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Wonderlab at the National Science & Media Museum

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Wonderlab at the National Science and Media Museum

One of the places I took Lizzie to during our week together was the new Wonderlab gallery at the National Science and Media Museum, in Bradford. This is the first time that the museum has had a gallery that focuses primarily on science, rather than media. The museum rebranded from the National Media Museum earlier this year, and was previously known as the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television.

The gallery opened just in time for Easter, and seems to have been a big success. Visitors have been required to obtain timed tickets for it, either in advance or on arrival, to manage the numbers. It occupies one of the museum’s larger gallery spaces, with plenty of hands-on activities.

Whilst Lizzie is perhaps a bit young to learn about how things work, there was plenty of visual and aural stimulation in the gallery. The centrepiece is a projected model of the sun, with a video playing every few minutes. There’s also a mirror maze, and an UV light side-room.

A studio inside¬†Wonderlab includes a live show that runs four times a day at weekends (and presumably every day during school holidays). It’s more suited for the over 5s, so we didn’t go in.

Like the rest of the museum, Wonderlab is free despite the requirement to book tickets. Expect to spend about an hour there, on top of any time spent in the rest of the museum. More new galleries are due to open soon, as part of the museum’s re-alignment towards science. The museum is also hosting the revived Bradford Science Festival this summer, in collaboration with my employer, the University of Bradford.

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