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Science Museum

Science Museum seeks new homes for interactive exhibits

The Science Museum has launched a search to find new homes for ten interactive exhibits* that are ideal for schools and science centres across the UK.

The exhibits come from the Museum’s Launchpad gallery, which will close from 2 November 2015 while we transform the area into a major new interactive gallery, opening in autumn 2016. The ten exhibits, which explore the science of forces, light, energy and magnetism, include:

  • Seeing through Walls—features two connected periscopes separated by a wall. Users have to work out how the reflection of light enables them to see ‘through’ the wall.
  • Wave Power—illustrates energy transfer, with waves created at one end of the tank used to generate electricity at the other. The exhibit also demonstrates properties of waves—frequency, amplitude and wavelength—which can be used to help understand sound, light and other phenomena.
  • Magnetic Building—gives users the opportunity to feel the force of magnetic attraction while creating sculptures.

Organisations interested in providing a new home for one or more of these exhibits (full list below) should express an interest by 15 October 2015 by completing this form. A decision will be made by 2 November 2015 and successful organisations must be able to collect the exhibit(s) on 23–27 November 2015 from the Museum.

Tom O'Leary, Director of Learning for the Science Museum Group, said:

‘This is a fantastic opportunity for schools and science centres to give a new lease of life to our exhibits outside the Museum, where they will continue to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. I’m delighted young people in South Africa will also benefit from our exhibits.’

Eleven exhibits have already found a new home in South Africa and will soon be transported to the Unizulu Science Centre. The Science Museum has worked with Unizulu Science Centre for a number of years, donating Launchpad exhibits to the Centre in 2007 and visiting in 2012 to provide training.

Derek Fish, Director of the Unizulu Science Centre, said:

‘We work with 60,000 children a year, with many visiting from rural schools without electricity, running water and certainly no science labs. The Launchpad exhibits have been a huge hit and we’re excited to get our hands on these new exhibits which will greatly assist the work we do.’

Notes for editors

For more information please visit sciencemuseum.org.uk/launchpad-exhibits or contact Will Stanley in the Science Museum Press Office on 020 7942 4429 or via william.stanley@sciencemuseum.org.uk.

*The full list of exhibits includes:

  • Seeing Through Walls: This exhibit features two connected periscopes separated by a wall. Visitors have to work out how the reflection of light enables them to see ‘through’ the wall.
  • High Spy: High Spy explores the nature of light—how it travels and how we can alter its path and effects in optical devices. It also demonstrates the workings of periscopes.
  • Tipping Point: Tipping Point demonstrates the principle of moments and how balanced and unbalanced forces affect structures. The exhibit carries a strong problem-solving element and shows how forces can cause an object to turn around a pivot—or a moment.
  • Light Table: Light Table explores many of the properties of light, including how light travels, reflection, refraction and how light can be separated into the spectrum of colours.
  • Wave Power: Wave Power illustrates energy transfer, as waves created at one end of the tank are used to generate electricity at the other. The exhibit also illustrates many properties of waves—frequency, amplitude and wavelength which can be applied to help the understanding of sound, light and other phenomena.
  • Big Machine: Big Machine encourages collaborative working, with visitors controlling the movement of grain by controlling a series of interconnected devices. This exhibit requires a high level of maintenance.
  • Sticky Liquids: This exhibit illustrates the principal of viscosity in liquids, enabling visitors to compare three liquids with different viscosities. We suggest Sticky Liquids is acquired by a Science Centre.
  • Thermal imaging camera: A camera sensitive to infra-red can detect thermal energy and the resulting images are displayed on a large screen. It allows visitors to ‘see’ thermal energy and its conduction—the movement of thermal energy from hot places to colder ones.
  • Magnetic Building: This exhibit gives users the opportunity to feel the force of the magnetic attraction while creating sculptures.
  • Water Rocket: Water Rocket uses water and air pumped into a plastic bottle to fire the bottle along a track. The exhibit illustrates Newton’s Third Law of Motion, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In this case the action is defined as the water forced out of the rocket’s nozzle. We suggest this exhibit is acquired by a Science Centre.

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.