Let me introduce you to the wonders of science and technology at the Science Museum, where the emphasis is firmly on the ‘Science’ and less on the ‘Museum’! While your tour will, of course, include the classic historic pieces in the 300,000 exhibit collection – such as Stephenson’s Rocket, Puffing Billy (the oldest surviving steam locomotive), the first jet engine, Apollo 10’s Command Module and a working example of Babbage’s Difference Engine (the earliest ‘computer’) – we’ll also have the pick of hundreds of interactive exhibits. You can have a go at launching your own space craft, try to manoeuvre a tanker into port, feel what it’s like to fly a low-level mission in a simulator of the RAF’s latest frontline Typhoon jet and take part in exciting experiments in the Museum’s seven highly interactive areas, including the Wellcome wing which focusses on digital technology.
Or perhaps you’d like to see some of the Museum’s more unusual pieces – a portion of the original great bell of the House of Parliament, the first ‘Big Ben’, which was scrapped after cracking under test in 1856; the world’s first air mail stamp, used for mail on the balloon ‘Buffalo’ at Nashville, Tennessee, in 1877; North American Eskimo fire ‘drills’; some of the earliest experimental X-ray tubes dating from the 1890s or the world’s oldest surviving medicine chest made for a Genoese governor in the second half of the 16th Century.
Whether you have young ones with you or are still young at heart yourself, a visit to the Science Museum can’t fail to intrigue and fascinate you with the worlds of computing, mathematics, medicine, space, physics and the human mind. And when your feet start to feel tired, we can put them up at the Museum’s IMAX 3D Cinema, which has mind-stretching documentary programmes that will excite, inspire and inform you.