QMN Sparklab Sciencentre $9.4M

Discover the spark for science at Queensland Museum, Queensland Museum Network Blog, 17 September 2018

Young scientist don’t have to wait any longer to wait to explore their curiosity at SparkLab, Sciencentre at Queensland Museum. The brand new interactive exhibition is now open to all those curious! The new multi-million dollar interactive gallery will allow visitors to unleash their inner scientist through 40 interactive exhibitions across three zones.

Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said this was the first major renovation to the Sciencentre since it opened at Queensland Museum in 2004.

“The new space will showcase hands-on interactive STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) exhibits to inspire generations,” Minister Enoch said.

“The State Government investment of $9.4 million to redevelop the space will help put our state at the forefront of STEM learning, ensuring our young people are well positioned to capitalise on the jobs of the future, and further supports our Advance Queensland initiative.”

“This is a great outcome for Queensland and the Museum, which continues to capture people’s imaginations as one of the most visited museum networks in Australia.”

“I know families, science enthusiasts and teachers across Queensland will be delighted to experience SparkLab, and I am sure it will inspire many students to study STEM subjects and go on to have exciting careers.”

SparkLab offers an immersive experience for young and old with high-energy science theatre shows, a Maker Space that will allow you to design and make creative solutions to challenges and a Science Bar where visitors can get up close to experiments. SparkLab has been designed to allow visitors to explore our world and how it works using the same skills that scientists, engineers and mathematicians use every day.

Queensland Museum Network Acting CEO and Director Dr Jim Thompson said visitors will delight in the redeveloped space that is centred on inquiry-based learning.

“SparkLab offers brand new world-class interactive STEM experiences to visitors and gives them the opportunity to be a scientist by asking questions, testing ideas and finding creative ways of solving everyday problems,” Dr Thompson said.

“STEM is all around us and relevant in everything that we do and we hope visitors to SparkLab will be curious and adventurous to discover how these skills enrich and impact their lives.”

“I’d like to thank our visitors and members for their support and patience over the past several months and we look forward to welcoming everyone when we open.”

SparkLab allows you to explore 40 exhibits in three zones:

  • Our world and how it works: 10 interactive exhibits about the Earth, space, and states of matter. Our planet is part of a larger universe and our relationship with our nearest celestial neighbours impacts our world and our daily lives. This zone will explore matter,  how it moves, behaves and changes,  which helps us to uncover how the world around us works.
  • How do we perceive our world? With 11 interactive exhibits in this space, you will look at if we all perceive our world in the same way. Our sense of hearing and our sense of sight are two of the ways we gather information about our world. In this space visitors can explore and understand how the science of sound and light can help us question, challenge, test and change how we perceive our world. Compare your perception to other people and also, other animals!
  • How can we change our world? What does this change do? 19 interactive exhibits will help you to learn even more. Explore and manipulate forces, transform and transmit energy and test out structures as you imagine the possibilities. Every tool, machine or structure in our world started as an idea from someone’s imagination with the inspiration for design often found in nature.

The new spaces allow for flexible facilitated learning experiences; new science shows, a science bar featuring hands on experiments and demonstrations, and a maker space that gives visitors the opportunity to design, make, test and evaluate their creations in response to a ‘big question’ or challenge.

Along with the new exhibits, old favourites such as Thongophone and Touch the Lightning will return.

As plans for SparkLab continue, Dr Thompson said they are also exploring ways to extend the Sciencentre experience to other campuses in the network, including Cobb+Co Museum in Toowoomba, The Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich and Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville.

“Over the coming months we will be working towards extending the science gallery concepts to our regional campuses that will include some favourite exhibits from the original Sciencentre,” Dr Thompson said.

“Energy Queensland has come on board as a partner to help us redevelop our science spaces at The Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich and at Cobb+Co Museum in Toowoomba.”

Energy Queensland CEO David Smales said the company and its subsidiaries Energex and Ergon Energy had been very proud partners of the Queensland Museum for more than a decade and were looking forward to supporting another education program.

“The Queensland Museum has continuously provided locals and visitors to this state with some of the most amazing exhibitions that continue to open our eyes up to the wonders of science,” Mr Smales

“We’re always proud to support the educational work of Queensland Museum encouraging youngsters’ involvement in science, and it’s these students who may one day help Energy Queensland and our communities to develop new energy solutions for the future.”

Come in today and ignite your spark at SpakLabs! SparkLabs is open and ready to explore,  get your tickets here and unleash you’re inner scientist!

Queensland Museum partnered with Science Museum London, to deliver SparkLab, based on the group’s popular Wonderlab galleries.