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Museum of the History of Science exhibit


Museum of the History of Science

Schools, families and other visitors took part in events at the Museum of History of Science at which they were able to explore the collection and record their responses on the globe. Key events in the history of science have also been added to the globe, and the strength of the Museum’s collection in astronomy is reflected in the mapping of astrolabes and a global network of observatories past and present.

Madness of Magellan


Inspired by the audacious voyage of Magellan in 1519, the first to circumnavigate the globe, visitors had the opportunity to discover and handle navigational instruments, play the Mariner’s Trail board game, and were challenged to search for objects in the Museum spanning as many continents as possible. Each individual’s selection of drawings and descriptions was pinned to the globe and linked together by a coloured thread resulting in a high density pile-up in Europe!

Sea Monsters and Other things

Families contributed to the ongoing decoration of the globe by creating beautiful compass roses, fantastical sea monsters or calligraphic place labels, the latter referencing the italic style pioneered by Gerard Mercator in the 16th-century. In a subsequent event, children also added drawings of ships inspired by illustrated maps of the period.

Astronomer, Doctor, Explorer

Which would you want to be – an astronomer, a doctor, or an explorer? Children selected their character and then hunted for three objects or instruments that would have helped them in their profession. They made drawings of each object and linked them together with written statements about their origin or use. These ‘object strings’ were added to the globe to create a sea of interwoven objects and ideas.

Signs of the Zodiac

Visitors contributed to decorating the horizon ring with a calendar scale made up of the signs of the zodiac in the style of a globe of the Renaissance period.

When I see a globe I think of…

In this activity, visitors were invited to reflect upon their associations with the globe, and iconic instrument in the history of science, and to record their thoughts on a coloured luggage tag.

Team Members

Globe Coordinators: Christopher Parkin and Scott Billings

Volunteers: Arabella Campbell, Alison Cooper, Rita Demietriou Emi Harako