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Science Museum announces Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery, opening 12 October 2016

‘Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.’
Stephen Hawking

  • Science Museum launches world-beating new interactive gallery
  • Interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, and an Explainer-led experience will reveal the beauty and wonder in the science and mathematics that shape our lives
  • Opens Wednesday 12 October; booking now open

Admission: Day Pass £8 adult, £6 child, £22.50 family | Annual Pass £14 adult, £10 child, £39 family

sciencemuseum.org.uk/wonderlab
@ScienceMuseum #wonderis

Title Sponsor: Statoil

Major Sponsor: URENCO

The Science Museum today announced plans to launch Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery, its most ambitious interactive science gallery. Opening in October, Wonderlab will feature interactive exhibits, artworks, live demonstrations and immersive experiences led by the Museum's talented team of science communicators – Explainers. The £6 million gallery will inspire visitors of all ages to wonder at the science and mathematics that shape our lives.

Ensuring that many more school groups can visit the UK’s foremost interactive gallery for free, the Museum is introducing ticketed entry to the gallery, marking a new, sustainable funding model. The income generated by the modest charge - £39 offering a family of four unlimited visits throughout the year – will contribute to the cost of maintaining the high-quality visitor experience and operating the gallery, which includes two live demonstration areas and a 120-capacity showspace, inspired by the Royal Institution’s world-renowned Faraday Theatre.

Wonderlab is 60% larger than the Museum’s previous interactive gallery Launchpad, allowing the Museum to set ambitious targets to double – to 200,000 – the number of young people visiting for free on a school trip within three years of opening.

With over 50 exhibits in seven zones, the gallery will allow visitors to explore the incredible phenomena that occur around us every day, across topics as diverse as sound, forces, light, and mathematics.

Science Museum Group Director, Ian Blatchford, said: ‘Ensuring our visitors understand the science that shapes our lives and inspiring the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians are at the heart of our mission. Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery embodies that core purpose, providing the spark of curiosity for the young people of today to wonder the world better.

The Science Museum today also launches a nationwide competition for school children to be in with a chance of winning a once-in-a-lifetime VIP trip for them and their class to be the first ever visitors to Wonderlab on its official launch day. The challenge is to wonder the world better in 100 words or less. Full details of the competition can be found at sciencemuseum.org.uk/wondertheworldbetter.

Amongst the gallery’s many highlights, visitors will discover our solar system through a giant interactive orrery, explore the effects of different materials on a large friction slide, and take part in live science shows igniting curiosity in the wonders of explosions, rockets, space and more.

Wonderlab Curator, Toby Parkin, said: ‘The Science Museum opened the world’s first national gallery dedicated to children in 1931. Since then, scientists, engineers and even Royal visitors have been inspired by the amazing scientific phenomena revealed in our interactive galleries. 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.

The gallery is designed by award-winning practice muf architecture/art, which is renowned for working with artists on innovative projects celebrating the social and playful aspects of the public realm.

Tickets are available to book now at sciencemuseum.org.uk or on 0333 241 4000, and school groups can book a trip to the gallery through the Museum’s Education booking line on 0207 942 4777.

The Science Museum welcomes the highest number of visitors in school groups of all UK museums. Click here to find out more about the Science Museum Group’s work with young people.

Statoil is the Title Sponsor of Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery and URENCO is Major Sponsor. The gallery has additional support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, Simon and Kate Reid alongside Science Museum investment made possible by a loan from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport.

This Book Thinks You’re a Scientist, a special publication to complement the gallery, is published by Thames and Hudson on 11 August 2016. The book’s RRP is £8.95 and it is available to pre-order now.

Notes to Editors

Entry to the Science Museum remains free, giving access to the galleries that display the Museum’s permanent collections, comprising more than 90% of the museum. This will not change; free access to the permanent collections of national museums is Government policy.

About the Science Museum

As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum’s world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the Museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement. More information can be found at sciencemuseum.org.uk.

About Statoil

As a global energy provider we develop oil, gas and energy solutions for today and tomorrow. We have more than 40 years of experience developing oil and gas on the Norwegian Continental shelf and now operate in more than 30 countries. Our purpose is to bring energy to a growing population to create value for our shareholders and the communities where we operate. We will build on our legacy of safe, secure and efficient operations, technical capabilities and innovation to solve the challenges of tomorrow. We are headquartered in Stavanger Norway and listed on the New York and Oslo stock exchanges. We employ approximately 22,000 people worldwide. We believe the solutions of tomorrow need the Heroes of Tomorrow, and as part of our Heroes of Tomorrow program we aim to inspire young people to engage in fun, relevant and rewarding science experiences. Important objectives are to strengthen the mastering of STEM subjects, secure long-term recruitment and position Statoil as a supporter of talent development in STEM among our target groups.

About URENCO

URENCO is a leading provider of uranium enrichment services to the world’s nuclear energy industry. With plants in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and in the USA, it operates in a pivotal area of the nuclear fuel supply chain which enables the sustainable generation of electricity for consumers around the world. Through URENCO’s science brand ambassador, Richie, URENCO connects with young audiences teaching them about energy topics in an engaging, fun and educational way. The sponsorship of Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery complements its ethos of nurturing an interest in science, engineering, technology and maths (STEM) subjects.

About Discover South Kensington

Discover South Kensington brings together the Science Museum and other leading cultural and educational organisations to promote innovation and learning. South Kensington is the home of science, arts and inspiration. Discovery is at the core of what happens here and there is so much to explore every day. discoversouthken.com