Museum "Wetterküche - weather factory"
The education and information centre at PIK known as the “weather factory” provides a good opportunity mainly for young visitors to get plenty of information on the topics weather and climate. The weather factory is the result of a co-operation between the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Potsdam Comprehensive School Peter Joseph Lenné, and the University Potsdam
The concept of the weather factory is guided by the idea of “hands-on science” wherever the topic allows this. The visitor can actively acquire new knowledge instead of taking the role of a passive recipient.
For more than a year, pupils of the 11th form from the Peter Joseph Lenné School researched the scientific topics climate and weather, and, together with PIK, they developed the exhibition concept for the weather factory. This co-operation was supported and advised by a research seminar in educational science from Potsdam University.
In different exhibition rooms, visitor groups can go on their own journeys of discovery: models, installations, posters, and meteorologic measuring tools display current results of climate (impact) research, and depict both present and past of meteorology and of the outstanding historical scientific significance of the Telegraphenberg.
The weather factory - a small building adjacent to the former Royal Meteorological Observatory Potsdam (MOP) - previously served as a wash-house and was declared a listed monument, not least due to its historical green roof.
The former MOP was once the domain of the famous meteorologist Reinhard Süring who was the director of the institute from 1902 to 1932. His scientific merits form one of the key themes of the information centre. In 1901, it was Süring who, together with a colleague, was able to prove by a sensational balloon flight that the temperature of the atmosphere does not continue to decrease after a certain height. Thus, he provided the precondition for the subsequent discovery of the stratosphere.
A model of the balloon car invites the visitors to enter, and at the press of a button, a re-enacted dialogue between Süring and his assistant during their ride turns the visitor into a contemporary witness of this not quite harmless endeavour.
The weather factory can only be visited on request. The appropriate number of visitors per group is 15. For requests, please contact: