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Make marvellous machines this spring holidays at the Science and Industry Museum

One of the region's top family attractions is inviting visitors to spring into action as it hosts three weeks of curious contraptions, dynamic demonstrations and immersive experiences.

From 23 March to 14 April, the Science and Industry Museum is inviting inventors and tinkerers of all ages to explore the world of magnificent machines during a jam-packed half term. Activities include creating a giant marble run, experiencing the thunderous sounds of Greater Manchester's historic mill machinery and venturing on a mission to explore mechanics around the museum. World-premiere exhibition, Operation Ouch! Food, Poo and You, will also be taking visitors on a digestive journey and ultimate gaming experience, while Power Up will be open every day with five decades of games to explore.  

Visitors can turbo-charge their tinkering by experimenting with a giant upcycled marble run created by Wild Rumpus. Made from reclaimed, reused and recycled materials, this curious contraption will challenge visitors to combine their creativity with the forces of gravity and friction to build their own circuits and mechanisms.  

Demonstrations of the museum's historic textiles machinery will bring to life Manchester's industrial past and the sights and sounds of the city’s historic textiles mills. Visitors will learn what life was like for Manchester’s factory workers and the roles that people of all ages played in the production of cotton. Cost of Cotton, a new demonstration developed with students from Manchester College, will give visitors the chance to reflect on how the innovation and profits that powered early industrial Manchester went hand in hand with exploitation on a local and a global scale.

Young inventors can also embark on a mission to mend a special machine in the museum as they join the Explainers to search for pieces to help fix an engine. A new Reading Corner will also provide a cosy space to curl up with books inspired by mighty machines and the people who create and maintain them.

Machines are at the heart of many of the stories told at the Science and Industry Museum.
It is home to Power Hall, one of the most beloved industrial heritage galleries in the country, which houses one of the UK's largest collections of working steam engines, the majority of which were built right here in Greater Manchester. It has been temporarily closed since 2019 to allow for crucial restoration works but is due to reopen in Spring 2025, with a lively, reimagined gallery where visitors can explore engineering innovations through working machines and the stories of the people who developed and worked with them.

Discover a different kind of machine with a ticket to Power Up, the ultimate gaming experience where visitors can explore how far computer games have come in the past five decades. From nostalgic favourites like Pong and Pac-Man to the latest virtual reality missions, there's something for all the family. For the first time, visitors will be able to unlock a new level of play, with annual passes now available to purchase, meaning players can perfect their high scores with visits for a whole year.  

Gloriously gross exhibition, Operation Ouch! Food, Poo and You, will take visitors on a digestive journey from tongue to bum. The rib-tickling exhibition offers the unique opportunity to explore the science of the human body from the inside out. It investigates the job of each digestive organ in keeping us healthy, breaking the taboo around poo through super-sized experiments, playful adventure and hands-on learning.

On Wednesday 3 April, the exhibition's Principal Sponsor, Andrex, will pop-up at the museum for a special Get Curious session exploring how toilet paper is made. Visitors will have the chance to discover the secrets of this everyday object and try out some experiments of their own.

Dani Bryers, Schools and Families Producer said:

'From the museum’s historic textiles machinery to modern-day computer games and even home-made contraptions, machines are everywhere! This spring holiday we're inviting everyone to come and discover how marvellous machines really are, and that we can all have a go at making them.  

'Work as a team to plot a route on the biggest marble run you've ever seen, created by Wild Rumpus and engineered by you, or go on a hunt around the museum to help our Explainers fix their curious contraption. There's so much going on and we can't wait to welcome along inventors of the future for three weeks of family fun.'

Free museum tickets, plus charged-for tickets for Operation Ouch! Food, Poo and You and Power Up can be booked now.

Details of all the activities taking place at the museum over the spring holidays, including further information on Power Up annual passes, can also be found on the website (https://www.scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk/whats-on/spring-holiday-2024)

The museum is currently undergoing a multi-million-pound restoration programme. Spaces including the Power Hall and 1830 Station are currently closed to the public but there's still lots to enjoy. Visitors can see science in action in the museum's interactive gallery, Experiment, meet mighty machines in the Textiles Gallery and discover world changing ideas in Revolution Manchester. Incredible objects from Professor Stephen Hawking's office are also on display in its highlights display.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact Communications Officer, Catherine Tindsley, on catherine.tindsley@scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk 

Notes to editors

About the Science and Industry Museum

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

The museum is currently undergoing a multi-million-pound regeneration project that will see brand new spaces opened and significant improvements made to some of its best-loved galleries.  

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.