inGenious competition – bringing STEM to life

A new competition has been launched to inspire the most creative teaching minds to translate their passion for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects into exciting classroom experiences.

The inGenious competition – co-ordinated in the UK by Futurelab at NFER – calls for all teachers in Europe to help their pupils better see the link between their passions, the set of skills which make them possible, and the education paths leading to those skills.

Teachers are invited to unleash their creativity to bring real-life STEM into learning in the next school year; through thought-provoking lessons and activities, industry visits, or establishing larger partnerships with local stakeholders such as SMEs, industry experts, authorities and associations. The aim is to help expose pupils to STEM workplace scenarios, break down common stereotypes, and create a pool of teaching resources focused on STEM careers to share with colleagues all over Europe.

The inGenious competition is open to all teachers at primary and secondary school level. Applications are open until 28 February 2014, and 30 finalists will be invited to attend the inGenious European Award Ceremony in Brussels later in the year.

For more information and to register your interest, click here.


New Expert Body on Computing Education Established

The UK Forum for Computing Education (UKForCE) will provide an independent and unified voice to advise UK government and other agencies on issues relating to computing education.

UKForCE is led by the Royal Academy of Engineering and will provide advice on the curriculum, qualifications and assessment and the supply and training of computing teachers.

The expert body has been established in response to the recommendation from the Royal Society – Royal Academy of Engineering report Shutdown or restart: the way forward for computing in UK schools published in 2012, which had as a key recommendation the formation of a UK forum for the UK’s computing bodies.

UKForCE brings together representatives from across the communities of education, computer science, digital media, IT, engineering and telecommunications. The body will be independent of government and awarding organisations and will work towards improving computing education across all education sectors of the UK.

For more information, click here.


Inspiring Maths Educators

1. Marcus’ Marvellous Mathemagicians

This is another initiative from the brilliant Oxford Professor.  He has groups of enthusiastic maths students geared up to go out to provide shows mainly at educational institutes.  At the moment these are provided free with expenses being remunerated.

Another of Marcus du Sautoy ideas was Maths in the City.  I think this is no longer being supported, however their is a wealth of ideas on the website to support the idea of maths int he city.

2.  Inspire Your Teenagers with a Maths Show

Maths Inspiration is one of the largest maths enrichment programmes for teenagers in the UK. It’s a chance for Year 11s and sixth formers to experience the UK’s most inspiring maths speakers live, in big venues, presenting mathematics in the context of exciting, real-world situations. Our shows are exceptional value for money, with ticket prices in autumn 2013 and spring 2014 set at no more than £7 (which is just £5.80 if you reclaim VAT).

3.Maths Road shows

The milenium project at Cambridge produced not only nrich but also a series of roadshows for schools.  These are not free but are well regarded.

4. Techniquest Maths Kit

Available for hire from techniquest Wales

5. The mathematical Museum Germany


6. Maths Museum New York

If you cannot get there, take a look at the pictures for inspiration.

7.Stem with robots

This is a fantastic way to explore logic, maths and technology in a safe workshop environment.  Gary Redrup is a recognised leader in LEGO robots for learning and his courses are  extremely well attended.

8. Maths Midway Tours

This is a festival maths ideas which can be rolled out to a large audience.  I particularly like the hamronograph which takes the sound wave pattern and converts it into a drawing ( I think )

9. Maths in a Suitcase

This is run by Selwyn van Zeller who guarantees to give the students a completely engaged experience of Maths.

10. The Experimentarium: Mathematics Denmark

This is a science explore centre with some useful maths exhibitions.

11. Exploratorium    US

This is San Fransico based exploration centre with  perhaps the biggest range of maths equipment on display.

12. Maths Mondays

This site contains some great art and maths projects from the New York Museum of Maths

13. Mathcraft

Making craft from maths.  The biggest collection on the web spanning origami to Minecraft.

14. Andre Jefferies

Great magic shoes to inspire the wonder in maths

15. Ben Sparks

Ben is an experienced teacher who gives a range of great talks around maths.


Stunning clowning and balloons with Maths at the very heart of it.  These workshops are bookable all round the UK.

17. Creative Learning

Juliet Robertson is one of the most active practitioners of  outdoor learning.  She is passionate about Maths and has many brilliant examples on her website


Inspiring Educators

1. Marcus’ Marvellous Mathemagicians

This is another initiative from the brilliant Oxford Professor.  He has groups of enthusiastic maths students geared up to go out to provide shows mainly at educational institutes.  At the moment these are provided free with expenses being remunerated.

Another of Marcus du Sautoy ideas was Maths in the City.  I think this is no longer being supported, however their is a wealth of ideas on the website to support the idea of maths int he city.


Inspire Your Teenagers with a Maths Show

Maths Inspiration is one of the largest maths enrichment programmes for teenagers in the UK. It’s a chance for Year 11s and sixth formers to experience the UK’s most inspiring maths speakers live, in big venues, presenting mathematics in the context of exciting, real-world situations. Our shows are exceptional value for money, with ticket prices in autumn 2013 and spring 2014 set at no more than £7 (which is just £5.80 if you reclaim VAT).

3.Maths Road shows

The milenium project at Cambridge produced not only nrich but also a series of roadshows for schools.  These are not free but are well regarded.

4. Techniquest Maths Kit available for hire from techniquest Wales

5. The mathematical Museum in Germany

6. Maths Museum New York

If you cannot get there, take a look at the pictures for inspiration.


This is a fantastic way to explore logic, maths and technology in a safe workshop environment.  Gary Redrup is a recognised leader in LEGO robots for learning and his courses are  extremely well attended.

8. Maths Midway Tours

This is a festival maths ideas which can be rolled out to a large audience.  I particularly like the hamronograph which takes the sound wave pattern and converts it into a drawing ( I think )


This is run by Selwyn van Zeller who guarantees to give the students a completely engaged experience of Maths.

10. The Experimentarium: Mathematics Denmark

This is a science explore centre with some useful maths exhibitions.

