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Design Technology

Geared orrery

Geared orrery

The museum has a wide range of scientific instruments and models which demonstrate innovation in design and technology. These include mechanical devices, use of different materials and construction techniques, and high levels of craftsmanship.

The Museum’s collection also gives an historical perspective on the use of materials and 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.

Taught sessions for secondary and post-16 are normally available on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Sessions vary in length between 1-2 hours and normally accommodate between 20-30 students depending on the session.

For more information about facilities and arrangments for visits, please see

For enquiries and bookings, please email:

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.