Launchpad is our most popular gallery where students can explore:

  • light
  • materials
  • energy transfer
  • forces and motion
  • electricity and magnetism
  • sound

Developed in conjunction with teachers, students, accessibility experts and scientists, the hands-on exhibits encourage open-ended exploration, inquiry, questioning and discussion.

Our team of friendly and knowledgeable Explainers will help your pupils make the most of the gallery by encouraging use of scientific skills such as hypothesising and making predictions.

Launchpad is set aside for different age groups on different days. Use the 'search by event' drop-down menu on the Educators Calendar to check the dates for your key stage. 

Please note that Launchpad must be pre-booked for school trips. If it is not showing on your visit confirmation letter, your pupils will not be allowed to enter.

Science Shows
When you book to visit Launchpad, you can also request to see one of our lively science shows. These are packed with demonstrations and involve plenty of audience participation. They last 20 minutes and are free of charge.

The following shows are performed for different age groups: 

  • KS1: The Bubble Show  (bubbles)
  • KS2: either Flash, Bang, Wallop (combustion) or Stronger by Design (structures)
  • KS3: The Rocket Show (rockets and forces in space) 

We regret that we can't promise a particular show for KS2.

New Developments

From November 2015 our Launchpad gallery will be closed for about a year while we transform the area into an amazing new interactive gallery. The new area will be bigger and better than ever before, and free for schools.

Throughout that period our lively Launchpad shows – Stronger By DesignFlash Bang Wallop and The Rocket Show - will remain available to book as part of your KS2 and KS3 visit. And The Garden and Pattern Pod will continue to support hands-on learning for EYFS and KS1 children. We are also developing new resources providing fun approaches to exploring galleries and objects that you may not have used before. These will be available on our website soon.

These, together with our established programme of storytelling sessions, shows, workshops, costumed characters, IMAX films and galleries will still enable you to make a truly inspiring school trip. So contact us on 020 7942 4777 and we’ll be happy to help you plan your visit.

KS1: 40 mins, KS2/KS3: 60 mins
Suitable for:
ages 5-14
Places per session:
KS1: 50, KS2/KS3: 40 incl. adults
Pre-booking req'd:
Supervisory ratio:
1:8 KS1/KS2, 1:10 KS3

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