11.    US

This is San Fransico based exploration centre with the perhaps the biggest range of maths equipment on display

12. Maths Mondays –

This site contains some great art and maths projects from the New York Museum of Maths

13. Mathcraft

Making craft from maths.  The biggest collection on the web spanning origami to Minecraft.

14. Andre Jefferies

Great magic shoes to inspire the wonder in maths


Ben is an experienced teacher who gives a range of great talks around maths.


Stunning clowning and balloons with Maths at the very heart of it.  These workshops are bookable all round the UK.


Exploring Series with LEGO

LEGO is ideally suited for series as you can see the relation to the times table very easily.

The series can then be represented more imaginatively by building models based on the series.  Problems like two light house with different sequences can be modelled and the overlapping interval visually found


Contacts for Science Centres

Science Centre contacts in uk

Armagh Planetarium

Planetarium and Ireland’s leading centre for astronomy and space science education. They provide a wealth of fun astronomy related activities such as rocket launching and the portable ‘Stardome Planetarium’.

Themes: Space.
Type: Science Centre. 10 exhibits. Size: S. Opened: 1968.
Open: Open all year. Ages: All ages.

The Planetarium, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DB MAP
Tel: 028 3752 3689   Fax: 028 3752 6187


Explore-At-Bristol is one of the UK’s most exciting hands-on science centres! Discover interactive exhibits and special exhibitions, take in a Planetarium show or join our Live Science team for fun experiments and activities.

Themes: Science, Natural history.
Type: Science Centre. 150+ exhibits. Exhibition area: 1500+ m2. Size: L. Opened: Jun-00.
Open: Daily 10.00 – 17.00 during weekdays in term time. Closes 18.00 at weekends and local school holidays. Ages: All ages.

At-Bristol , Anchor Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5DB MAP
Tel: 0845 345 1235   Fax: 0117 915 7200

Bolton Science and Technology Centre

Bolton TIC is the UK’s first Junior Incubator. Lying somewhere between a school, a university research lab, a training centre and a factory, it is a place where young people can make their technical dreams come true, by designing and making just about anything, with equipment beyond the reach of schools.

Themes: Technology
Type: Other. Size: M. Opened: Oct 2006.
Open: School bookings only Ages: 9 – 19

Bolton Science and Technology Centre, Minerva Rd, Farnworth, Bolton, BL4 0HA MAP
Tel: 01204 372 204   Fax: 01204 372 213


Camera Obscura & World of Illusions

Where seeing is not believing

Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 2ND
T: 0131 226 3709  F: 0131 225 4239 Email:                Website:

Catalyst Science Discovery Centre

Catalyst makes science exciting and accessible to people of all ages and abilities. Explore the award winning, hands-on galleries, visit the stunning interactive theatre, experience fun activities in the lab or travel 30 metres above the River Mersey in the external glass lift to our glass walled Observatory Gallery.

Themes: Science, Industry, Environment, Careers, Chemical History Collection
Type: Science Centre. 100 exhibits. Exhibition area: 1000 m2. Size: M. Opened: 1989.
Open: Open all year Tues – Sun. Open Mondays during school holidays only. Telephone to check opening times. Ages: All ages.

Catalyst, Mersey Road, Widnes, WA8 0DF MAP
Tel: 0151 420 1121   Fax: 0151 495 2030

Centre for Alternative Technology

CAT aims to inspire, inform and enable people to explore more sustainable ways of living. CAT also runs practical residential courses all year round, hosts school visits and provides a free information service.

Themes: Sustainable living, alternative technology and organic gardening
Type: Other centre. Size: M.
Open: Open all year round. Ages: All ages.

Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth, Powys, Wales, SY20 9AZ MAP
Tel: 0845 330 8373 (local rate from the UK) or 01654 705950   Fax: 01654 702 782

Centre for Life

The Centre for Life is a vibrant and exciting place where science is explored and debated. From exciting hands-on exhibits, family activities to lively lectures and serious debates on contemporary science issues, Life offers something for all ages and interests. As a regional focus for science communication, the Centre encourages curiosity about science by questioning and uncovering new things about life and the world around us.

Themes: Exploring the life sciences.
Type: Science Centre. 50+ exhibits. Size: L. Opened: 2000.
Open: Mon – Sat 10-6, Sun 11-6. Ages: All ages.

The International Centre for Life, Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4EP MAP
Tel: 0191 243 8210   Fax: 0191 243 8201

The Centre of the Cell

Opens March 2008, website launched March 2007. Centre of the Cell is a unique interactive multimedia experience embedded within a working research laboratory. The central themes are cell biology, disease and biomedical research.

Themes: Cells, biology
Type: Discovery Centre. Size: S. Opened: 2008.
Open: Opens March 2008 Ages: All ages. Schools 9-16

Centre of the Cell, Queen Mary, University of London, 64 Turner Street, London, E1 2AB MAP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 2562

Eden Project

Eden explores the relationship between people, plants and natural resources. In a worked-out china clay pit up to 55 metre high covered biomes have been built exhibiting plants from two climates: the rainforest and the warm temperate/ Mediterranean together with outdoor displays from the cool temperate zones including UK.

Themes: Plants. Experiential learning.
Type: Animals / Plants. Exhibition area: 125000 m2. Size: L. Opened: Mar-01.
Open: Daily except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Ages: All ages.

The Eden Project, Bodelva, St Austell, Cornwall, PL24 2SG MAP
Tel: 01726 811911   Fax: 01726 811912

Edinburgh International Science Festival

The Edinburgh International Science Festival is Europe’s largest public celebration of science and technology with around 180 workshops, shows, exhibitions, tours, talks and hands-on activities for young and old. It attracts around 120,000 visits over 11 days at Easter-time.

Themes: Science & technology.
Type: Festival. Approx. 180 exhibits. Size: L. Opened: 1989.
Open: Various. Ages: All ages.

Edinburgh International Science Festival, 4 Gayfield Place Lane, Edinburgh, EH1 3NZ MAP
Tel: 0131 558 7666   Fax: 0131 557 9177

Eureka! The National Children’s Museum

Interactive centre for young children.

