By Sheena Laursen
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well being for all, at all ages
Several sustainable development goals in one way or another are closely linked to health issues—to name just a few examples: ending poverty and hunger, achieving food security and sustainable water management and ensuring access to water, as well as promoting sustainable consumption patterns. Science centers and museums have also committed to contributing to tackling and addressing health-related challenges and achieving sustainable development goals. Experimentarium, an Ecsite member located in Copenhagen, Denmark, is working with several partners to promote a healthier and more active lifestyle for families with children through its project PULSE that was launched in 2015.
The project targets families with children 6–12 years old and comprises an exhibition project and a research project. Both children and parents need to be aware of the importance of making the right lifestyle choices, developing and maintaining healthy eating and drinking habits to avoid becoming the type 2 diabetes patients of tomorrow. It showcases nine different exhibits, all of which offer interactive group experiences for visitors and aim specifically to engage and motivate families to carry out introduced activities at home and in the community at large. The PULSE exhibition also serves as an international model demonstrating how science center health exhibitions can involve socioeconomically less advantaged families (as well as more privileged families) in improving their health. From the very beginning, the concept of the PULSE project has been to involve different stakeholders including users, researchers, and designers in developing the concept and framework of the exhibition. PULSE also aims to generate research-based evidence and methodologies on participatory approaches to developing health exhibitions and activities in science centers and museums. In addition, the project will enhance our understanding of the impact of these exhibitions on family health. The Novo Nordisk Foundation is supporting the PULSE project through a grant award. The Experimentarium manages the project in collaboration with the Steno Health Promotion Center as its main partner.