Bloomfield Science Museum is a lovely attraction for families. There are many hands-on exhibitions and workshops. Let’s begin!
Note 1: if you are interested in similar attractions, then check out my overview of Science Museums in Israel.
Note 2: we visited the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem during Sukkot vacation. There are common reasons for visiting such museums. Like kids on vacation and learning new things (i.e., opening new horizons). But, beyond those reasons, we had additional motivation. And it is a bicycle exhibition.
Bloomfield Science Museum is located near other museums in the city, and its address is Sderot HaMuze’onim 3, Jerusalem.
Map of the area:
Monday – Thursday: 10:00 – 18:00
Saturday: 10:00 – 17:00
Friday, Sunday: Closed
Adults and children (5 years old and older): 50 NIS.
Children under 5: free.
Families (Parents and children under the age of 18, as shown in the ID card/Grandparents and all their grandchildren): 180 NIS.
We purchased tickets at the entrance to the museum. But you can also buy tickets over the phone.
Note: opening hours and ticket prices were updated in February 2020. In any case, recheck the official site before visiting.
You can find different coupons online. And if your credit card does not have relevant offerings, then you can purchase through cpnclub.co.il They offer about a 15% discount.
Parking in many regions of Jerusalem can be problematic. There is free parking in front of the Bloomfield Science Museum, but there are not many places there (about two dozen spaces). You can park on the nearby street as well, but it is not free, and there are few spaces there. Thus, my solution was simple, come early. Or, more specifically, come when the museum opens.
Events And Workshops
Another tip is to check the official website for different events and workshops. During our visit, we participated in one free class. We also saw another paid course, but since we were not aware of it taking place, we have not bought tickets in advance.
What Ages Is Bloomfield Science Museum Suited For?
The smaller the children, the less they will understand. It is maybe the reason why children under five years old enter for free. But, I think that both children (except babies) and adults can enjoy at Bloomfield Science Museum. Instead of looking at the age, I would suggest checking what exhibitions, events, and workshops are taking place, and if those topics interest you, then go.
At Bloomfield Science Museum
This interactive type of sundial developed in the 16th century, and it is called the Analemmatic sundial. When you stand on the date border, your shadow will show the time.
Since I did not find any coupons or discounts online, we bought regular tickets at the cashier and headed inside.
In the reflection of these mirrors, you can see an information stand. You can find general information there and the timetable of the workshops.
Discovering Levers Exhibition
Usually, after long rides, kids want to do something physical. To let off some steam. And the first several rooms, which belong to the discovering levers exhibition, are perfect for this.
There are different handles kids can rotate, balls to move, and run a little. And the following exhibit demonstrates different sounds depending on the metal plate size when being hit by a ball.
And this is a pulley lift. It demonstrates how you can easily lift heavy things using pulleys. In the far end, a person stands in the elevator, and you can pull either using the straight rope or use a cord that goes through all the pulleys. And while using the straight one, you can barely lift, using the cable that goes through all the pulleys, kids can elevate their parents.
Near to the pulley lift, you can find several exhibits with balls rolling around the room and a sand playground outside.
But we headed back towards the hall next to the main entrance since it was time for the sugar workshop.
There were several sugar workshops on that day. The duration of each class was about twenty minutes, and the content was pretty impressive. The problem was they were continually having technical difficulties. First, the microphone did not work. Then it barely worked, but the computer did not work. But I learned several interesting things.
First of all, sugar contains energy. Thus, if you throw sugar on fire, the flame will grow as if you poured gasoline.
Secondly, water with sugar is denser than regular water. Thus if you put a regular cola can in the water, it will drown. But if you put cola zero, then the can will be floating (there is no sugar in zero. Instead, there are some sugar replacements).
You can all use this method to find out how much sugar there is in a product. Our guide put cherry tomatoes into the water, and of course, they drowned. But, then he added some sugar to the water and stirred it. And repeated this process until around seven tablespoons of sugar were added to the water. At this stage, the tomatoes floated. Floating means that the amount of sugar in the tomatoes and the water is equal.
