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Design Technology

Geared orrery

Geared orrery

The museum has a wide range of scientific instruments and models which illustrate innovation in design and technology. These include various mechanisms, different materials and construction techniques, design to meet different purposes, and high levels of craftsmanship.

Steampunk design

Steampunk design

The Museum’s collection also gives an historical perspective on the use of materials revealing the dramatic changes in the technologies of production which took place during the Renaissance and 18th-century Industrial Revolution including advances in metallurgy and greater precision in the design and manufacture of scientific instruments.

The diversity of designs and individuality of different instrument makers can be seen in the fabulous collection of astrolabes, clocks and sundials, optical instruments including cameras, and many other instruments.


Secondary and post-16 sessions are:

  • usually available on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays
  • between 1- 2 hours with flexible start times
  • adaptable to suit individual needs
  • mostly designed to accommodate between 20-30 students

artsaward logo.phpMHS_Secondary programme leaflet

Please contact the education officer if you would like more information about an existing session or to discuss a proposal for a bespoke session.

You may wish to consider a joint visit to the museum and Oxford University’s Department of Material Sciences.

Key Stage 3 and 4

lizardphenakistiscope Magical Movies: A design challenge

  • Explore Victorian optical toys for the Museum’s collection.
  • Learn about the early history of animation.
  • Design and build a prototype optical device for museum display.