Thinktank, Birmingham’s Science Museum, is home to thousands of objects and interactives across four floors, covering science and technology topics from the steam engines of the past to the robots of the future. 2018 was a very exciting year for Thinktank, as we saw the completion of a three-year project to restore the Smethwick engine (the oldest working steam engine in the world) as well as an exhibition celebrating pioneering female engineers, and the always popular Spooky Science week at Halloween.
At Birmingham Museums, we are committed to ensuring everyone in the city has opportunities to access these amazing collections and events, and so for more than ten years, we’ve been running a series of ‘Thinktank Open’ events, where we offer free entry to visitors from communities local to the museum. Every year we run two Open events, targeting different areas each time.
For the first few years, each Open covered one weekend, but over the last two years, we’ve extended this, and now each Open lasts for two weeks, to ensure that as many people as possible can make use of the offer.
In 2018, we ran two Open periods, the first in June and then again from 24th November – 9th December 2018, offering Thinktank tickets to individuals and families living in the Shard End, Bordesley Green, Soho, Kingstanding, Lozells/East Handsworth, and Aston areas of the city.
An amazing 2,450 adults and children took advantage of our 2018 offers and came to see the site for free. We were able to offer these opportunities thanks to sponsorship from Millennium Point Charitable Trust (MPT), who have kindly funded the programme as part of their support of Thinktank, which has also included providing free entry for schools where more than 50% of children are eligible for free school meals. We are extremely grateful to MPT for their support of these programmes, which help us as a charity to meet our core purpose of showcasing our outstanding collection and venues to inspire learning, creativity and enjoyment for the people of Birmingham. A huge thank you from all the Trust to MPT for their sponsorship.
In 2019 we’ll be reaching out to different areas of the city. Flyers will be sent out to every child in the area through their schools, as well as being distributed in libraries and community centres, with details of how and when to visit. We hope if you’re in one of those areas, you can come along, and take advantage of the half-price membership offer on the flyer, so you can come back many more times!