£2m children’s science gallery set for Thinktank ‘MiniBrum’ attraction to explore engineering and technology
ANEW £2 million children’s attraction is to be created at Millennium Point after thanks to a major funding boost.
‘MiniBrum’ will be permanently housed in the Thinktank science museum at the city centre venue in Curzon Street.
The interactive gallery will deliver science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education through a child-sized, mini-city in which children and families can explore, play and learn.
Its aim is to encourage children to use maths and science to explain the world around them and help them develop interest in STEM subjects.
The project has been given a £1.4 million grant from the Inspiring Science Fund, a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and science charity Wellcome.
It adds to £75,000 in funding the project received from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and charity the Wolfson Foundation in January.
Using interactive exhibits and replica objects, the gallery will introduce children to the idea of Birmingham as a city where they live, how the city works and their place within it. It will be created through co-production with families, children, specialists and educators, alongside expert advisory panels, and there will also be a classroom within the space to increase the capacity for school groups to visit Thinktank.
The gallery, which will open in February 2019, will quadruple Thinktank’s dedicated area for under-eights. The attraction will replace the existing under-eights gallery and is part of a wider masterplan to develop the museum throughout the next ten years.
Lauren Deere, museum manager at Thinktank, said: “We are thrilled to have secured this funding settlement which will help to realise our ambitious plans for a new interactive gallery at Thinktank. By working directly with children, we aim to create a truly unique and engaging space that places joint emphasis on learning through STEM and children’s wellbeing.
“It is important for us to plan for the future of the museum to ensure we are offering the best experience to visitors while reaching a growing diverse audience in the city so young people have the opportunity to be inspired by STEM subjects and have fun.”
Other donors include The Rowlands Trust, The 29th May Charitable Trust, City of Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Development Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Grimmitt Trust and DCMS Wolfson.
> An artist’s impression of the ‘MiniBrum’ children’s science exhibition at Thinktank