When the sugar workshop ended, we climbed up to the second floor and found there Electricity Exhibition.
Most of the exhibits in the Bloomfield Science Museum are interactive and aimed at kids. In the solar airplanes exhibit, for example, there were lights next to the ceiling. And using one of the three rotatable mirrors, you can reflect the light to the solar panels of planes. As light hits the solar panels, the aircraft starts to move.
The electricity exhibition aimed at older kids (my daughter is in the first grade), but she enjoyed the interactivity of it, i.e., touching everything 🙂
This magnetism exhibit shows what happens to compasses when we turn the electricity on and off.
Another magnet related exhibit is called “standing soldiers.” As you press the button, all pins stick to the sides of the dish.
Can there be electricity without power? When holding your hand next to the light bulbs, they turn on.
Everybody loves illusions, and they are more straightforward for kids to understand.
Here is probably one of the most famous optical illusions. Do both items, the left and the right one, have the same length?
And here are two overlapping images. What do you see?
The Happy Couple?
If you take a closer look at their faces, then you will see it is the same face.
And of course, no option illusion exhibition would be complete without the expanding universe exhibit.
Are you still reading this? I was afraid that I would lose some of the readers after the previous photo 🙂
Paper corner, as I called it, had several stands. At one of them, you could launch your paper planes. And at another, kids prepared flowers, and here they could play with the boats.
Bicycle Exhibition was opened in July 2017 and will remain open until May 2018. This exhibition marks 200 years since the invention of the bicycle.
These are among the oldest bicycles in the exhibition. They were created in the 1850s.
Did you know that the first bicycle did not have pedals? The original design was to push yourself with legs.
I found an entertaining short movie about the bicycle exhibition at the official site. And here it is.
The exhibition is divided into several topics and spread around about half a dozen rooms.
After seeing the oldest bicycles and riding google street views tricycle with two TV and a fan, we continued into the innovation area.
China is one of the leaders of bicycle usage. In the ’70s, over 60% of the population traveled by bicycles. In recent years this number dropped to 12%. And the latest trend in China is bicycle sharing.
Look at this wheel. I have never seen such a bicycle.
This corner was devoted to folding bikes. The trend of folding bikes is going to increase in the upcoming years as it improves mobility and allows people to combine trains and other types of public transport with bikes.
Also, most corners had a TV with various demonstrations, which made the information more accessible.
Have you ever heard about Sandwichbike? The concept is somewhat similar to IKEA. Here is what they say at the official site:
Would you have believed that two wooden panels could deliver the funkiest ride there is? We did, and we dubbed it the Sandwichbike. A Dutch Design original that was inspired by the concept of flat packing, home assembly, and our never-ending drive to create exceptional products. To enable you to build it yourself, we engineered a ‘sandwich’ of two weather coated frames of layered plywood. Bonded together by ‘smart cylinders,’ the frames and components become a durable rock-solid piece of technology.
Pedaling With Your Hands
Today we do not think about bicycles as freedom providers. But, in the past, they were more than pure vehicles. Moreover, I heard once about a study that said: human genome diversified following the invention of the bicycle. They saw that the average distance between the original houses of newlyweds increased significantly (unfortunately, I was unable to find this study online).
And for people with disabilities, hand-pedaled bicycles allow this freedom.
We might not think about this today, but bicycles also contributed a lot to women’s emancipation.
Bikes in Africa
In Africa, access to bicycles can have a significant impact on humans. Thus in recent years, many new projects started to appear. One of them is Ghana’s bamboo bicycles. They use bamboo as a frame material, which is light, sturdy, and grown next to the bicycle factories. All these reasons categorize bamboo bikes as social projects. They are both environmentally sustainable and develop the local industry.
If we are talking about bamboo, then I should also mention cardboard. Later in this exhibition, we saw Izhar Gafni’s, an Israeli mechanical engineer, a cardboard bicycle.
