Annette Goslar is a doer. In the truest sense of the word – because the 58-year-old is a trained children's museum maker and volunteer director of the Aha-Erlebnismuseum on Lindener Strabe. Here, children, young people and adults should understand the world with all their senses, learn, laugh and research.
Annette Goslar had the idea of opening a children's museum in Wolfenbuttel back in 1998. So the educator trained as a children's museum maker, looked at various museums throughout Germany and developed a concept for Wolfenbuttel. "My goal has always been to make children, young people and adults curious – but without being super-teachy," she says. "Adults often have to learn to be curious again. Children are that by themselves."
In 2000, the time had come. The Wolfenbuttel Children's Museum, renamed the Aha-Erlebnismuseum five years later, was founded and Annette Goslar decided to quit her job as an educator to devote herself fully to her new project.
She began presenting her idea in schools and kindergartens, and in 2002 the first exhibition was created with vacationing children and volunteers. "It was part of the concept from the very beginning that children and young people are involved and that big and small work together," says Annette Goslar. Since then, the Forscher-Kids, a group of interested children and young people, have been contributing their ideas to the Aha-Erlebnismuseum, tinkering, researching and trying out everything that the visiting children will find in the next exhibition.
"Without the Forscherkids, we wouldn't be what we are," says Annette Goslar. Even if ideas sometimes diverge. "On the subject of the body, the adults focused on the stomach and intestines, for example. But the children were much more interested in the skeleton," the museum director recalls.
Representing one's own opinion, discussing and finding a solution together – that's also part of the Aha Experience Museum.
Annette Goslar still remembers the theme of the first exhibition well. "It was all about time". That was in 2003 and the exhibition was planned for seven weeks. But it went so well that the museum remained permanently in the rooms on Lindener Strabe.
Once a year, there is now a new exhibition. When looking for topics, Annette Goslar is also guided by what is currently being discussed in society. This year, visitors to the Aha Experience Museum are on the trail of the ecological footprint. "We are currently looking for a new theme for next year," says Annette Goslar. "We have never had a topic that didn't interest the children."
During the construction period for the new exhibition, about 20 to 30 volunteers are working at the Aha-Erlebnismuseum. In the accompanying time about half.
"It was clear from the beginning that the museum would have to be supported by volunteers," says Annette Goslar. "And I'm glad that so many different people are involved with the museum."
When it comes to her own commitment, Annette Goslar can say exactly what motivates her: "I believe that education is our greatest asset. Without education, we cannot maintain a functioning democracy and a common system of values. I'm happy to be able to drive this cog of education forward."
The museum director has also maintained her own curiosity about the world. "I love discovering new things and being with young people," she says. "It's great to see how the kids develop and outgrow themselves."