Sabina Knowledge Park School, São Paulo, Brazil

Sabina Escola Parque do Conhecimento (popularly known as Sabina ) is a public institution under the Municipal Education Secretariat of the municipality of Santo André. On site, visitors are provided with interaction in scientific playful experiments, in addition to integrating laboratories, multimedia libraries and the Johannes Kepler Planetarium. The center was opened on February 11, 2007 (after 6 years of its creation) and brings together knowledge related to Science, Arts and Technology.

The site was designed so that it would be a large experimental laboratory, democratizing access to scientific knowledge with the functioning of the interactive center. Its architectural structure was designed by the award-winning architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha, with more than 24 thousand m²with 14,000 m² built, the space is divided into two floors. Of these, 11,000m² are home to the main pavilion and in the 3,000m² area we have the Planetarium and Digital Theater, in the first months of inauguration it has already received more than 70 thousand visitors. The center is very frequented by students and teachers who seek physical and scientific knowledge, such as the trajectory of life, for example.

Sabina places itself as a space of great importance for the production of academic studies, constituting one of the most important spaces of non-formal education in the region of ABC São Paulo, aiming to become one of the main interactive centers of contemporary science and education. Due to the concern caused by the little importance that students have in the scientific field, the Sabina space shows ways to bring back a certain interest, since at Parque Park the monitors are available, who are university students of the Biology, Environmental Engineering courses, Physics, Pedagogy and Chemistry and underwent training in order to improve the service to visitors, thus leading to the emergence of curiosity, reflection and teaching-learning of students and visitors in this field, thus making science more palpable and relevant to students and the society. The Sabina space enables this knowledge in a light way, without a great depth in scientific questions. As a result,

The exhibitions in the Sabina space can be paintings, photographs or any other material that fits Sabina, that is, materials with scientific content, they vary. The space contains innumerable curious attractions such as the “pinguinário”, marine aquarium, “serpentarium”, simulators of natural phenomena and overflights, dinosaur skeletons, visit to the digestive system of the giant doll “Nina”, art exhibition musical laboratory, library and city traffic.

At the site, the visitor can find a terrestrial globe built with reused materials, a giant map of the city of Santo André, a tunnel that presents the scientific theory about the origin of the universe and a space with different physical experiments, among other available attractions already mentioned.

In every current tourist resort in the area, there is a souvenir shop at the disposal of those who want to keep a memory of the moment they experienced or present someone close to them. Sabina is a space for education, so it is evident that the products of the store have educational and tourist characteristics, since a good part of the public that visits the space is not from the city of Santo André.

Sabina features hundreds of attractions. Among the attractions most admired by visitors are dinosaurs, mainly the best replica of Brazil of the skeleton of a tyrannosaurus rex, with 12 meters in length, and an animatronic Ceratosaurus (robot) that moves and emits sounds. Another popular activity is the simulator ship, which gives visitors the feeling of flying over São Paulo to the coast of São Paulo, ending the ‘tour’ with a simulated dive under the sea to see the inhabitants of the preserved marine area., known as Laje de Santos.

Still at the level of experiences, another simulator, called Fúria da Natureza, allows visitors to contact phenomena such as hurricanes, volcanoes, lightning and earthquakes, through a very secure mobile platform. Sabina has more than 150 experiments in the areas of chemistry, physics, biology, technology and history, including the famous Van de Graaff Generator, which leaves hair standing on end.

The “living room” in addition to presenting two aquariums, which contain some species of shark, rays, and several types of fish, also contains a serpentarium.

In August 2016, Sabina Escola Parque do Conhecimento received the exhibition “Casa Sustentável”. The project aimed to show the importance of environmental awareness, in which visitors had the chance to learn about sustainable and self-sufficient practices, such as plastic box for rainwater retention and treatment systems and low cost solar heater and treatment and management systems. residue. The exhibition was intended to show that simple attitudes can change consumption at home and consequently help the planet, the project was a partnership between Braskem and Ciência Divertida Brasil. Entrance to the exhibition was free of charge.

The pinguinario, present in the museum since 2009, has 23 Magellanic penguins from Patagonia. In the museum there are penguins that were born on andreense soil, raised among the Sabina penguins themselves and also penguins that were in precarious conditions on the Brazilian coast, that were welcomed for a better treatment, since they did not present good conditions to return to life in nature. Currently the penguins present are exposed to the public during the period when the museum is open. The penguin farm is adapted to be as close as possible to a natural environment for penguins.

