Science Museum launches Wonderlab interactive gallery

Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery, a new interactive exhibition that invites visitors to think like a scientist, has opened at London's Science Museum.

The £6 million permanent gallery features a range of explosive demonstrations and immersive experiences to inspire visitors of all ages to wonder at the science and mathematics that are so often hidden in plain sight.  

In his opening remarks Science Museum Group deputy director Jonathan Newby said that the aim of the new gallery was to “help people understand the science that shapes our lives, and to inspire the next generation of thinkers and doers.”

With topics ranging from matter and mathematics through to sound and space, there’s no shortage of inspiration available to visitors of the new gallery. Once inside you can ride on a rotating model of the solar system, create flowing mist and cloud rings, experience different forces on a large friction slide, and order you very own experiments at the designated science bar.

Wonderlab Curator Toby Parkin said that the exhibition aimed to inspire the ‘three Cs’ of scientific thought – curiosity, close attention and creativity. “We have worked with a huge range of artists, researchers, designers and organisations to create what we believe will be the greatest interactive science gallery anywhere,” he said.

Since it first opening in 1928, the Science Museum has helped nurture the creativity of some of the world’s greatest scientific minds, including physicist Professor Stephen Hawking, who says that visiting the museum as a child helped to fuel his fascination with physics.

“I was one of the first visitors to the original Children's Gallery, which opened back in 1931, and can still remember the wonderful door that opened before I had even reached it.”

Sir David Attenborough, on the Museum’s pioneering gallery, and exciting automatic door display

 

Today, the Science Museum is the most visited museum in the UK for booked school groups, having welcomed over 380,000 school children last year. The curators at Wonderlab aim to allow for 200,000 school children to visit the gallery for free each year.

Wonderlab have also teamed up with publishers Thames and Hudson to produce ‘This Book Thinks You’re a Scientist’, a special book featuring fun activities and experiments to allow people to take the wonder of science into their own homes. The book is available to buy from the Science Museum Shop for £8.95, and you can check out what E&T thought of it here.

 

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