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Science and Industry Museum

Electricity is a powerful force of nature, spectacular and thrilling. For centuries, humans battled to harness and control it. Today, electricity is central to our existence. We use it without thinking about it and only notice when it isn’t there.

Featuring stunning commissions from three contemporary artists, Electricity: The spark of life examines how scientists experimented with electricity to understand and control it, and how mass generation and distribution changed our lives.

Through iconic objects such as Edison lightbulbs and emerging smart technologies, we uncover how supply companies convinced us of electricity’s importance and explore electricity’s place in a low carbon future.

This is a Wellcome Collection exhibition in collaboration with Teylers Museum, Netherlands and the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester.

If you’re visiting with children, pick up a trail and guide yourself through the exhibition with games and challenges. Or visit Spark Space, our activity zone within the gallery.

Image copyright: The Museum of London 

Special events

Power Playground

Date: 20–21 October
Age: suitable for all ages

Make a solar-powered model car, build a fuel cell and use a drone to explore a virtual windfarm.


Date: 20–28 October
Age: suitable for all ages

Lose yourself in an immersive art installation as you play with sensors that transform flashes of light into a feast for the senses.


Date: 22 October – 15 February
Age: suitable for all ages

What would win in a fight: a bulb or a blender? Household items go to war in this electrifying, audience-powered family friendly show.


Date: Wednesday 24 October
Age: Over 18s only

Get switched on to our super-charged adults-only evening of electrifying fun. Play, experiment and enjoy a drink or two in the museum after hours. Booking essential; further information will be available soon.


Date: Saturday 1 December
Age: Recommended for ages 8 and olderDelve into the wonderful world of local scientist James Joule, who experimented with engines, heat and electricity.


We are looking for Visitor Engagement Volunteers to help with Electricity: The spark of life. 

For more information and to apply for this role, please visit the Science Museum Group recruitment site.

Exhibition partners

Major sponsor

Shell logo


Event partner