- Museum of the History of Science - https://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk -


A painting called 'The Measurers' [1]

The Measurers

The Museum has many objects related to mathematics including calculating devices, clocks and sundials, measuring instruments, navigational instruments, surveying equipment, a remarkable collection of mathematical instruments from the Renaissance period. A visit to the Museum can provide inspiration for students through practical problem-solving and historical interpretation.

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 http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/education/visit/ [2].

For enquiries and bookings, please email: secondary+post16@mhs.ox.ac.uk [3]

Key Stage 3

student handling a sextant [4] Ingenious Geometers: The art of navigation

  • Discover the use of geometry in navigation.
  • Object handling with navigational instruments.
  • Solve a mathematical challenge.
German diptych dial_icon [5] Time Tellers: Sundials

  • Movement of the Earth and Sun.
  • Discover sundials and make working models.
  • Learning through objects.

Key Stage 4

[6] Secret Knowledge: The Art and Science of Perspective [7]

  • Optical demonstrations.
  • Geometry and the invention of linear perspective.
  • Hands-on drawing with camera obscuras.
Astrolabe [8] Discover the Astrolabe

  • Introduction to a unique collection of astrolabes.
  • Explore ideas about astronomy and the universe.
  • Make a model astrolabe and find out how it works.

Post-16 and A-level

Sessions available at KS4 can generally be adapted for post-16 students including Discover the Astrolabe, and may also be linked with visits to other academic departments of the University such as the Department of Mathematics [9].