Themes: Science, music, the body, the environment
Type: Childrens’ Museum. 200+ exhibits. Exhibition area: 4,500 m2. Size: L. Opened: 1992.
Open: Daily: 10.00 – 17.00. Closed: 24th – 26th December. Ages: birth to 12 years.

Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, Discovery Road, Halifax, HX1 2NE MAP
Tel: 01422 330 069   Fax: 01422 398490

Glasgow Science Centre

Scotland’s biggest science centre. Includes 4 floors of hands-on exhibits, IMAX and Space Theatre.

Themes: Science.
Type: Science Centre. Size: L. Opened: Mar-01.
Open: All year. Tuesday to Friday 9-6pm Ages: All ages.

Glasgow Science Centre, 50 Pacific Quay, Glasgow, G51 1EA MAP
Tel: 0141 420 5000   Fax: 0141 420 5011

Horniman Museum and Gardens

As well as being home to the most comprehensive musical instrument collection in Britain, the museum has an internationally renowned anthropological collection and a popular Natural History Gallery.

Themes: Provides an window in to the natural and cultural worlds. Galleries: Natural History Gallery, Music Gallery, African Worlds Gallery, Centenary Gallery.
Type: Museum. 5,000+ exhibits. Exhibition area: 1500 m2. Size: M.
Open: Daily, 10.30 – 17.30. Closed 24 – 26 Decemeber. Ages: All ages.

The Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London, SE23 3PQ MAP
Tel: 020 8699 1872   Fax: 020 8291 5506

Inspire Discovery Centre

Norwich’s hands-on science centre.

Themes: Science.
Type: Science Centre. 40 exhibits. Exhibition area: 300 m2. Size: S. Opened: 1995.
Open: Mon-Fri 10.00-4.00. Sat Sun 11.00-5.00 Ages: All ages.

Science Projects, St Michael’s Church, Coslany Street, Norwich, NR3 3DT MAP
Tel: 01603 612612   Fax: 01603 616721


INTECH is an interactive hands on science centre and planetarium. 100 exhibits all designed and built in-house to support the National Curriculum. The new planetarium seats 176 and is a fully digital state of the art installation.

Themes: Science and technology.
Type: Science Centre. 2275 exhibits. Exhibition area: 2275 m2. Size: L. Opened: 1989.
Open: 7 days a week, all year. Ages: All ages.

INTECH, Hampshire Technology Centre Trust, Telegraph Way, Morn Hill, Winchester, SO21 1HXMAP
Tel: 01962 891907   Fax: 01962 868524

Jodrell Bank Science Centre

Jodrell Bank is going through an exciting period of change with a new visitor centre development and is due to re open in the  summer 2011. During the interim period, visitors will be welcomed at a temporary reception area located in the Environmental Discovery Centre. There will be limited facilities and no café. Visitors will have access to the Gardens and Telescope Observation Pathway. Opening times are 11am – 4pm and admission is free. For all development updates please visit our website.

Jodrell Bank, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 9DL MAP
Tel: 01477 572 621

Kelham Island Museum (SCOPE)

Kelham Island Museum traces `The Story of Sheffield’ and includes a science discovery centre.

Themes: Light, Sound, Forces, Materials and Magnets.
Type: Museum. 100+ exhibits. Exhibition area: 600 m2. Size: M. Opened: 1990.
Open: Mon-Thurs 10.00 – 16.00; Sunday 11.00 – 16.45 Ages: All ages.

Kelham Island Museum, Alma Street, Sheffield, S3 8RY MAP
Tel: 0114 272 2106   Fax: 0114 275 7847

The Living Rainforest

The Living Rainforest promotes a sustainable future through education and research on humanity and the world’s rainforests. The charity runs a rainforest-inspired visitor centre in Berkshire, featuring plants and animals from this threatened tropical ecosystem.

Themes: Plants, animals, ecosystems, human needs, economics and cultures.
Type: Animals / Plants. Exhibition area: 20000 m2. Size: M. Opened: 2000.
Open: 10.00 – 5.15 every day Ages: All ages

The Living Rainforest, Hampstead Norreys, Newbury, Berkshire, RG18 0TN MAP
Tel: 01635 202 444   Fax: 01635 202 440

The Look Out Discovery Centre

The Look Out Discovery Centre has over 80 hands-on science exhibits. Launch a hot air balloon, climb through our giant mole hole or play a tune on our stringless harp!

Themes: Science and nature.
Type: Other centre. Over 80 exhibits. Exhibition area: 730 m2. Size: M. Opened: 1996.
Open: Daily 10.00 – 17.00. Closed Dec 24th – 26th. Ages: All ages.

The Look Out Discovery Centre, Nine Mile Ride, Bracknell, Berks, RG12 7QW MAP
Tel: 01344 354 400   Fax: 01344 354 422

The Magic Mathworks Travelling Circus

A touring maths lab that demonstrates and explores a multisensory approach to learning maths. On the road since 1989. Tours nationally and internationally. 3 supervised exhibitions.

Themes: Maths.
Type: Travelling or outreach. 30, 60 or 120  exhibits. Exhibition area: 100+ m2.
Open: As decided by host. Ages: All

The Magic Mathworks Travelling Circus, Old Coach House, Penypwllau, Holywell, Flintshire, CH8 8HB MAP
Tel: 01352 713 014   Fax: 0870 0521 997


Magna is set in Templeborough Steelworks in Rotherham. Inside you can explore the four elements of fire, air, earth and water and have fun firing giant water canons, launching rockets, spinning in a gyroscopic chair, learning to fly, exploding rock faces and working real JCB’s.

Type: Science Centre. 120+ exhibits. Size: L. Opened: Apr-01.
Open: Daily. 10.00 – 17.00 Ages: All ages.

Magna, Sheffield Road, Templeborough, Rotherham, S60 1DX MAP
Tel: 01709 720002   Fax: 01709 820092

The Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester (MOSI)

Based in the buildings of the world’s oldest passenger railway station, thirteen action-packed galleries bring the past to life with working industrial machinery, scientific achievement, live demonstrations and hands-on exhibits.

