Turbinia, the fastest ship of its time built on Tyneside, is the inspiration behind one of the activities taking place at the Great North Museum: Hancock this Saturday.Newcastle University’s Heritage and Museum Studies students have been working together with the museum to create a series of family learning activities as part of National Science and Engineering Week.
The Turbinia Crew will be on hand from 11am until 3.30pm to help make simple elastic band powered boats. The ‘boat-builders’ will be able to experiment with their boats, exploring and testing basic scientific principles.
Families can also discover more about propulsion and Tyneside innovators by taking part in the Turbinia Trail, which will take them through some of the galleries to find propelling facts.
Sir Charles Parsons, a Tyneside innovator, launched Turbinia in 1894, after trials with different propellers to achieve higher speeds. Turbinia, now in the Discovery Museum, was capable of speeds of 34½ knots (40 mph). This was revolutionary and Turbinia’s legacy is the speed of ships today.
There are also a range of other activities planned, under the heading of ‘Great North Museum Explorers’. These activities are designed to encourage families to think about the Museum’s collections in a different way and are all on the theme of animal adaptation and habitat. They will take place in the galleries themselves.
The activities planned include:
- An object handling table made up of a selection from the Museum’s taxidermy collection, to get children thinking about the different animals and inspire them to do their own investigations
- A craft activity for children to make thaumatropes (spinning image discs) by pairing up animals with their habitats
- A ‘Jumping Challenge’ where families work together to see how far they can jump in relation to some of nature’s biggest leapers
The children can then use the knowledge they have gained from the activities to take part in a ‘Design an Alien’ competition to win family tickets to the Planetarium.
The activities are free and will take place at the Great North Museum between 11am to 3pm on 22 March 2014.
published on: 19 March 2014