What’s coming up at the Science and Industry Museum in Half Term?

Manchester Science and Industry Museum - image courtesy Science and Industry Museum

Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum has announced more than 30 activities for kids this Autumn half term including a People Powered Party.

The Museum has revealed more than 30 activities, workshops and shows running from Monday 21 October until Sunday 3 November with the People Powered Party the museum’s centrepiece activity.  Six dynamo bikes, suitable for kids, parents and carers of all ages to saddle up on and get spinning, provide the spark that starts the party as the Museum’s centrepiece activity brings nutrition and good health to the fore. As well as the electrifying bikes and disco dancing, the People Powered Party (Wednesday 23 October – Wednesday 30 October) also includes nutrition-based guessing games, trampette energy-burn competitions and healthy plate-building activities to inform and inspire.

The programme of events also features award-winning STEM-inspired juggling duo, Fererike Gerstner and Ben Nicholson presenting six free scientific theory shows with The Juggling Of Science where they use their ball skills to explain how atomic particles, covalent bonds and even hydrogen fuel cells work, while making young and old giggle and watch in wonder as science is unravelled before their eyes.

Amongst the many activities, for children aged 8+ more technical workshops include getting under the skin of a revolutionary, solar-powered Sun Lamp; for under-5s there’s the daily Mini Movers activities; and the Museum’s current major exhibition The Sun continues to look at Earth’s nearest star in detail.

So what’s on at the Science and Industry Museum over half-term?

People Powered Party

23 October – 30 October
Revolution Manchester
10am – 4.30pm
Drop in (Recommended for ages 5+)
Join in and get down with disco-themed activities that put into practice the principles of nutrition and gathering energy from food. Visitors will see and feel first-hand how energy is used in the body and how living creatures burn off this energy through exercise. Activities include:

  • People Powered Dancefloor: six dynamo bikes power music and lights to create a ‘people powered party’.
  • Move Your Food with Impact Gamers: a drop-in activity where visitors will use Wii style movement controllers to transport food from the plate, through the body and, inevitably, out of the body again!
  • ‘Mega Munch’ Food Energy Game: A ‘Top Trumps’ style activity where visitors can take a guess at the calorific content of a range of foods and compete against each other.
  • Healthy lifestyle Activities from A-life: a range of conversation based activities designed to get families talking about health and nutrition including ‘build a healthy plate’, trampette energy burn competitions and anatomy model building with more to be confirmed.

The Big Build
23 October – 30 October,
1830 Warehouse and 1830 Station
10am – 5pm
Drop-In/Managed Entry (See Staff For Information)
Get hands on, grab your bricks and get building together – simple! Derived from classic brick-building games we all know and love, groups can get together to build their masterpiece or individuals can get lost in their solo creations. Sections include:

  • Brick Pits from Bright Bricks: Two separate brick pits will be open for very young children, 3-5 years of age, and the over 5’s.
  • Junior STEM Brick Robots Workshop: Families work together to build moving robots using brick kits (suitable for ages 7+)
  • Brick Play Tables: purpose built play tables made out of Lego designed for informal building fun! (Suitable for ages 5+)
  • Drop-In Brick Building with STEM Challenges: Families will be able to build informally but also interact with STEM Ambassadors and complete challenges set by engineers

 21 October – 3 November, Crank-Bots
Revolution Manchester -11am – 4pm
Drop in (Recommended for ages 5+)
The robots take over! Artificial life forms are put in the hands of visitors as they are handed a mini-hand crank to turn muscle power into electricity, powering a robot under their control, getting it to draw a picture to take home.

21 – 26 October, Science Showdown: People Power
Revolution Manchester – 11am, 1pm and 3pm/27 – 30 October 11am and 3pm
Drop-In (Recommended for ages 5+)
Join this interactive show as explainers attempt to discover the best use of human energy. Battling it out to be crowned the winner visitors will discover who can make the most energy using just muscle power, look at how to use human waste to create fuel to power a car and even attempt to move something with the power of the human brain.  Who will win? The three different experiments and demonstrations will be:

  • Muscle Power: two volunteers grab hold of hand cranks linked up to a light display and battle it out and see who can make the most power.
  • Human Waste: things will get hot as explainers set fire to hydrogen bubbles, a chemical component of human waste, and show just how much energy is contained in what we flush or throw away.
  • Brain Power: Controlling machines using our brain, volunteer will get to take turns channeling the power of their minds, using a special headset to control a robotic arm.

19 October – 27 October, Pi: Platform for Investigation – Powered by Siemens
Conversation Space/Textiles Gallery – 10.30 – 15.30
Drop-In (Recommended for families with children 7+)
A series of events where families can discover together the cutting-edge research that’s happening right now and how it affects our lives. Meet real-life scientists and find out about the latest discoveries with a different theme and expert partner organisation each day. Those confirmed to date include:

    • Sun 19 Oct – Pi: making waves in space, Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics

Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics explains how waves help us to see into space with a galaxy of demonstrations and hands-on activities, including virtual reality to explore the night sky.

