London’s Science Museum is celebrating the opening of its newest permanent exhibition – the Wonderlab. The new £6 million space in The Statoil Gallery which will act as a new interactive exhibit to encourage visitors to think like a scientist!
The Science Museum is the most visited museum in the UK. Last year it welcomed over 380,000 school children on group visits and the curators of the Wonderlab hope to allow for 200,000 school children to visit the gallery for free each year.
Wonderlab has seven themed zones and contains over 50 new exhibits. Center stage is a trio of friction slides and a ‘giant interactive orrery’ (aka a model of the solar system). The space includes two live demonstration areas and a ‘120-capacity show space which is inspired by the Royal Institution’s world-renowned Faraday Theatre’.
However, unlike other permanent galleries in the museum, the Wonderlab isn’t free. The Science Museum is charging a ‘modest’ fee of £8 per adult or £6 per child for a day pass.
While some may be could be put off by the fee (especially as the gallery is sponsored by multinational oil firm and a uranium enrichment company) the Science Museum insists that the admission charge is essential to ‘contribute to the cost of maintaining the high-quality visitor experience and operating the gallery’.
Unlike a turn on the friction slides, is this a slippery slope toward further loss of free museum space, or just the modern reality of running a museum?
Wonderlab will also be running events will be run daily
Live Wire! – Exploring circuits and how your home is powered (Ages 6-10).
Flash! Bang! Wallop! – All about the chemistry of explosions and fire (Ages 7-12).
The Rocket Show – How Newton’s laws of motion get rockets into space and back down again (Ages 9-14).
Under Pressure! – How forces make the seemingly impossible possible (would you sit on a chair of nails?) (Ages 7-12).
Shows are free of charge and last 20 minutes. However, a day pass is required for entry, £6 per child, £8 per adult. Annual passes can be purchased