You can't visit for a few months, but booking is already open for the Science Museum's new gallery. Called Wonderlab, the £6 million space will replace the Launchpad gallery, providing an updated interactive space for families and school parties to explore the marvels of science.
What's in it? Seven themed zones will contain over 50 new exhibits. These include a trio of friction slides (image below) and a 'giant interactive orrery', which sounds a bit saucy but is really a model of the solar system. The space will also include two live demonstration areas and a '120-capacity showspace, inspired by the Royal Institution’s world-renowned Faraday Theatre'.
Unlike other permanent galleries in the museum, the Wonderlab won't be free. You'll have to pay a 'modest charge' of £8 per adult or £6 per child. The museum also offers a £39 annual pass for a family of four. Some may baulk at the charge, especially as the gallery is sponsored by multinational oil firm and a uranium enrichment company.
The museum explains that the admission charge will 'contribute to the cost of maintaining the high-quality visitor experience and operating the gallery'. Unlike a ride on the friction slide, it's a slippery slope toward further loss of free museum space, but those are the realities of running a modern, sustainable museum.
Wonderlab: the Statoil Gallery opens in October 2016. Tickets can be booked now via the Science Museum website. All images copyright the Science Museum.