At the weekend we took a long overdue trip to the Thinktank Birmingham Science museum. It had been a few years since I’d last been, and the main reason for the latest visit was the Museum of the Moon.
The Museum of the moon is a piece of artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram, and is currently touring the UK. I originally intended to visit this a couple of weeks ago, but was unable too. So you’ll have to excuse this rushed review as I wanted to get it posted before it leaves Birmingham this weekend. So if you are in Birmingham, and want to see this, make sure you get down to Thinktank by the 20th August.
Measuring 70 metres in diameter and using official NASA imagery the artwork is essentially a small, but yet still large, scale replica of our moon.
In Birmingham the artwork is displayed in a large dark room, with atmospheric music and a few strategically placed ‘rocks’ It’s an impressive sight and the photos below don’t really do it justice. I did take a video but unfortunately as to be expected some kids came in and starting running around and making a noise, so I abandoned that idea.
The rest of of the Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum
The museum in total is spread over 4 floors. The main entrance, which is on the 2nd floor, is followed by a section called ‘The Present’ In which there are plenty of activities and displays based around the things that are already all around us. Such as a mini street, detailing how things like the pipes under our streets work, a wild life gallery, and some of the medical advances that have been made with the human body and various surgeries.
There’s also some displays of extinct animals and Jurassic period dinosaurs, reptiles and birds.
Up on the 3rd floor it’s all about the future, here you’ll discover about robot technology and other predictions for the future. There’s a little remote controlled replica of the Mars rover which you can move around. It’s not a massive floor as it also houses 2 rooms for travelling exhibitions, one of which is where the current moon display is. Also on the 3rd floor you’ll find the Planetarium. On this visit we had just missed the start of a show, the next show wasn’t for another 2 hours so we decided to give it a miss, as we didn’t expect to be there for that long.
Next we travelled down to the ground floor where it’s all based on the past. Here you’ll find a massive steam train which is very impressive, an old tram, spitfires and other war aircraft’s hanging above, and a number of working replicas of the steam machines that powered the industrial revolution which Birmingham was a massive part of. This was easily my favourite part of the museum.
Also on the ground floor is a largish Science Garden, we didn’t really explore this as there were lots of kids running around, and a couple of mid thirties guys walking around a bunch of kids playing, might have looked a little weird!
Back up another floor to the 1st floor and it’s all about nuts, bolts, gadgets and gizmos.
This is mainly based around cars, and the technology that built them. Birmingham had the Longbridge factory which made cars for Rover up until about 20 years ago. It’s a good trip round memory lane for those that were close or worked at that factory.
If you’ve got kids I can’t recommend Thinktank enough, there’s plenty of activities for them to get involved with, and best of all they will be learning as they go along. If you’re going along as just adults, then expect plenty of kids to be running around, especially on none school days. You’ll also get round pretty quickly, in probably about 45 minutes, so it’s probably only worth going if there is a touring exhibition on that you want to see. Obviously if you catch a Planetarium show, you’ll be there about another 20 odd minutes. With kids, you’ll probably be there for about 2 hours, maybe longer, you can take a packed lunch or you can buy food from the cafe on the ground floor.
Entry to Thinktank for adults is £13.50, Children (3-15) £9.75, under 3’s go free.
Planetarium tickets cost an additional £1.50 per person.
You can book your tickets online, to avoid queuing.
This review was in no way funded for by the Birmingham Science museum or in exchange for any goods. Entry was paid for from our own hard earned cash.