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Building Bridges: seeing the science in our lives

Recently we opened our doors to the friends and family of those taking part in our Building Bridges project. Anna Fisher describes what happened next.

On the evening of Wednesday 13 July, the Science Museum opened its doors to the friends and family of those taking part in our Building Bridges project.

For the project, we have been working with year 7 students, aged 11-12, in London and Reading, with the aim of igniting students’ curiosity in science and helping them explore the science that shapes their lives; in the classroom, at home and in their communities.

Making liquid nitrogen ice cream
Making liquid nitrogen ice cream. Credit: Science Museum

The Science Museum team spent the morning of the event cutting, sticking, printing and putting together the final touches to Twilight at the Science Museum. The after-hours event was similar to Lates events we run for adults, but this time young people could enjoy all of the extra things we had planned.

At 6.45pm, families streamed into the Museum dancing to the sounds from the live DJ, excited by the buzz and eager to get stuck in to activities such as tasting liquid nitrogen ice cream, building the tallest straw tower, exploring unusual materials with our Explainers, and screen printing their own tote bags with help from Screen Grab.

Students taking part in the after-hours event.
Students taking part in the after-hours event. Credit: Science Museum

The Building Bridges project works with teachers, schools and their students throughout the year, developing and testing activities that help students make links between the science they learn and the world they live in. The Twilight event was a way to thank them for all their hard work.

We even invited some special guests along to make the night more memorable; Science Dome pop-up planetarium, live drawing from illustrators, and research scientists from Imperial College London who enthralled visitors with tales of building body parts through tissue engineering and gave families the chance to have a go at being a biological engineer.

Screen printing tote bags. Credit: Science Museum.
Screen printing tote bags. Credit: Science Museum.

Families also experienced all the wonderful objects and fun activities you would expect from the Science Museum, from creative family workshops to science demonstrations and costumed characters sparking conversations about science.

Next September the Building Bridges project will be entering its final year. With the help of researchers from University College London the project is finding new ways to engage families in exploring science, by working closely with schools and teachers to create learning resources that encourage more students to see the value of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

We look forward to meeting next year’s participants and continuing our search for new ways to ignite curiosity in science!

If you are looking for exciting activities for your family in the Museum head to our events calendar to see what’s on. The Learning team run fun free science shows in the Museum every day of the week, with extra workshops, storytelling, drama characters and family-friendly tours at weekends and during school holidays.

Anna Fisher is the Learning Resources Project Coordinator for Building Bridges.