Every year in November, children across the country are invited behind the scenes of our museums, galleries and heritage attractions to show staff how it’s done. Taking on the challenge at the museum this year were children from The Friars Primary School in Salford, who helped us plan a fantastic day for families, celebrating the history of their city.
After taking part in an assembly at their school full of eye-popping experiments, 15 children became our panel of expert advisors.
Inspired by amazing Salford stories like the rise of the Avro aircraft company and the flight of the first ever all British made plane, the children came up with all the ingredients needed for an action-packed family event.
Their Spotlights Trail showcased the amazing Salford objects on display in the museum and was a hit with families keen to explore. They also chose some very unusual objects from our handling collection, including a model of the human brain, a very old fashioned (and quite dangerous looking) toaster and some very smelly soap! Last but not least, their Wings and Things drop-in activity saw visitors reach new heights designing and experimenting with paper planes and helicopters. We even had a helipad set up in our Revolution Manchester gallery!
Not only did they put together all of these great activities for the day, but they also knocked the socks of our Marketing team by designing an eye-catching flyer which went out to every primary school in Salford. They even came up with the tag lines for the event, and with the promise of ‘Super Duper Science’ and ‘Massive Machine Madness’, who wouldn’t want to pay us a visit?
It was brilliant having the children as part of our team, with their creativity and ideas adding an extra special touch for families who came to the event, some of whom had never visited the museum before. We’d like to say a big thank you to the children on the panel and to all the staff at The Friars who supported the project.
I was really excited to be part of the project, especially as we are trying to raise the profile of science in our school, so this was a great way of involving both children and parents… I visited the museum on the Saturday and was really pleased to see how successful the day was and that there were so many children and their families enjoying the activities we had worked on. When I got back to school on Monday lots of children told me that they had visited the museum, which I think is amazing as I’m sure that they really enjoyed it and learnt a lot while spending time with their families.
– Claire Wellbelove, teacher at The Friars
In the spirit of the Takeover Day, that’s enough from us. But what did the kids make of it all?
I liked being at the museum because we could see working machines and steam powered things like trains. I liked seeing all of the people that worked in the office.
– Omar, aged 8
I enjoyed seeing the objects kept underneath the museum because it is fascinating how objects have evolved. It was really surprising as I didn’t realise how many people worked at the museum. When I went on the Saturday there was so many people there that surprised me too.
– Emily, aged 10
I liked going downstairs to look at all the things which aren’t in the museum. When you could look at the objects touch them and feel them. When I visited the museum on the day I liked the paper planes activity and where the quotes had what we had said on the big screens.
– Jasmine, aged 9
It was an exciting moment for me and I am sure it was exciting for everyone else!
– Nathan, aged 10