British Science Week is on from 11-14 March this year – a time to celebrate science and learn more about how it touches every aspect of our lives. There are lots of family friendly science themed activities happening in London during British Science Week and we’ve put together a guide for you here.
Why is it important for kids to learn about science? Caitlin Brown, an Education Manager at the British Science Association said. “There are so many more careers that fall under science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) than we might realise! Showing children different types of science, and encouraging them to get excited about it, and engage with it is the key to a future generation where the stereotypes of who a scientist is are broken, and science has a more positive, inclusive place in society.”
All excellent reasons to check out some British Science Week activities for families in London!
Little Feet Stonehenge Science
Marking British Science Week and inspired by the ground-breaking research in The world of Stonehenge, this event is designed for all curious little minds. They’ll have a go at looking, listening, investigating, problem solving and creating – just like a Museum scientist.
When: 18 March; 10:30am-12pm
Where: British Museum
Age guidance: Under 5s
Cost: Drop-in, included in free timed ticket to enter museum
Dive Into London’s Water Supply
This museum is home to a unique collection of pumping stations. Visit on weekends during British Science Week to discover more about the science and engineering behind London’s Water Supply.
When: 12-13 March; 10:00am-4:00 pm
Where: London Museum of Water & Steam
Age guidance: all
Cost: Children free; adults £18 (ticket is annual pass)
Hamleys Science Week Fun
All week the famous toy shop on Regent’s Street is hosting an array of free science themed activities.
Hamley Bear and Professor Bubbles invite you to the Hamleys Lab this Science Week, where they will show you all their explosive experiments and radical research. You could also go head-to-head with the Tacto Laser master in Minute to Win It. Or play a a game of Beat the Scientist – the Hamleys Scientist thinks they are unbeatable at everything. Will you be able to prove them wrong?
Each afternoon at 4pm (until 20 March) you can join in the Science Week Parade at the Hamleys Lab with Professor Bubbles and his friends for a Science Week Parade – skip to the beat, dance to the rhythm, and sing at the top of your lungs as we prance, jump, jive, and spread cheer throughout the whole of the Hamleys Lab.
When: 11-20 March, check WEBSITE for details of specific activities
Where: Hamleys, 188-196 Regent Street
Age guidance: activity dependent, all welcome
Plant a seed for British Science Week
What an ideal place and activity to learn about this year’s BSW theme – growth – a library! Join in this free plant a seed event then scour the shelves for interesting science books.
When: 12 March; 10:30am-11:30am
Where: Walthamstow Library
Age guidance: aged 6 and over, younger siblings are welcome.
Cost: free, register online
For Your Inspiration: powering our sustainable future
The growing use of new battery technologies will be at the heart of meeting the challenges facing the world today: climate change, the need for clean and abundant energy supplies, limited natural sources, air pollution and sustainable, high-quality jobs. Join researchers working with the Faraday Institution to find out how we are tackling this problem right now, making an impact by delivering breakthroughs in battery research in the global race to electrification. Whatever your interest: chemistry, computing, engineering, materials science or law, find out how there could be an interesting job for you in the green economy of the future.
Try out a range of activities and demonstrations run by the Ri, Faraday Institution and a number of other companies and university groups giving you the chance to meet and talk to experts and specialists as well as people just starting out in this field.
When: 18 March; 6pm-9pm
Age guidance: 13+
Cost: £16. Free for Ri Young Members 13 and over.
More info: website
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Science Museum Activities
Throughout British Science Week, the Science Museum will continue to invite families to join us at Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery.
This interactive experience ignites curiosity, fuels the imagination and inspires people to see the world around them in new and exciting ways. The gallery holds live science shows and demonstrations to allow visitors to interact with real scientific phenomena. Visitors can see lightning strike, play with forces on giant slides or travel through space under a canopy of stars.
For more details visit the Science Museum website.
(featured image from @sciencemuseum)
Wellcome Collection Activities
During British Science Week, the temporary exhibition Joy will be in its final weeks (end 27 March). A family guide for people with children aged 3-11 is available in the gallery.
The permanent exhibition Being Human is family-friendly and includes displays such as a gene-editing kit, an intricate sculpture of the bacteria in your gut, an interactive jukebox which plays songs about infectious disease and a sculpture of a refugee astronaut.
The Reading Room is a very popular space with families. There’s an array of books and objects on display as well as activities suitable for children. Sofas and beanbags give you a place to relax and discuss or read a book together – there are over 1,000 titles to choose from in this room alone including fiction, graphic novels and pop-up books.
For more details visit Wellcome Collection website.
Richer Education introduce children to real-life challenges and encourage them to put theory into practice in a fun and engaging way with a special emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) subjects. They run clubs on Saturdays, Sundays and during half-term and school holidays.