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The Sabina Escola Parque do Conhecimento museum has the mini traffic; it spent two years closed, as it was being restored and reformed to meet the pedagogical guidelines for traffic education defined by Denatran (National Department of Traffic). The project ended in 2017, when it was reopened. The minicity was renamed “Living Space for Mobility” and aims to place the city of Santo André among one of the references among innovative public policies for a good education in traffic, and aims to help for better training of pedestrians, passengers, cyclists and drivers, so that everyone becomes more responsible and aware. The space has several traditional spots in the city of Santo André in stylized sizes and with a lower proportion, such as:

The Brinca Ciência Project was an educational initiative of the municipality of Santo André, in 2009, aiming to develop the scientific knowledge of children from the 4th and 5th grade (age range 9 to 11 years old) of the Santo André Municipal Public Schools; three to four classes are received per period (morning and afternoon). These children make three visits a year to Sabina, accompanied by monitors, who explain the rules and instructions of the project. In these visits, materials are gained and transformed by them, with the help of these monitors, into scientific toys. These toys are present in the official book of the project, which also belongs to these children. In the book there are an average of 16 experiments, and two more toy kits accompany it. Each toy has its specific function, after the monitors help them in the construction, each function is explained and students have time to investigate the toys and have fun playing with them. After completing the practical part of the project, students can record everything they have learned in their book.

The project has had some editions, and aims to establish a partnership between the Santo André Municipal Education Network and Sabina, thus improving students’ learning and knowledge expansion, developing their thinking and doing in practical experience; contribute for students to develop their skills such as reading, expressing ideas and doubts, facing challenges and arguing. In addition to expanding students’ interest in science.

In the first version of the project, approximately a total of 2700 students and 100 public school teachers in Santo André were served. The numbers increased in the second version, with 7150 students and 275 teachers. The project had positive feedback, as the students showed a quality in their cognitive ability.

Planetarium and digital theater
Sabina Escola Parque is home to the most modern planetarium in Brazil. The Planetarium and Digital Theater Johannes Kepler, with a capacity for 230 people, is the only one with optical and digital projection systems working in sync to reproduce almost 6 thousand point stars, with brightness, colors and scintillations similar to those of nature. Sabina is one of the exceptional projects in the Greater ABC Region, concerning the dissemination and popularization of science, together with the Astronomical Observation Group of Santo André.

After 5 months with the doors closed, Sabina reopened in early 2017, with activities under the management of UFABC. The Term of Technical Scientific Cooperation was signed between the mayor Carlos Grana and the rector of the Federal University of ABC, Klaus Capele, the agreement determined the management of the space created for the interactive attractions that concretize science. In this way, the municipality of Santo André reduced administration expenses with equipment by 45%, sought by all types of public. With the contract signed, UFABC started to manage Sabina’s management. From this, vacancies were opened for monitors, approximately 30, without eliminating those already working there, also opening vacancies for administrative areas within the Parque School, with a team particularly from UFABC. The partnership favored both sides, bringing benefits to Sabina’s students, teachers and general public.

Entering the descriptive item of the place, the route between the Sabina gate and the entrance door is paved, without the impediment of holes, steps or other obstacles, such as benches, trees, dumps, etc. In the parking lot there are spaces for people with disabilities, signposted with a sign and paint on the floor, next to the entrance door. Next to them there is a space to open the door, remove the wheelchair and move safely to the entrance door. In view of the great potential of the public, as well as the location of the space, parking is highly important for the functioning of the place, although it does not charge any amount for the buses, cars and motorcycles that remain parked during the space visit.

Thinking about the accessibility of all Museum users, aiming at the opportunity for everyone to have access and be able to expand their cultural repertoire and their knowledge, the space and service are ready to meet the needs of all its visitors regardless of their conditions. The museum has a door and entrance gate that is easy to identify and allows everyone access to the environment. It also has parking spaces for people with disabilities in its parking lot, signposted with paint on the floor and sign and are closer to the entrance doors and on its side there is a larger space to open the door and remove the wheelchairs.

Right at the entrance of the museum there are two counters that have information for wheelchair users; the counters are lower and with space for approaching the legs, the counter also works as a ticket booth. Next to the box office there are public telephones and some of them are adapted for wheelchair users. There are also male and female toilets with accessible washbasins; in them it is possible for a person in a wheelchair to move around and maneuver his chair freely and have access to the shower and the washbasin. There are also drinking fountains scattered around the museum and attached to them are lower drinking fountains that facilitate the use of people in wheelchairs.

In the museum there is no place to sell food to visitors, but there is an area for people to dine, and in this area there are no tables adapted for wheelchair users, however there is a counter that can be used by wheelchair users, as it it has an adequate height and low recoil. Regarding the access of people in wheelchairs to the attractions of the museum and the equipment offered by Sabina Escola Parque do Conhecimento, it is necessary to emphasize that the site cannot be fully used. The “Nature’s Fury”, one of the Museum’s attractions, does not allow wheelchair users to enter, but it is possible to view the video outside the platform, reducing the total interaction and effect of the simulator. In other attractions present in the Museum, such as “Boneca Nina” and “Origin of the Universe”, access is difficult.

On the top floor of the Museum there is a space that is dedicated to microbiology, with different types of microscopes. The museum’s monitors say that if access to the slides of each device for wheelchair users is not possible, they transmit the images of the slide on a television, which does not diminish the experience with the attraction in relation to other visitors. In the part that is dedicated to the study of physics, most equipment has available access and adequate height. However, there are some accessories, such as the bottomless pit and the periscope, which can only be used by standing adults, reducing wheelchair access and their total experience. Finally, with regard to accessibility, there are places that are accessible and others do not yet have unrestricted and wide accessibility for everyone.

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