Themes: Nationally recognised collections of industrial heritage and scientific achievement.
Type: Museum. Xperiment 60 + Galleries 33 exhibits. Exhibition area: 600 m2. Size: L. Opened: 1988.
Open: Daily: 10.00 – 17.00. Closed 24th – 26th December. Ages: Suitable for all ages/families.

The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester, M3 4FP MAP
Tel: 0161 832 2244   Fax: 0161 833 1471

The National Marine Aquarium

The National Marine Aquarium is a charity dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of the oceans, the life they contain and the way that humans affect them. It is Britain?s largest aquarium containing Europe?s deepest tank.

Themes: Aquatic Life and Human Interactions with the Oceans.
Type: Discovery Centre. 52 exhibits. Exhibition area: 5500 m2. Size: L. Opened: Jul-02.
Open: 10.00 – 17.00, winter and 10.00 – 18.00, summer. Ages: All ages

The National Marine Aquarium, The Ropewalk, Coxside, Plymouth, PL4 0LF MAP
Tel: 01752 600 301   Fax: 01752 600 593

National Maritime Museum

The world’s largest maritime museum, set in the beautiful and historic surroundings of Greenwich.

Themes: Sea, ships, time and stars
Type: Museum. Size: L.
Open: Every day 10am – 5pm, summer 10am – 6pm Ages: All ages

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NF MAP
Tel: 020 8858 4422

National Museum of Scotland

NMS holds a wealth of treasures built up over several centuries, encompassing archaeology, ethnology, decorative and applied arts, social history, science and technology, and the natural world.

Themes: Natural History, Science and Technology, Art and Design, Ethnography, Ancient Cultures and World Cultures.
Type: Museum. 12,000 exhibits. Exhibition area: 15,000 m2. Size: L.
Open: Mon – Sat, 10.00 – 17.00. Tues: Late night opening until 20.00. Sun: Open from 12.00. Ages: All.

National Museums of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF MAP
Tel: 0131 247 4441   Fax: 0131 247 4311

National Museum Wales

Comprises: National Museum Cardiff St Fagans: National History Museum Big Pit: National Coal Museum National Roman Legion Museum National Slate Museum National Waterfront Museum National Wool Museum

Type: Museum. Size: L.

National Museum Wales, CF10 3NP MAP


National Museums Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool is a group of eight museums and galleries dedicated to the promotion and enjoyment of art, history and science. The venues are The Conservation Centre, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Sudley House, Museum of Liverpool Life, HM Customs & Excise Museum and The Walker.

Themes: Highlights include Liverpool Museum’s award-winning Natural History Centre, Planetarium and Space Gallery.
Type: Museum. Size: L.
Open: 10.00 – 17.00. Ages: All ages

National Museums Liverpool, 127 Dale Street, Liverpool, L69 3LA MAP
Tel: 0151 207 0001   Fax: 0151 478 4770

National Space Centre

The National Space Centre is dedicated to space science and astronomy. Includes Space Theatre and a Challenger Learning Centre.

Themes: Space science and astronomy.
Type: Science Centre. Size: L. Opened: Jun-01.
Open: Term time: Tue – Sun 10am to 5pm (last entry 3.30pm). Local school holidays: Mon- Sun 10am to 5pm (last entry 3.30pm). Closed 25th-26th Dec and 1st Jan. Ages: All ages.

National Space Centre, Exploration Drive, Leicester, LE4 5NS. MAP
Tel: 0116 261 0261   Fax: 0116 258 2100

The Natural History Museum

Dedicated to our planet’s life story, the Museum takes visitors on an unforgettable journey into Earth’s past, present and future. Discover more about the Museum’s world leading scientific research in free daily events and behind the scenes tours in the Darwin Centre.

Themes: Life and Earth Galleries, including Dinosaurs, Mammals, Creepy Crawlies and Earth’s Treasury.
Type: Museum. Size: L. Opened: The Darwin Centre opened in 2002..
Open: Mon – Sat: 10.00 – 17.50. Sun: From 11.00. Ages: All ages

The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD MAP
Tel: 020 7942 5000   Fax: 020 7942 5430

  1. Natural History Museum

Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5555

learning team

0207 7942 6031

The Observatory Science Centre (Herstmonceux)

Hands-on science centre set amongst the domes of the former Royal Observatory.

Themes: Science + space / astronomy.
Type: Science Centre. 100+ exhibits. Size: M. Opened: 1995.
Open: Daily from Feb to end Nov. Weekends only in Jan and Dec. Ages: All ages.

Science Projects, Herstmonceux Castle, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 1RN MAP
Tel: 01323 832731   Fax: 01323 832741

Our Dynamic Earth

A fantastic journey of discovery through the story of our planet. Face boiling lava, fly over glaciers and dive deep beneath the ocean in the experience of a lifetime.

Themes: The physical and biological processes that formed and continue to shape our dynamic planet.
Type: Other centre. 12 galleries exhibits. Size: L. Opened: Jul-99.
Open: Opening times vary according to season – telephone before visiting. Ages: All ages.

Our Dynamic Earth, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS MAP
Tel: 0131 550 7800   Fax: 0131 550 7801

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

The RBGE is dedicated to explaining and exploring the world of plants. Education is for all ages and stages, from casual visitors to botany students, and from children to senior citizens. Admission is free.

Themes: Plants, horticulture, botany, education, exhibitions, events.
Type: Science Centre. Over 6% of all known plants (over 13,000 species) exhibits. Size: L.
Open: Daily from 10.00, closing 16.00 – 19.00 depending on season. Closed 25th December & 1st January. Ages: All ages.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, National Botanic Gardens of Scotland, 20a Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR MAP
Tel: 0131 552 7171   Fax: 0131 248 2901

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The Gardens cover 300 acres and are home to themed gardens and plant collections, as well as a number of historic and ‘working’ buildings. The living collections are a resource for botanical science world-wide.

