I want to know!
Blind natural scientist Eugen Wagner
Aids in teaching mathematics and physics
Exhibition organization: Typhlological museum
Exhibition author: Lucija Šoda
Art concept: Lucija Šoda
The Wagner Donation Collection consists of teaching aids for mathematics and physics that were the result of a 30-year educational and scientific work of Eugen Wagner, a blind natural scientist and a teacher of physics and mathematics. All of the aids were devised according to Wagner’s designs in the Učila (Teaching Aid) factory in Zagreb, where he worked as a junior manager from 1952, and later on as a consultant to the project and development department.
Marking the 30th anniversary of Wagner’s creative work at the Typhlological Museum on 21 December 1978, an exhibition titled Teaching Apparatus for Mathematics and Physics displayed 93 teaching aids for physics and mathematics. After the exhibition, in 1979, the author gave the Typhlological Museum 90 items that became part of a collection, from which a special collection, the Wagner Donation, was created in 2010. Most of the items have been restored and conserved and are now ready to be shown to the public in a brand new light.
I want to know! is the title of an exhibition that has been divided into three units, which give an insight into the work of Eugen Wagner. The exhibition starts with an introduction to the life of the author and constructor of the preserved objects. The second unit displays models used in teaching physics, covering sever groups of aids for learning the laws of optics, caloric theory and calorimetry, and a system of functionally connected aid used for teaching mechanics, hydromechanics, electrostatics, and magnetism. The last unit covers a group of aids for teaching mathematics, which enable a visual training in mathematical expressions and terms.
Eugen Wagner was born in Omiš on 15 August 1924. After finishing the Men’s Secondary School in Split, he joined WWII, and due to severe injuries lost sight on one eye, having been left with only limited sight on the other. He graduated from the Higher School of Pedagogy in Split, where he became an assistant in 1947, and later a teacher at the Department of Experimental Physics.
In the late 1970s, the Croatian Association of the Blind organized the Committee for Scientific Research, headed by Eugen Wagner, whose purpose was to prepare teaching aids for blind students and prepare for their production. Six of such completely adapted planimetric models were exhibited at INOVA 81 as a part of E. W. Typhloplanimetry. He received a special acknowledgement of innovation in the field of teaching mathematics to blind students. Wagner participated on many inventors’ exhibitions at home and abroad, having won the highest awards at some of them.