Working Scientifically at the Museum

You might have seen our post in May about ‘Inside Out’ – a project with primary schools last year that had children discovering for themselves how the real-life setting of the museum works in a scientific way. They checked pest traps, created an ethical experiment with tadpoles, curated some ancient Chinese objects….and much more!

The children worked really hard to develop their findings into five fantastic films that were premiered at the Great Science Share flagship event in June, as well as events in schools to share with family and friends. We’re delighted to say that these videos are now live and ready for children all over the world to learn from.

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The videos could be used as an introduction to a science-focused visit to the museum, as part of a discussion about scientific careers, or as an introduction to real-life working scientifically.

They touch on collections care, entomology (bugs!), herpetology (amphibians and reptiles), Egyptology, archaeology, palaeontology, and more. All five areas of working scientifically are featured: Identifying, classifying and grouping; observing over time; research using secondary sources; comparative and fair testing; and pattern-seeking.

We absolutely loved working with the 5 schools, 10 teachers and 150 children who took part in this project, and we hope they had fun too!

“[The project] has been massive for boosting my pupil’s confidence in science.” (project teacher)

“Nearly every child said their highlight for the year was visiting Manchester Museum.” (project teacher)

For future opportunities like this for your pupils, please sign up to the Primary & Early Years E-newsletter. With many thanks to the University of Manchester’s Faculty of Science and Engineering for the Widening Participation funding that made this project possible, and our fantastic partners in SEERIH. We hope you enjoy the films!

Ancient Egypt at Central Library


Manchester Museum’s latest installation at Manchester’s Central Library – Young, Rich & Famous – challenges us to think of how we will be remembered after death and what we will leave behind.

If you’re missing our Ancient Worlds galleries, but you’re taking a class into central Manchester this school year, this could be a great way to enrich your history topic in 2020 – with zero entry fee.

What might my class do there?

We’ve put together notes, activity sheets and resources for key stages 2 and 3 to help you get the most out of your class’s visit. Your pupils might:

  • Help Princess Isis to entertain the gods
  • Sketch and annotate an artefact like an archaeologist
  • Compare ancient Egyptian tombs to modern social media
  • Debate whether these artefacts should be in Manchester
  • and more!

The display can comfortably fit around 15 children at once. Later in 2020, we expect to offer a combined visit to Central Library using our amazing Inflatable Museum at a discounted rate. Contact Jenny to express your interest.

How do I book?

To book your visit to Central Library, please contact Angela Rawcliffe.

Can I make a day of it?

In the same building, why not ask Central Library if they can provide a workshop on books about ancient Egypt, or visit Archives Plus to get stuck into some local history?

You might also combine your library visit with a trip to the nearby historic John Rylands Library on Deansgate (perhaps for their popular Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs workshop), or to Manchester Art Gallery, just across the road.

Central Library is right next to the Metrolink St Peter’s Square stop.

Let us know how you get on!

Download: Activity sheets and teacher notes