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Science and Industry Museum puts the wheels in motion for a fun-filled, transport-themed half term

It's full steam ahead this half term as one of Manchester's best-loved museums puts the wheels in motion for a science-filled week of discovery and play, exploring Manchester's incredible contributions to the past and future of transport.

From Saturday 28 May until Sunday 5 June, The Science and Industry Museum is taking visitors on a journey through the city's exciting history of transport, celebrating the creative brains who have been at the forefront of kinetic innovation and propelling the next generation of creators towards a greener future. 

Come and take a closer look at all the ways Manchester has kept the world moving, get hands on by creating dynamic gadgets and witness science in action during interactive demonstrations. As the site of the first inter-city passenger railway, visitors can also journey through the museum's rich legacy of transport innovation.

Budding engineers can reach new heights by designing, making and racing their own dynamic vehicles. Taking inspiration from Stephenson's Rocket, an early locomotive that made a famous voyage along the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, tinkerers can create moving machines while also thinking about ways to make them environmentally sustainable.

The museum's team of expert Explainers will also be on hand to ignite curiosity and reveal wonder. Join them on journeys through air, on land and even in outer space during short, engaging demonstrations designed to unravel scientific secrets.

Rebecca Gazey-McGaughey, Schools and Families Manager, said:

'We can't wait to get the fun rolling this half term at the Science and Industry Museum. Ever wondered how something as big as a plane can fly, how an engine powers a car, or even what would happen if you didn't wear a suit in space? Come and join us to find out and get stuck into science with our programme of interactive activities. 

'Transport is key to so many of the exciting stories we tell here at the museum, as well as to Manchester's history as an industrial powerhouse. This makes it the perfect theme for our fun half term activities, which will inspire the next generation of creative minds to think big.'

The theme of transport continues at the museum through the whimsical world of marvellous machinery displayed in A Quiet Afternoon in the Cloud Cuckoo Valley. This intricate moving sculpture depicts the story of a train journey through the fictional Cloud Cuckoo Valley. It is part of the largest artwork ever created by artist, cartoonist and engineer Rowland Emett, the brain responsible for many impressive and imaginative machines in his lifetime, including those in the 1968 film, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Young visitors can get stuck into story time with the museum's team of Explainers during an interactive reading of Patricia Cleveland-Peck's family-favourite, You Can’t Take an Elephant on A Bus. Under 5s can also borrow one of the Construction Packs containing a high-vis jacket, hard hat and wooden tools, and 'work' their way around the museum taking inspiration from the vast construction works happening across the site. 

Be transported to the Brazilian Rainforest through a powerful new photography exhibition, Amazônia, which celebrates the country's indigenous peoples and spectacular landscapes. Or take a journey back through time by exploring a display marking 100 years of the BBC in Manchester, where the city's history as a centre of innovation in broadcasting is examined, from the early radio experiments in the 1920s right up to the revolutionary ideas of today. 

The museum's family-favourite Experiment gallery has also been revamped to include a whole host of new interactives. See science brought to life with a heat vision thermal camera, get creative with magnetic art and throw some shapes with the new shadow wall. 

As well as new experiences, there will be a whole host of old favourites ready to explore. In the Revolution Manchester gallery, the city's rich legacy of world-changing innovations is on display, including one of the first Rolls-Royce motorcars thought to have been driven by Henry Royce himself. The story of how cotton transformed Manchester into an industrial powerhouse can also be explored in the Textiles Gallery

The Science and Industry Museum is currently on a journey of its own, as it undergoes a multi-million-pound regeneration project that will see brand new spaces opened and significant improvements made to some of its best-loved galleries. Although this means some areas, including the Power Hall, will remain temporarily closed, there is still plenty to do, see and enjoy as visitors explore 250 years of innovations and ideas that change the world. Visitors can discover more about the works in the museum’s Conversation Space, where they will also have the opportunity to consider the impacts of the Industrial Revolution on their lives today and share their vision of the future for this ever-changing city of ideas. 

Free tickets to the museum are available now and can be booked in advance through its website ( or by calling 033 0058 0058. Entry to Amazônia is free but tickets do need to be booked in addition to museum entry.


Notes to editors

Additional information about transport innovation at the Science and Industry Museum

Manchester's developments in technology propelled the world into the industrial revolution almost 200 years ago and its engineers and manufacturers have continued to sit at the forefront of transport technologies ever since. With a renewed focus on meeting the city region's target of being carbon neutral by 2038, the importance of innovation in this field is still alive in the city today. The museum is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of creative thinkers to meet future needs by designing a programme that supports the development of science, engineering, technology and maths (STEM) skills within the region and beyond.


The Science and Industry Museum tells the story of where science met industry and the modern world began. Manchester was one of the first global industrial cities, and its epic rise, decline and resurrection has been echoed in countless other cities around the world. The museum's mission is to inspire all its visitors, including future scientists and inventors, with the story of how ideas can change the world, from the industrial revolution to today and beyond.  

The Science and Industry Museum is on the site of Liverpool Road Station, which was the Manchester terminus of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the world's first purpose-built passenger railway. Among its internationally significant buildings are the world's oldest surviving passenger railway station and the world's first railway goods warehouse. In total, there are two Grade I listed buildings and four Grade II listed buildings on the site. 

The Science and Industry Museum is part of the Science Museum Group, a family of museums which also includes the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York and Shildon; and the Science and Media Museum in Bradford. The Science Museum Group is devoted to the history and contemporary practice of science, medicine, technology, industry and media. With five million visitors each year and an unrivalled collection, it is the most significant group of museums of science and innovation worldwide.

Part of the Science Museum Group