The aim of Science Centre AHHAA is to introduce science to everyone and encourage studying through the joy of discovery. 2.7 million people of different ages have visited our exhibitions and other science events. In addition to trying out numerous ´hands-on´ exhibits on our various exhibitions, visitors of AHHAA can also take part in workshops, enjoy planetarium and science theatre shows. We also offer several special programmes for schools. AHHAA welcomes visitors of all ages and offers a great opportunity to spend a fun day filled with science!
AHHAA is an internationally renowned cooperation partner in several organisations. Currently, AHHAA is the chair of Nordisk Science Center Forbund(NSCF) and is a member of board of the European Network of Science Centres and Museums (ECSITE). Additionally, AHHAA is an active member of European Science Events Association (EUSEA) and International Planetarium Society(IPO).PLACES, a cooperation between 69 cities and towns from all over Europe that lasted from 2011-2014. AHHAA's work throughout the project earned Tartu the title of "European City of Scientific Culture". In addition to that, AHHAA is a member of FOODWEB, a project that aims to demonstrate the connections between people, quality of food and environment.
AHHAA was established as a special project of the University of Tartu in 1997. In 2000, AHHAA moved to the old observatory of Tartu and in 2004, the Science Centre AHHAA Foundation was established. In 2009, the science centre moved to Lõunakeskus Shopping Centre and stayed there until 2010. In 2009-2013, part of AHHAA’s exhibition was also displayed in Tallinn (at Vabaduse väljak). On 7 May 2011, AHHAA’s brand new building was opened in Tartu on Sadama 1. AHHAA’s slogan is ´Think playfully!´
Our mission is to shape the knowledge-based mindset through Aha-experiences. What we mean by Aha-experiences is experimenting and discovering independently and the use of a´hands-on´ approach. The three basic values of AHHAA areknowledgeability, professionalism and friendliness. We value education, and are a reliable and top-quality partner and we’re always open to new ideas. AHHAA’s main target groups are students and kindergartners, teachers and instructors, families, science enthusiasts, tourism groups, schools and other educational institutions, scientists and other institutions. We wish to offer the most appropriate and best possible service to each one of them.
The vision and main strategic goals of AHHAA are set in three dimensions. In 2020, AHHAA will be a role model in shaping the knowledge-based mindset in the society, while being:
- Internationally attractive visit centre that motivates both internal and foreign visitors to choose Southern-Estonia as their destination.
- The most preferred extracurricular learning centre in Estonia for the students, teachers/instructors and teachers in training, but also for educational institutions.
- The leading competence centre of creating and building exhibitions in Estonia and a renowned partner for foreign countries.