£2m chil­dren’s science gallery set for Think­tank ‘MiniBrum’ at­trac­tion to ex­plore en­gi­neer­ing and tech­nol­ogy

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Tam­lyn Jones Busi­ness Correspondent

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

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