaurus, Plesiosaurus and Nothosaurus. In the room there are also several modern mammals such as lemurs, bats, rodents, primates and monotremes together with skeletons and reconstructions of extinct mammals such as Castoroides, Sinonyx, Ursus spelaeus, Thylacinus (skull), Zaglossus bartoni (reconstruction), Catonyx (skull), Eremotherium (claw), Hydrodamalis gigas (skull), Palaeoloxodon (skull), Kutchicetus and Pelagornis.

The fascinating story of life, a complex evolution of forms regulated by dramatic environmental changes, mutating geography and chance. Following the thread of human evolution over the past 5 billion years.

In this gallery, fossil remains accompany us on an incredible journey back in time, from the appearance of the first molecules to the evolution of dinosaurs and mammals following the thread of “our” history – that of a bizarre thinking mammal. The first floor of the exhibition depicts the natural phenomena that led to the formation of the Earth and, just over half a billion years later, to the origin of the first life forms. After the remains of some of the oldest traces of life on Earth, stromatolites, you can meet the mysterious Ediacara life forms, dating back to some 600 million years ago: a different structural organisation that reveals an alternative way of being “animal”.

Following this is the incredible diversity of fauna that comes with the explosion of life in the seas. The bizarre organisms of the Burgess Shale Fauna, an extraordinary evolutionary laboratory over 500 million years old, lead to the discovery of the fabulous forms of arthropods and the first representative of the group of animals to which we ourselves belong, the Chordates. The encounter with the bizarre jawless fish in the Silurian period and with the armoured fish of the successive Devonian period gives us the key to discover a now largely extinct element of biodiversity.

The next chapter in the long evolutionary history belongs to small plants with no leaves or flowers, wingless insects and stocky amphibians. Through getting to know their shapes the visitor retraces the first steps of a new era, that of an Earth that is being populated.

The part devoted to terrestrial reptiles holds one of the largest archives at the European level of fossil footprints of Paleozoic and Mesozoic reptiles and dinosaurs. You can learn to recognise the characteristics of the great reptiles footsteps and admire the imposing life size skeletons. The dinosaurs gallery leads you on a journey which looks at their habits, discoveries which have been made, and in particular traces found in Italy and even in the Dolomites where, until the end of the last century, their discovery had been considered unlikely. With marine reptiles, you are immersed in the waters of the Triassic. Notosauri, plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs… the seas are full of large and small reptiles with surprising eating habits and lifestyles.

Dinosaurs and marine reptiles accompany you up until the mass extinction of the Cretaceous-Tertiary: a catastrophic event in the history of life. With the extinction of the dinosaurs, the chapter on the evolutionary history of mammals begins. The rapid diversification of this group is narrated by fossils and current specimens that illustrate the evolution of different reproductive, feeding and locomotion strategies. Man among primates, primates among mammals, mammals as the branch of a single, large, intricate family tree whose roots lie in a remote era, the era of life’s history.

– 1.B. DNA. The little big secret of life
This corridor section illustrates the biodiversity of our planet and what unites all of us living beings: DNA; The DNA gallery offers the visitor an evocative experience, based on a unifying tale about DNA and all forms of life – including our own.

The first visual experience is the “Tree of Life”, a dynamic nine metre long projection, which reveals the relentless unfolding of the evolutionary trail and the connections between species.

The uniqueness of DNA, its operating mechanisms and evolutionary processes are at the centre of three multimedia audio-visual installations entitled “Where do we come from?”, “What are we?”and “Where are we going?”.

The stories are enriched with special objects and artefacts different from those seen so far in the museum. How much DNA do we share with other organisms? What do a shell and the human heart have in common? These and many other questions are answered in the DNA gallery.

– 1.C. Large aquariums and montane rainforest
Adjacent to the DNA section, there is a room with several large aquariums, which represent the biodiversity of African lakes. Continuing along the path, you will exit the MUSE itself and enter the museum’s greenhouse. The greenhouse reconstructs the environment of the Udzungwa Mountains, in Tanzania, where MUSE has an ecological monitoring center which represents one of its territorial offices. In the greenhouse there is also a pair of green turaco, together with a copy of Rhynchocyon udzungwensis, discovered by Galen Rathbun and Francesco Rovero, curator of the Tropical Biodiversity Section of MUSE. With an area of 600 square metres, the tropical greenhouse recreates a strip of rainforest from the Udzungwa Mountains, a centre of diversity and endemism in Tropical East Africa in Tanzania. Crossing the threshold of the greenhouse, you are greeted by the warm and humid tropics, inviting you into the pristine forests of tropical Africa, where you will find waterfalls and vertical cliffs, swirling waters and lush forest.