In 2012, Izhar Gafni unveiled a prototype bicycle made almost entirely out of cardboard. The bike weighs 9.1 kg and is treated to be fireproof and waterproof. Reports said that the bike could support riders up to 220 kilograms. It has solid rubber tires made from recycled car tires.
In one of the interviews, I saw they designated the bike to low-income countries with the price tag around 20 USD.
Though we might think of cycling as a simple activity, learning robots to cycle is not an easy task.
Here is Draisine’ Reverse Steering’ bike, meaning turning the handlebar to one side steers the front wheel to the other side. It was created at around 1820, and as these were the first years after bicycle invention, there was no standard mechanism. Thus, for people at that period learning to ride reverse steering bicycles was the same as learning to ride the standard bike.
One of the activities in the exhibition:
There was a wind tunnel that simulated wind speed of 70 km/h. And what surprised me was the absence of a long line.
‘lunartic’ by Luke Douglas from the UK is one of the entries in “Seoul cycle design competition 2010”.
According to Luke:
lunartic is a compact urban bicycle concept exploring the unique combination of different wheel sizes, a toothed belt drive and hubless rear wheel. ‘lunartic’ places itself in a niche between existing bicycle solutions: compact without folding, easy to ride and handle, stylish and comfortable
Why? The gyroscopic effect of a large wheel helps it travel faster and more contact with the road provides a stable and comfortable ride, whereas small wheels save space, weight and are more maneuverable. Belt drives are clean and maintenance-free, and a hubless wheel creates a whole new space, as well as an intriguing aesthetic.
How? The combination of these features is a new balance of ride quality, space saving, style, and convenience. Moving the working parts back, inside the rear wheel shortens the wheelbase but maintains large wheel performance. There is no sacrifice to conventional or efficient geometry apart from a low center of gravity and stand over height.
The Flying Cigar
We are all familiar with the Wright brothers and their airplanes. What is less known is the fact that the Wright brothers were also bicycle retailers and manufacturers. In 1892 the brothers opened a repair and sales shop and, in 1896, began manufacturing their brand. Their experience with bicycles not only influenced their belief that an unstable vehicle like a flying machine could be controlled with practice but also inspired them while building airplane models (they used similar parts and related concepts).
We can see the connection between bicycles and planes once again when we look at Eduard Baumhauer. Eduard (Rotterdam, 30 May 1920 – the North Sea, 27 February 1941) was the eldest son of the Dutch aviation pioneer Albert Gillis von Baumhauer. In 1939 he started studying physics at the Technische Hogeschool Delft. And it is believed that during this period, Eduard created the Flying Cigar. Not much is know about Eduard, but fortunately, the sketchbook, photos, and the original Flying Cigar survived. Eduard was not that lucky. Soon after the beginning of the German occupation, he went into the resistance. At some point during the war, Eduard wanted to reach England. Together with Arnold Cohen, he converted a canoe into a motorboat. They left on 25 February 1941, and during their sail, a strong storm hit the North Sea, causing both of them both to drown.
I wonder how fast The Flying Cigar can go?
The first wheels were hard ones. They were wooden or metal, and only later people started using rubber on the exterior part of the wheel. And this may be the future of wheels. Here is Softwheel.
Softwheel is an Israeli startup, and they want to reinvent the wheel. This wheel has an Adaptive In-Wheel Suspension System. The three suspension arms inside the rim are designed to absorb energy from any obstacle. SoftWheel’s three shock absorbers work together to reset more quickly and absorb more shocks and vibrations over the same distance and time. Moreover, the shock absorbers adapt to the terrain – on flats, they remain rigid like spokes, but over bumps, they compress to absorb impact.
Credits: official site
Who said bicycles need chains? Maybe ropes will do?
This bicycle is a total enigma to me. The design looks that two people will be pedaling in opposite directions.
We left the bicycle exhibition and passed next to the museum’s entrance. There we saw kids show in progress. We were expecting a show since we visited during Sukkot vacation. It is just a pity that we were not aware of the exact time in advance.
