The Queensland Museum, situated in the Australian city of Brisbane, is set to throw open the doors to its new interactive science gallery named SparkLab on Monday September 17.
This $9.4 million venture is a rejuvenated version of the museum’s existing science centre and promises to be an unparalleled experience for children and adults. It boasts 40 flexible displays and exhibits, spread across three zones that allow visitors to explore and experience how science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) form an integral part of our daily life.
SparkLab was born from a strategic partnership with Science Museum London, and took its inspiration from the hands-on Wonderlab galleries housed there.
It aims to promote inquisitiveness and inspire awe about the world we live in, and ultimately prepare young people to adopt STEM jobs in the future. It will encourage visitors to employ techniques used by scientists and innovators to create and evaluate their own experiments and answer their own questions in the “maker space”. There is a “science bar”, which will allow demonstrations. Also featured will be new, ongoing science shows.
There are plans to build similar interactive science centres in other parts of Queensland, including Ipswich, Townsville and Toowoomba. According to Jim Thomson, the Queensland Museum Network acting CEO and director, this will occur in collaboration with the electricity company Energy Queensland and its affiliates.
SparkLab is a timed exhibit, and tickets can be purchased online.
There are special discounted tickets for schools and groups that include children aged six to 13 years, with teacher and supervisor previews also available.
Geetanjali Rangnekar is a science communicator and editor, based in Adelaide, Australia.