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Science made fun
Science Museum (London)
Member Name: devongirlie
Science Museum (London)
Advantages: The hands on gallerys for kids
Disadvantages: Its big!
The Science Museum in London can be found in Exhibition Road, South Kensington. It's a fair walk from the tube station, but if you follow the signs through the underpass and remember to take the correct exit, it's much more straight forward.
Entry to the Science Museum is free and they are open from 10.00-18.00 every day. From the outside it looks nothing special, just another grey stone building, which appart from the Science Museum flags, would blend in anonymously with all the other bulidng in the street. Once inside the museum you will appreciate the vastness of the building and the stark change from Old Victorian (or possibly earlier, I don't know) to Hi-tech modern. Everything is white and airy.
There are six and half floors to the Science Museum which stretch back and back, appearing to go on forever. In the Basement is the Garden, an interactive play area for the under 6s. This is great as they get little waterproof aprons to wear and get to run around exploring all sort of sciencey things. My favourite is the hanging fiber-optic light cables.
On the Ground floor you can explore the development of travel through the last 100 years, and this includes seeing Stephenson's Rocket, and some Space vehicles that look like they were made in a Blue Peter studio. On other floors there are exhibitions on Time, Flight, Telecommunications, Ships and Medicine, to name but a few. One of my favourites is the Medicine gallery on the floor five, which is the top floor and the one I have counted as a half, because its really quite small. The exhibition takes you through the history of medicine development and is really quite gorey in places.
The other big hands on gallery for kids is Launch Pad on floor three. It is aimed at children 8-14 years old. This is very often booked out to schools during the week, but is open to the public as well. It has over 50 hands on things for them to do including a shadow room, investigations into building (towers, brigdes, overhangs), sailing using the power of the wind, electricity and water powered rockets. Kids love it, the hard part is getting them out again.
Most of the exhibits in the museum are the same from year to year, but a few are changed on a regular basis. I had fun in the Dan Dare Exhibition recently, looking at things like old black and white TVs, twin-tub washing machines, record players and other such things that I remember, but the children I was with thought were ancient and in some cases barely recognisable.
If you are going to pay a visit to the museum, you need to allow at least a day to do it justice. Plus, although its free, you might want to stock up on money to spend in the shop on the ground floor. Its ace.
Summary: Worth going to get kids interested in science
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