Themes: Plants from around the globe; science and horticulture; conservation of plants and habitats.
Type: Animals/Plants. 1000s exhibits. Exhibition area: 121,410 m2. Size: XL.
Open: Open all year except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Ages: All ages.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB MAP
Tel: +44 (0)20 8332 5000   Fax: +44 (0)20 8332 5197

Royal Observatory, Edinburgh

The Royal Observatory Visitor Centre aims to introduce the general public and visiting groups to the fascinating world of modern astronomy and space research.

Themes: Astronomy and Space.
Type: Other centre. Size: S. Opened: 1981.
Open: Open for pre-booked groups and special events only. Ages: All ages.

Royal Observatory Visitor Centre, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, EH9 3HJ MAP
Tel: 0131 668 8404   Fax: 0131 668 8407

Satrosphere Science Centre

Satrosphere is Scotland?s original science centre. We encourage visitors to get ?hands on? with science through exploration and discovery. Fun-packed experiments, live shows and spectacular demonstrations bring science to life.

Themes: All sciences. Themes change regularly.
Type: Science Centre. 50+ exhibits. Exhibition area: 700 m2. Size: S. Opened: 1990.
Open: 10.00 – 17.00 daily. Ages: All ages.

Satrosphere Science Centre, The Tramsheds, 179 Constitution Street, Aberdeen, AB24 5TUMAP
Tel: 01224 640340   Fax: 01224 622211

Science Alive

A hands-on interactive learning gallery

Themes: Imagination, invention, ingenuity – a series of exhibitions regularly changed and updated
Type: Science Centre. Four zones: People Pod; Playground; Workshop; Talking Point; includes digital studio and presentation theatre pit exhibits. Exhibition area: Small (800 sq m.) m2. Size: S. Opened: 23rd June 2010.
Open: 10am-6pm Mon-Fri + evening events. 10 am – 4 pm Weekends Ages: All ages

Science Alive, Harlow Leisurezone, Second Avenue, Harlow, CM20 3DT MAP
Tel: 01279 311499

Science Made Simple

A science outreach company that takes science and engineering-based shows into schools all across the UK. We also provide professional development courses for staff working in museums and science centres.

Themes: science performance, physics, engineering, theatre
Type: Travelling or outreach. n/a exhibits. Exhibition area: n/a m2. Size: S. Opened: n./a.
Open: n/a Ages: From 5 years upwards

Cardiff University, Queens Buildings, 14-17 The Parade, Cardiff, CF24 3AA MAP
Tel: 02920 876 884   Fax: 02920 874 056

Science Museum

Where else can you take a trip to Mars, age 30 years in 30 seconds or participate in a controversial scientific debate? At the Science Museum you can do all this and much, much more.

Themes: Science, technology and medicine.
Type: Museum. Thousands. exhibits. Size: L. Opened: Wellcome Wing, 2000..
Open: Daily 10.00 – 18.00. Closed 24th – 26th December. Ages: All ages.

Science Museum (National Museum of Science & Industry), Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DDMAP
Tel: 0870 870 4868   Fax: 020 7942 4447

Science Oxford Live

A cultural centre for science with a hands on activity centre where children can experience science first hand and a regular series of evening events for adults, and family events during the holidays. Available for pre-booked groups such as schools, brownies and scouts, playschemes and nurseries.

Themes: Lights, Sounds, Forces, Magnets and Problem Solving
Type: Science Centre. over 40 exhibits. Exhibition area: 100 m2. Size: S. Opened: 1990.
Open: Public: weekends and local school hols:10.00 -17.00. Open to pre-booked groups, e.g. schools in term-time as well. Ages: All ages (most appeal 4-12 yrs).

Science Oxford Live, Science Oxford Live, 1-5 London Place, Oxford, OX4 1BD MAP
Tel: 01865 728953   Fax: 01865 791 854

Science Projects

Travelling hands-on exhibitions for science centres, museums, festivals or events. Current exhibitions on tour: Risk; The Senses: Medieval Machines; Puzzles and Illusions; Good vibrationsm – the science of sound; Feel the Force and Light and Optics.

Themes: Science
Type: Travelling or outreach. 10 to 18 per exhibition exhibits. Exhibition area: Per exhibition, 100 m2. Size: S. Opened: 1988.
Open: Varies according to host org. Ages: All ages.

Science Projects, Exploring Science Travelling Exhibitions, 20 St James Street, London, W6 9RWMAP
Tel: 020 8741 2305/6   Fax: 020 8741 2307

The Scottish Seabird Centre

Visitors control interactive cameras, sited on islands in the Firth of Forth to explore the fascinating world of seabirds, with thousands of puffins and gannets, and marine wildlife including seals and dolphins. The centre is now operating wildlife boat safaris around the islands of the Firth of Forth throughout the summer period.

Themes: Seabirds. and the marine environment.
Type: Discovery Centre. 4 interactive cameras and film theatre. exhibits. Exhibition area: 340 m2. Size: S. Opened: 2000.
Open: All year. Ages: All ages.

The Scottish Seabird Centre, The Harbour, North Berwick, EH39 4SS MAP
Tel: 01620 890202   Fax: 01620 890222

Sellafield Visitor Centre

With interactive exhibits, exciting science workshops, plenty of hands – on fun and Europe’s first Immersion Cinema, Sellafield Visitors is the educational and entertaining day out for budding scientists of all ages.

Themes: Energy Production, Nuclear Power, the Environment and Science.
Type: Other centre. 30+ exhibits. Size: S. Opened: 1989.
Open: Open all year. Ages: All ages.

Sellafield Visitor Centre, Seascale, Cumbria, CA20 1PG MAP
Tel: 019467 27027   Fax: 019467 27021

Sensation Dundee

Interactive Science Centre in Dundee. Also includes a 3D cinema, soft play area, internet caf? and shop. Roborealm, will give visitors the chance to interact with robots.