After seeing the last ten minutes of the show, we headed back to Structures Exhibition.
We saw explanations about different types of bridges and arches.
As in all previous exhibitions, there were many hands-on parts. Here is, for example, the Leonardo bridge. It is unique since assembling it does not require any additional materials besides wood – no need for glue, nails, bolts, or anything similar. Anyway, there is a completed model, and you need to construct a new one using provided parts. Luckily just a week before the visit, I saw a short movie online where two people showed how they assemble Leonardo bridge. Thus I was able to gather it within several minutes and show off before my wife and daughter. But I have no proof for my readers. Two seconds after I finished the construction, some kids came and took it apart.
AI And Computers Exhibition
About nine months ago, I participated in a computer science conference. The closing lecture was by a professor for Hebrew university (unfortunately, I do not remember his name). And that lecture started with a question: “will computers learn to love?”. One of the goals of this lecture was to convince the auditorial that they will. And in one of the slides, the professor told the audience about the following installation.
As you can see, there are two doors, and you pass through the right one if you think they will and through the left otherwise. There are counters on the sides of the doors, and this way, you can get crowdsourced intelligence. I was in the proximity of these doors for about ten minutes. Most of the passes were made by kids who can not read, tired museum workers that look for the shortest path, and adults who do not see the signs. I have not seen anybody reading the signs and choosing the doors accordingly. In the lecture, it sounded cool, but the reality is entirely different. That is the difference between marketing and research in a nutshell. Thus I would not take into account such crowdsourced intelligence.
There were different puzzle stands and mazes on touch screens. And here my daughter tried to beat the computer in tic tac toe. Well, you can guess the outcome.
Fields Of Tomorrow Exhibition
FIELDS OF TOMORROW reveals the scientific background, intensive research, and intriguing ideas being developed in Israel and the world in response to the need to deal with the issue of feeding the world.
Field laboratory, food laboratory, and science laboratory – these three aspects come together in the exhibition. Food crops are grown in a hothouse, a greenhouse, and cultivated areas. Artworks are included in the exhibition under the title Agripolis – a fusion of art and science.
Source: Bloomfield Science Museum’s official website.
We reached this exhibition when we were already quite tired. Thus we moved through it quickly.
Our last activity was a workshop for kids. Different colors represent different atoms, and kids can assemble various molecules according to provided instructions. Or for younger kids, construct something.
It was already late, and we decided to head home. Thus, we skipped bicycle riding in the yard of Bloomfield Museum and headed back.
Our visit to the Bloomfield Science Museum took about four hours.
Bloomfield Science Museum is one of the more significant science museums in Israel, but there are also others. For example, there is Carasso Science Park In Beersheba. And you can find a full review of Science Museums in Israel at the linked post.
As I mentioned in the beginning, the Bloomfield Science Museum is located on Sderot HaMuze’onim, which means museums avenue. There are two large museums nearby. And they are the Israel Museum and Bible Lands Museum.
Bloomfield Science Museum is a great attraction for kids and families. There are plenty of things to do and see. And there are many hands-on exhibits. My daughter enjoyed it a lot, and we will return in several years when the exhibitions will be changed.
Moreover, according to the official website, the museum is open on Saturdays. That is a big plus since many attractions in Jerusalem closed during this day.
Have you ever been to the Bloomfield Science Museum In Jerusalem? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!
For additional points of interest nearby, check out the Jerusalem page.
Here are several resources that I created to help travelers:
- Israel Trip Planner is the page that will help you to create your perfect travel route.
- National Parks And Nature Reserves page lists and put all national parks on the map. There is also a top list, information about ticket types and campsites.
- If you are looking for things to do, here are the pages for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sea Of Galilee, and Makhtesh Ramon.
- Wondering what events are there in Israel? Here is the Events And Festivals By Season guide.
And if you have any questions then check out Useful Information For Tourists To Israel.