    • Sun 20 Oct – Pi: blood and bodies,University of Salford

An exploration of what visitor’s bodies look like under a microscope, having a go at a 3D anatomy puzzle, the ‘reaction test game’ and uncovering the mystery of a beating heart.

    • Mon 21 Oct – Pi: fashion, tech and body image, Manchester Metropolitan University

Unstitching the maths and technology behind the world of fashion, by turning 2D paper shapes into folded garments with colourful designs and learning more about sustainability and clothing waste.

    • Tue 22 Oct – Pi: data power, Royal Society/Manchester Metropolitan University/Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

A Royal Society takeover tells how different teams of scientists from Manchester Metropolitan University and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine use data to tackle some of the world’s challenges, from the spread of disease to the ageing process!

    • Wed 23 Oct – Pi: medicine – as unique as you are, QIAGEN, Apis and MMPathIC (University of Manchester)

Learn how medicine and DNA go hand in hand with puzzles, crafts and ‘magic’ tricks! Take an interactive lab tour, play a DNA code-breaking game – or why not try your hand at precision medicine ping-pong?

    • Thu 24 Oct – Pi: healthy heart, healthy brain, University of Salford/Alzheimer’s Research UK

The formula for why a healthy heart = a healthy brain gets explained by the University of Salford involving a game of brain health kerplunk, experiments in a mini lab and production of a take-home ‘brain hat’.

    • Fri 25 Oct – Living and travelling in a future Manchester, Greater Manchester Combined Authority

What will Manchester look like in the future? Find out how we’ll be living, travelling and working and meet the engineers who will be powering our future.

    • Sat 26 Oct – Pi: cybersecurity playground, Manchester Metropolitan University

Are the computers really taking over? A cybersecurity quiz, cracking codes to track down hackers and becoming a cyber spy with the help of Bluetooth all help visitors to find the answers.

    • Sun 27 Oct – Pi: sounds like science, University of Manchester

There’s more to sound than meets the ear – and eye! A tonoscope makes sound visible, making patterns in sand with visitors invited to recreate the patterns for themselves as well as making laser sounds and learning how to play a drinking straw!

28 October – 3 November, What’s inside a little sun lamp?
Conversation Space – 11:30 – 12:30 and 12:30 – 13:30
Book at front desk (Recommended for ages 8+)
A humble project to make a small, portable solar lamp for people without electricity in Ethiopia has changed over two million lives. Launched in 2012 by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen, Little Sun’s social business brings light to 1.1 billion people who have no electricity.

In this workshop, participants will meet the Little Sun team, learn all about solar power and get stuck in with creative activities, explore how solar power works by grabbing a screwdriver and dismantling a Little Sun lamp.

Pop-up Engineers
28 October – 1 November
Conversation Space, 10am – 5pm
Drop-In (Recommended for ages 5+)
All the fun of the fair in this village fete-themed activity as visitors meet STEM Ambassadors and draw on their knowledge by getting involved in the following activities:

      • Spin the Wheel: Spin the wheel of fortune to ask engineers a question and find out more about their job. Will the wheel land on a questions for the STEM Ambassadors, a questions for visitors or the ‘wildcard’ task.
      • Skills Jenga: Visitors are to be pitted in Jenga battle against museum engineers to find out how everyday skills are applied to engineering. Only the savviest engineers will stop the tower from falling over!
      • I-Spy: What are the engineered objects all around us, in the home, in school or other places we visit? Screens are everywhere and our kitchens wouldn’t work without technology. Experts lead this game of discovery.

Bright Sparks
23 October
Revolution Manchester
10am – 4pm
Drop-In (Recommended for ages 7+)
Find out more about how electricity works with visitors from Electricity Northwest. From building light-up circuits to understanding how electricity powers items in everyone’s homes, there will also be serious lessons on how to use electrical devices safely.

Waters Wacky Lab
24 and 26 October
Revolution Manchester
10.00 – 16.00
Drop-In (Recommended for ages 5+)
Science busking activities from Waters, a company that equips scientists with all manner of hi-tech solutions, based just outside Manchester. Fun activities that bring science to life include playing with quicksand, magnet experiments and building mega-structures!

The Juggling of Science – Workshops and Shows
27 October – 1 November
Shows, Revolution Manchester, 13.00
Workshops, Experiment, 11.00-12.00 and 15.30-16.30
Both drop-in
They won the Josh Award 2019 for their brilliant, juggling-based explanations of complex scientific theories and now Ben and Fred are visiting The Science and Industry Museum to perform and show visitors how they do it. Go deep into the way atoms work and atmospheric elements in a way that makes perfect sense to people of any age, all with the help of juggling and informative storytelling. Get involved in a workshop with Ben and Fred or simply catch one of their daily shows.

Mini Movers
Daily
Revolution Manchester Gallery
11.00 and 13.30
Drop-In (For ages 2 – 4 years)
For the youngest guests at the museum, here’s a starter guide to the ways that our bodies use the energy that we put in. Visitors and their parents and carers will join an Explainer to explore how our bodies can move like the giant machines as the group goes on to explore the Textiles Gallery.

Mark Kelly

Author: Mark Kelly

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