Themes: Exhibits are based on the senses and the biology of humans, animals and plants.
Type: Science Centre. 60+ exhibits. Exhibition area: 1000 m2. Size: M. Opened: 2000.
Open: Open 7 days from 10am Ages: All ages.

Sensation, Greenmarket, Dundee, DD1 4QB MAP
Tel: 01382 228800   Fax: 01382 868 602

Snibston Discovery Park (Extra Ordinary Gallery)

Snibston is Leicestershire’s all-weather science and industry museum, where visitors can get their hands on over 90 interactives indoors and outdoors.

Themes: Biology, Energy, Weather, Light, Forces, Engineering, Mining, Textiles, Outdoor science playground and water play area
Type: Science Centre. 70+ exhibits. Size: M. Opened: 1992.
Open: Daily: 10.00 -17.00. Opening times change mid-October – please check times before visiting. Ages: All ages.

Snibston Discovery Park, Ashby Road, Coalville, Leicestershire, LE67 3LN MAP
Tel: 01530 278 444   Fax: 01530 813 301


Over 150 hands-on exhibits and fascinating shows in the Theatre and Planetarium make Techniquest a unique experience for visitors.

Themes: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space, Electricity, Energy, Environment, Forces, Light and Colour, Maths, Ourselves, Music.
Type: Science Centre. 100+ exhibits. Exhibition area: 1500 m2. Size: L. Opened: 1986.
Open: Open every day, excepting Christmas. Ages: Any age.

Techniquest, Stuart Street, Cardiff, CF10 5BW MAP
Tel: 02920 475 475   Fax: 02920 482 517

Techniquest Glyndwr

Techniquest Glyndwr (TQG) is the Science Discovery Centre situated on the campus of Glyndwr University in Wrexham, North East Wales. The centre comprises an exhibition of hands-on exhibits and a programme of theatre, workshop and public lecture presentations on-site and as outreach for schools, leisure visitors and community and special interest groups. It operates as a partnership project between Glyndwr University, Welsh Assembly Government and Techniquest Cardiff.

Themes: Science
Type: Science Centre. 60 exhibits. Size: M. Opened: 2004.
Open: See web site Ages: All ages

Techniquest and NEWI, Plas Coch, Mold Road, Wrexham, LL11 2AW MAP
Tel: 01978 293400 Fax: 01978 293 470



Thinktank offers ten galleries of historical artefacts, modern interactives and futuristic facts. Visitors can explore everything from space travel and steam engines to intestines and taste buds. Includes digital planetarium and IMAX cinema.

Themes: Transport, Industrial Revolution, local history, modern medicine, contemporary and future science, space
Type: Science Centre. Approx 2,600 exhibits. Exhibition area: 7,500 m2. Size: L. Opened: Sep-01.
Open: Daily 10.00 – 17.00. (Last entry 16.00) Ages: All ages.

Thinktank, Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham, B4 7XG MAP
Tel: 0121 202 2222   Fax: 0121 202 2280

Tyne and Wear Museums (Discovery Museum)

Discovery is the largest free museum experience in the North East. Full of displays and interactives that bring science, technology and history to life.

Themes: Science, History, Fashion, Military, Maritime.
Type: Museum. 60+ exhibits. Size: L.
Open: Mon – Sat :10.00 – 17.00, Sun:14.00 – 17.00 Ages: All ages (aim 3 – 16yrs).

Tyne and Wear Museums, Blandford Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4JA MAP
Tel: 0191 232 6789   Fax: 0191 230 2614

W5, whowhatwherewhenwhy

W5 is Ireland’s only purpose-built science discovery centre. Located at Odyssey, Northern Ireland’s Millennium Landmark. 140 interactive exhibits in five exhibition areas,

Themes: START (for children 3- 8), GO, SEE and DO.
Type: Science Centre. 140 exhibits. Exhibition area: 3,600 m2. Size: M. Opened: Spring 2001.
Open: Mon – Sat: 10.00 – 18.00, Sun: from 12.00. School term times only: closes 17.00, Mon – Thurs. Last admission 1 hours before closing on all days. Ages: 3+

whowhatwherewhenwhy – W5, W5 at Odyssey, 2 Queen’s Quay, Belfast, BT3 9QQ MAP
Tel: 028 9046 7700   Fax: 028 9046 7707

Woolsthorpe Manor, National Trust

Interactive science centre at the birthplace and childhood home of Sir Isaac Newton, with historic manor house, orchards and farm buildings.

Themes: The work of Sir Isaac Newton
Type: Science Centre. 14 exhibits. Exhibition area: 50 m2. Size: M.
Open: Open 13.00 – 17.00, weekends in March and October and at the same times Wed – Sun from April to September. Ages: Suitable for all ages

National Trust Science Discovery Centre, Woolsthorpe Manor, 23 Newton Way, Woolsthorpe by Colsterworth, nr Grantham, NG33 5NR MAP
Tel: 01476 860338   Fax: 01476 862626

  1. Whinchester Science Centre

  1. Science and Technology Facilities Council
    Polaris House
    North Star Avenue
    SN2 1SZTel: +44 (0)1793 442 000
    Email: (general enquiries)

  1. 3.      Horimun Museum

You can also contact us by telephone – call 020 8699 1872.

Or you can write to us. Our address is: Horniman Museum and Gardens, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London, SE23 3PQ

  1. Centre of the Cell Address
    Blizard Institute
    4 Newark Street
    E1 2AT

Office Address
Centre of the Cell
Office 223, Garrod Building
Turner Street
E1 2AD

For booking enquiries please contact Colette Ferguson on:
Tel: 0207 882 2562

For enquiries about our Outreach Programme please or call 020 7882 2562

If you are a teacher or a community group leader in Tower Hamlets please contact Umme Aysha to discuss our Learning Programme for Tower Hamlets. You can also contact Aysha if you would like to speak in Bengali about your visit:
Tel: 0207 882 2476

For enquiries about our Learning Programme please contact Katie Chambers:
Tel: 0207 882 2565

For all funding enquiries please contact Professor Fran Balkwill:
Tel: 0207 882 3587

For general information and enquiries:

  1. Dom McDonald
    Head of Public Engagement & Business Networks

01865 810000


  1. 4.      Techniquest, Cardiff


029 2047 5475, by email at or by post at Techniquest, Stuart Street, Cardiff, CF10 5BW.

