Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery at the Science Museum

Jan 16, 2017 by

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Wonderlab is a spacious, fabulously interactive gallery created to be an absolute delight for children and adults of all ages.  The gallery is a giant, light-filled space, with soaring ceilings,  where children gain hands-on experiences learning the principles behind electricity, forces, light, sound, magnets and more.

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Admission to the main part of the museum remains free, but the Wonderlab has an admission fee.  A day pass for an adult is £8, £6 for a child and £22.50 for a family; an annual pass that you are free to use as many times as you like it £14 for an adult, £10 for a child and £39 for a family.  I begrudgingly got suckered into buying the annual pass and have no regrets.  The Wonderlab is worth every cent and we have returned many times since and the kids are still enjoying it.

Firstly, they monitor the doors so the kids enter and leave with their parents.  You are free to mind the younger kids, sit and drink coffee with your mates, answer work emails and let the kids go off and explore on their own; they are perfectly safe while being widely engaged.

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What make this so special?  Where to start?  There is the chemistry bar where “Explainers” run dry ice experiments for children to walk up and take part in. They can hold dry ice bubbles, stir dry ice chunks to make enormous clouds … all that you can image.  This is part of an entire gallery dedicated to interactive dry-ice exhibits that made my son reenact the pensieve scene from Harry Potter.

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This is just he beginning.  There are massive slides and chairs that you crank yourself high off the floor in the forces section.  There is a giant magnet log that is addictively fun, a tinker lab where you make your own geometric stations (and some little boys sit there IMG_1073for hours).  Children create circuits, play with light and colour, convex mirrors … it is great fun, and incredibly educational.  All of Key Stage 2 science is explained here and much of Key Stage 3.

 

There are two theatres that showcase different science demonstrations, all included in the cost of entry.

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