The route starts from the Kilombero Valley and continues on to the moist submontane forest, encountering along the way a kaleidoscopic diversity of shapes and colours belonging to unique plants and animals.

Among the many unique plants and exclusive to tropical Africa, you will find the Tabernaemontana genus, with its large white flowers similar to those of jasmines, tree-ferns of the Cyathea genus, the well-known Saintpaulie that have their centre of diversity here, wild bananas and giant bean plants, and a huge vine of the Entada genus.

Once you have reached the plateau on top of the small cliff, you can explore traditional vegetable gardens and villages passing by a small market where you can observe tropical fruits and vegetables. The greenhouse will also house animals, birds such as Livingstone’s Turaco (Tauraco livingtonii), and reptiles such as the Three-Horned Chameleon (Trioceros deremensis) and pygmy chameleons (Rampholeon acuminatus and others).

The greenhouse setting will also reflect the issues of global and sustainability, highlighting research projects and international efforts for the protection of forests and the fight against poverty, inviting you to actively support them.

Before entering the greenhouse, you will find a number of large aquariums.
The fish in these aquariums are representative of the fish biodiversity of the Great Lakes and Tanzanian rivers (Lake Malawi, Lake Tanganyika, Kilombero River) and belong mainly to the large family of cichlids that in the great lakes of the Rift Valley in East Africa have given rise to one of the most spectacular phenomena of speciation in relative isolation (an aquatic version of what happened with the finches of the Galapagos islands, though probably even faster and on a bigger scale). The exhibits were bred in captivity by professional breeders and are confident, calm and curious, and, mostly, they reproduce easily even in the limited space that hosts them.

MUSE carries out research activities, organized into seven sections:

The botanical section studies the spontaneous and cultivated flora of Trentino, privileging applied research aimed at its protection and conservation, with particular attention to endangered species. It can take advantage of the following infrastructures: the Trentino germplasm bank, the Tridentine herbarium, a germination laboratory, a propagation greenhouse and four botanical gardens (the African greenhouse, the Orchards of MUSE, the Viote del Bondone and the Arboretum of Arco).

Limnology and Algology
The Section deals with the biology of inland waters, in particular oligotrophic habitats of high naturalistic value such as sources of various ecomorphological and hydrochemical typologies, spring streams, peat bogs, high altitude lakes, mountain and waterways. In recent years, other environments have also been studied, such as Lake Garda and Mediterranean streams.

Invertebrate Zoology and Hydrobiology
The Section of Invertebrate Zoology and Hydrobiology studies the ecology of mountain aquatic and terrestrial environments, with particular reference to high altitude, in relation to environmental and climatic changes

Vertebrate Zoology
The Section carries out alpine scientific research; conducts studies on biodiversity and conservation biology and on environmental changes in the Alps. It takes care of databases, archives and scientific collections. In the Alpine and national areas, it coordinates and participates in census projects, monitoring for wildlife atlases and endangered species.

Tropical biodiversity
The Tropical Biodiversity Section contributes, through research, documentation and monitoring of biodiversity, to the knowledge of Afrotropical mountain rain forests, promoting their conservation also through cooperation projects for the environmental development of local communities.

The Geology Section deals with defining the main components of the alpine landscape, its geological structure of the past (paleoenvironments and ecosystems), its transformations (past and present) and the most relevant processes that have induced them.

The Prehistory section studies the population of mountain territories by groups of hunter-gatherers from the end of the Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic. The relationships between the land use models, the social organization of human groups and the reconstruction of ancient landscapes are highlighted.

Inside the exhibition spaces of level +1 there is the ” MUSE FabLab “, a digital manufacturing laboratory open to sharing and collaboration with users, digital artisans, companies, families and schools that contribute to research and prototyping. The laboratory has several numerical control machines, including:

three PLA / ABS 3D printers
a chocolate 3D printer
a resin 3D printer
a laser cutting machine
a vinyl cutting machine
three numerically controlled cutters
a stapler
an embroiderer

Also available to makers:

a 3D Scanner
an oscilloscope and signal generator
A soldering station
Arduino Kit

in addition to the necessary tools for digital manufacturing and electronic processing (basic electronic components and an assortment of traditional analog tools.

A very relevant function of MUSE FabLab concerns the proposal of educational workshops for schools, training courses for users and tinkering activities open to museum visitors.

A single manager has overall and administrative responsibility for the organization and the budget. The institutional bodies are made up of the chairman, director, board of directors, scientific committee and board of auditors. The autonomous province of Trento, owner of the structure, also manages the services and staff, through its agency for tenders and contracts. Starting from 2017, some problems emerged concerning several museum employees.