Contact BIG

admin @

BIG Administrator
20 Waungron Road

Telephone (During School Hours Only please)

07759 706117

Maths Magic Circus

For all other purposes please contact
Paul Stephenson
Operations Director and Company Secretary


Company details
The Magic Mathworks Travelling Circus is a company limited by guarantee.
Company no. 2722822.
Registered Charity no. 1013110.

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Contacts For Hands on Maths

This section is aimed at people with an interest in the learning of mathematics who want to see manipulatives and interactives, if used at all, used well, typically:

  • Parents or grandparents looking for toys with some value
  • Teachers wondering whether (or not) to buy apparatus for their classrooms
  • Museum professionals planning a hands-on maths gallery or a series of hands-on maths workshops (but open to the suggestion that they might present the subject ‘mathematics’ in other ways)

The subject of this website is hands-on maths. But teachers of mathematics at all levels start with the question: ‘How can I present [probability]?’, not ‘How can I use [interlocking cubes] to present [probability]?’. Hence the inclusion of categories coded P in the following list where the emphasis is on the mathematics, however presented, not the apparatus. (See also the section Your maths lab on this site.)


Under some of these headings we attempt world coverage. Under others we only try to cover the British scene. The rest are represented by single exemplars or some general remark and are omitted from the database following. But we hope to have instanced enough kinds of activity that you, in your own country, will seek something comparable there. Database headings are CAPITALISED.

The categories are not independent. A regional science festival invariably involves the local science centre and university.

A word about the exhibitions: these are specifically hands-on and explicitly mathematics. Not included therefore are mathematics exhibitions without a hands-on component and those containing interactives not primarily designed to exhibit a mathematical concept. (Mathematics is present in all hands-on science exhibitions – but implicitly.)

Apparatus supplier

A number are listed under the relevant station in the section Magic Manual on this site.
Almost all suppliers have a website and an Internet search will tell you what’s available and at what price.
Don’t forget e-Bay.



Hands-on maths publisher: exemplar

Tarquin Publications ( specialises in hands-on maths books.

Since they are invariably well illustrated, hands-on maths books from publishers outside the English-speaking world may be accessible to you even if you lack the relevant language. There are many in German, for example.

Maths club, school: remark

All over the world keen teachers run out-of-hours clubs where the children do hands-on work for which there isn’t otherwise the space and time. Some of what they do finds its way on to the school’s own website, or into a YouTube clip.
Please bring to our attention anything you think would be of interest to someone visiting our site.

Maths club, Internet: exemplar (P)

Arguably the world’s most important Internet maths club for schoolchildren is that based in Cambridge and falling under the Millennium Mathematics Project:


Select your own language from the drop-down menu. But be aware of the limitations of Google Translate.

Maths magazine, printed: exemplar, U.K. (P)

All professional associations publish journals for their membership. The Mathematical Association also issues a magazine for children:Symmetry+. The general readership is best served by mathematics articles in magazines devoted to science in general and the puzzle pages of newspapers.

Maths magazine, Internet: exemplars (P)

Aimed at sixth-formers and undergraduates, is another initiative of the Millennium Mathematics Project:

Plus (

The following comes from Queen Mary College, University of London:

cs4fn (computer science for fun). Hands-on interest centres on the ‘magic’ topics (

Maths trail: exemplars, U.K.

The ultimate in ‘hands-on’: when you embark on a maths trail, the multisensory environment is total.

The ‘city’ there is the City of London, but M3 (see on) do the same for Oxford.




Science festival: exemplar, U.K. (P)

If you don’t know what your regional science festival offers and when it takes place, simply google suitable words.
A good programme will be subject-indexed and you can look for ‘maths’. If the local science centre is involved, there is likely to be a hands-on component. The biggest festivals, like the Edinburgh International, are active round the year, not just through the particular calendar weeks thus dedicated. They may have commercial sponsors and other ways to generate income, but here is one supported by the Higher Education Funding Council under a scheme to attract more school leavers into higher education:

NRICH Headquarters:
Centre for Mathematical Sciences
University of Cambridge
Wilberforce Road

For primary enquiries:
For secondary enquiries:
For post-16 enquiries:
For STEM enquiries:
For postcards:
For everything else:

For general and events-related enquiries:
Kerstin Enright on 01223 766839 or Margaret Bull on 01223 764777

BTIN (Bath Taps INto Science):

University outreach scheme: exemplar, U.K. (P)

For background to the above scheme go to:



A continuous spectrum runs from a ‘workshop’, where all the participants carry out practical activities, through a ‘lecture with audience participation’, where a small number help the presenter with a demonstration, to a ‘performance’. We explain above why we include sessions where no apparatus is used at all. All the people listed are there because they address school or lay adult audiences.

Other commitments allowing, these people generally tour within their own country but accept invitations from abroad.

Presenters who work with children almost invariably work also with their parents and teachers, and with the general public.

We list individuals but add the codes beneath to show that they are part of a community. Think of the names therefore as nodes in a network. Contact any one and you will be referred to most of the others (and people not on our list who should be). We are equally sure that this will be the case whichever country you live in. The codes only identify the groups/projects/institutions they belong to formally: if you like, they show their nearest neighbours in the net, (and, even in the field of the public understanding of mathematics, one person may belong to several groups beyond those listed here).

We hope you want to experience these workshops and lectures live. But many of these people also contribute to radio and T.V. series, issue video footage via YouTube or their own sites and write books.

MB Maths Busking
MI Maths Inspiration
M3 Marcus’ Marvellous Mathemagicians
MMP Millennium Mathematics Project
G Gresham College Professor
L LMS Holgate Lecturer
R Royal Institution Professor
U University (named), project (named)

Links within each of the above groups will also take you to the member. Where there is no link below, take that route.

