by Kirsi Lehto (University of Turku)

NRM (Lilla Hörsalen, Swedish Museum of Natural History)


Lilla Hörsalen, Swedish Museum of Natural History

The TimeTrek is a 13,8 km long walking trail, and a timeline of the whole history of the world, where correctly timed information points for the most important events are posted along the trail. This timeline was produced in 2011 by a group of scientists from different departments of the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi. It locates in the outskirts of Turku, leading from the Tuorla observatory to the University.  This science popularization project aims to portray the history of world as one holistic continuum, where all the different sciences contribute their own parts to the same big story of the world.  The other aim of the walkable trail is to demonstrate to visitors, in a very concrete way, the physical dimension of the evolutionary, geological and cosmological time scales. Each meter on the trail corresponds to one million years of time. The duration of the Homo sapiens species is contained only in the last 20 cm of the trail, and the length of the human technical civilization, since beginning of the agriculture, is contained within the last 1 cm. In the past year we have been working to develop the TimeTrek concept into more digital, and more audio-visual format. New background histories for all events, as well as new illustrations and narrations have been added to the project page ( During January 2017 a new gamified application is added, with AR and VR illustrations for many of the time points. The whole timetrek-story is also aimed to be produced as a large audiovisual show for the large planetarium screen. A still much larger application was recently planned and submitted as a eTimeTrek plan to the Horizon2020 call titled Open Schooling and collaboration on science education. The plan contained a large consortium from 10 European countries, including Sweden, and aimed to produce the eTimeTrek concept in digital gamified format as learning materials for schools, for museums and planetariums, and for the social media. This effort will be renewed in the upcoming call for “Science education outside classroom”: