This multi-sensory gallery encourages excitement and curiosity about patterns in the world around us for Reception and KS1 (ages 4-7).
It contains a range of hands-on exhibits which allow children to explore patterns in different ways, developing skills such as:
- Recognising different types of pattern, including simple symmetry.
- Exploring how patterns change.
- Creating 2D and 3D forms and patterns.
- Observing, predicting, experimenting, problem-solving and classifying.
It also shows that patterns are just not visual—there are sound patterns, time patterns, movement patterns and texture patterns too.
Groups visiting the gallery are welcomed by our friendly Explainers, who inspire children to question and engage with the exhibits.
Groups need to pre-book a timeslot to ensure admission on weekdays during term time.
Sessions last 40 minutes and capacity is limited so larger groups may need to divide into smaller subgroups booked into different timeslots.
The gallery is a shared with other visitors and your booking does not give exclusive use of the space.
Visiting at the weekend and in the holidays
There is no pre-booking for groups to visit Pattern Pod at the weekend or in the holidays. If the museum is busy you may need to queue to enter the gallery.
Exhibits in Pattern Pod include:
- Touch Patterns—explore fun and familiar texture patterns along the wall.
- Print Patterns—follow the baby, dog, duck and robot trails.
- Spiral and Hexagon Pattern Areas—see and touch hexagons and spirals, two patterns that frequently occur in nature.
- Bodily Patterns—turn a dial to change the body's activity, e.g. running, eating, sleeping, and listen to the resulting changes in body sounds, including heart, breathing and intestine sounds!
- Tiling Patterns—fit together magnetic kite and dart shapes to form different tessellated patterns.
- Movement Patterns—body movements are captured and re-projected in a colourful display in a specially enclosed area.
- Symmetry Patterns—draw on the touch screen and the computer automatically produces a symmetrical image.
- Ripple Patterns—create movement over our virtual pool to explore water ripples without getting your feet wet.
- Night and Day Patterns—an animated everyday scene that passes from day to night for a visual exploration of time patterns.
- Growing Patterns—plant "seeds" with different shapes pictured on them to "grow" striking fractal patterns.