For the Royal Institution mathematics masterclasses, given at centres all over the U.K. at both primary and secondary level, go and under ‘Education’ click on ‘maths’.

The disyllable ‘magic’ occurs in many entries. Physical apparatus may be used to support your intuitions – or confound them. Either way, it should make you think. If we guarantee anything, it is that these people will do that.

Exhibition for Hire Location e-mail Parent organisation / notes
Geometry Playground + Geometry Garden USA Exploratorium
Measure Island Australia Questacon
Techniquest Maths Kit Wales contact@
Hands-on Maths Centre Location e-mail Parent organisation / notes
Mathematikum Giessen, Germany albrecht.beutelspacher@
Museum of Mathematics New York
Roadshow Location e-mail Parent organisation / notes
FunMaths Roadshow Tours U.K. marchant@
Hands-on Maths Roadshow Tours UK mmp@
Millennium Mathematics Project
Math Midway Tours USA
Mathematik zum Anfassen Tours internationally Mathematikum
Maths in a Suitcase Tours U.K. svanzeller@
Symmetry, Mirror Games Tours Portugal atractor@
The Atractor Group
Tenix Questacon Maths Squad Tours Australia Questacon
The Magic Mathworks Travelling Circus Tours internationally stephenson@
There are three main collections of apparatus stationed respectively at: Böhmerstraße 66, Essen, Germany; Lifetime Lab, Cork, Eire; George Eliot School, Nuneaton
Science Centre Gallery Location e-mail Parent organisation / notes
Deutsches Museum Mathematisches Kabinett Munich, Germany
Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin:
Spectrum (stations within)
Berlin, Germany
Science Park Galilei (stations within)
Vantaa, Finland
Math Space Vienna, Austria
Palais de la découverte Paris, France
Symmetry, Mirror Games Porto, Portugal
Technorama MatheMagie Winterthur, Switzerland
The Experimentarium: Mathematics Hellerup, Denmark
The Exploratorium (stations within) San Francisco, U.S.A
Science Centre Programme Location e-mail Parent organisation / notes
Life Newcastle, England In-house: Mathstastic
Math Space Vienna, Austria info@
Techniquest In-house: Mathemagic
TQG Outreach: The Cirque du Maths
Websites for builders of mathematical models Location e-mail Parent organisation / notes
Dave Mitchell
John Sharp
Math Monday
The Bridges Organisation Go to ‘Galleries’ for something to aspire to.
The Geometry Garret
Workshop Location e-mail Parent organisation / notes
Alan Davies U (Hertfordshire)
Andrew Jeffrey
Ben Sparks MB, MI
Caoline Ainslie (‘Bubblz’)
Caroline Series U (Warwick)
Chris Budd L, MI, R, U (Bath)
Claire Ellis MI
Colin Wright MI
Colva Roney-Dougal U (St Andrews)
Cyril Isenberg C.Isenberg@
U (Kent)
David Abrahams MB, U (Manchester)
David Acheson MI, U (Oxford)
David Schley MB, Institute of Animal Health
David Spiegelhalter MI, MMP, U (Cambridge)
Dorothy Buck U (Imperial)
Doug Williams (Mathematics Task Centre Project)
Ed McCann MI
Helen Byrne U (Oxford)
Helen Pilcher MI
Hilary Costello MI, U (Cambridge)
Hilary Weller U (Reading)
Hugh Hunt MI, U (Cambridge)
Ian Stewart U (Warwick)
James Blowey L, U (Durham)
James Grime MMP, U (Cambridge)
Jane Wright U (Bath)
John Barrow G, U (Cambridge)
John Roberts MI, U (Manchester)
Julia Collins U (Edinburgh)
Kate Bellingham MI
Katie Chicot MI, U (Open)
Katie Steckles MB
Kevin Houston L, U (Leeds)
Kjartan Poskitt (‘Murderous Maths’)
Marcus du Sautoy M3 (founder), U (Oxford)
Mark Biddiss (‘The Mathemagical Workshop’)
Mark Lewney MI
Matt Parker (‘Stand-up Maths’) MB, MI, U (QMC)
Mike Fletcher MI
Mike Spivey L, U (Oxford)
Paul Shepherd MI, U (Bath)
Peter McOwan U (QMC)
Reidun Twarock U (York)
Richard Lissamann MI
Rob Eastaway MI (founder)
Sara Santos MB
Simon Singh MI
Steve Humble (‘Dr Maths’) MB
Steve Mould MI
Sue Rowe MI
Thomas Woolley M3
Tom Korner G, U (Oxford)
Tom Noddy

Help us to extend and update this list (last revised 1st March, 2012)
Tell us about an exhibition you have visited and enjoyed which is not here. Let us know of any inaccuracies and outdated entries by e-mailing us at the address below.
Full contact details can be found on our contact page.


Watch out for Lego Conference in 2014

LEGO® Engineering Conference – 24 September 2013, 9am – 5.30pm


Incorporating LEGO® Robotics in Computing, Science, Maths, and D&T educationlego image

LEGO® Education and the Department of Computer Science at Warwick are partnering to present a LEGO®Engineering Conference. Student engagement is vital for every successful educator and getting students excited about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is more important than ever if the UK is going to remain competitive in this digital age.

That’s why LEGO Education has teamed up with the Department of Computer Science at Warwick to present a LEGO Engineering Conference featuring Chris Rogers.


Chris is a highly respected and internationally recognised expert in teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, STEM, through hands-on, problem-solving challenges. He has many years experience working with educators to inspire youngsters to understand the value of STEM, using resources such as LEGO MINDSTORMS Education, a unique robotics solution designed for classrooms.

The day will include presentations and hands-on workshops on the use of LEGO MINDSTORMS Education in the classroom, including

  • A first look at the new LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3!
  • Presentations about First LEGO League and RoboCupJunior
  • Reflections from teachers who have successfully used LEGO materials in their teaching
  • Meeting and talking to other teachers using LEGO MINDSTORMS
  • LEGO therapy