Science Museum, July London 2013

by Emma Bumpus on August 1, 2013

“Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”- Albert Einstein

A 32° C summer with kids in tow provides the perfect careertraveller opportunity to investigate the roots of Albert Einstein; discovering science, technology and energy far beyond the walls of the classroom!

One step inside this historical and palatial tardis initiates a first class educational journey with displays of raw intelligence, care, art and innovation, which instantaneously connects us to the world around us. Neon lights, antique objects, and textural space are the perfect contemporary learning environment for us to explore, imagine, experience and question evolution.

Amidst a labyrinth of illuminated galleries and labs we become immersed in a technological rainforest of genetics, medicine, materials, and engineering, all within a 4-storey hub of interactive fun that would make Queen Victoria and Prince Albert quiver with pride.

With roots steeping back about a century and a half we establish the origins of this former institution, originally named the Crystal Palace, is the product of royal passion for the arts, science and technology. Marvellous!

3D glasses intact, we begin a kaleidoscopic family trail of interesting objects that take us on an educational journey of space, climate change, health and the planet. Making The Modern World Gallery, careertraveller favourite, is a lively and eclectic academy of transport, depicting industrialisation between 1750-present day. Planes, carriages, engines and iconic objects including Henry Ford’s Model T automobile and Robert Stephenson’s original 1829 Rocket Locomotive steam train bewitch the children, who unravel the meaning of “energy”.

Brimming with knowledge and vigour we continue our trail downstairs past the popcorn bar to the IMAX Cinema where explosive fun, entertainment and science awaits in the shape of The Energy Show. Trepidation takes hold of us as we enter a “Dr Who-like” eccentric auditorium, whose stage full of odd and quirky props, including Van de Graff generator, plasma ball, fluorescent tube and trebuchet ignite the senses. Fantastic!

With a cast of 3 actors, we experience live energy and discover science with the help of i-nstein, the virtual lab assistant. Clever! Unpredictable and breathtakingly captivating, futuristic science students Phil and Annabella, with their mutant- like assistant Bernard, perform a series of pulsating controlled experiments that define the physical world.

Methane gas, oxygen and heat create a fireball of methane bubbles, introducing us to heat and light energy, which amongst the on stage banter, informs the children that cows produce 15% of methane gas in the atmosphere! From hot to cold we observe a cauldron of liquid nitrogen freeze and preserve flowers, whilst Bernard generates electricity with a dynamo bike in their race against time to demonstrate knowledge of energy! Electrifying intelligent and unique, this is an enlightening mix of art and science at its best.

Web Lab ramps up the excitement bar as the kids discover energy via Google, whom as a supporter of the museum, captivate the children with Chrome Experiments that demonstrate dynamism of the Internet.

A brief pit stop in The Energy Cafe provides sustenance for the afternoon 3D Spec-tacular drop in where the children examine the world of 3 Dimension, with of course a pair of “make your own glasses.” Impressed with every nook and cranny this museum utilises to inspire and educate, we acknowledge it warrants another visit.

Without reticence we sample the visionary Launchpad, a gallery of over 50 interactive exhibits indulges the children’s curiosity, wiring circuit boards and burglar alarms to making sound patterns in a biosphere of physics!

A final perusal of the Who Am I? exhibition in the Wellcome Wing delivers an artistic display and study of DNA, gender and working of the brain, that interactively takes on yet another journey of self discovery!

Science will never be the same!

A special thanks to the Science Museum for an amazing insight to “Energy”.

To book tickets for The Energy Show click on Science Museum Live -available until 31 August.

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