New Sciencentre to inspire wonder through international collaboration

06 July 2017

Queensland Museum will partner with London’s Science Museum Group to deliver the multi-million-dollar Sciencentre refurbishment recently announced in the 2017-18 State Budget.

Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said the partnership was a first for Queensland Museum and the London Science Museum Group, with the organisations collaborating to deliver a world-class sciencentre showcasing cutting-edge interactive STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) engagement.

“This exciting project will be based on the Science Museum Group’s popular Wonderlab galleries, providing a hands-on and engaging space that will use innovative technology to fuel imaginations and show the wonder of science and maths in our everyday lives,” the Premier said.

“The reimagined Sciencentre is set to inspire and educate visitors of all ages in a space custom designed for Queensland Museum and tailored to Queensland audiences and curriculum.

“My government’s recently announced new investment of $9.4 million in this world-class experience will help put our state at the forefront of STEM learning, ensuring our youth are well positioned to capitalise on the jobs of the future, and further supports our Advance Queensland initiative.

“The current Sciencentre plays a key role in delivering STEM-based exhibitions to almost 190,000 visitors annually and this upgrade, its first since 2004, will take it to a whole new level.

“I know families, science enthusiasts and teachers across Queensland will be delighted to hear this news and I am sure the Sciencentre redevelopment will inspire many students to study STEM subjects and go on to have exciting careers.

“This is a great outcome for Queensland Museum, which continues to capture people’s imaginations as the most visited museum in Australia for the past two years, attracting a record 1.85 million visitors in 2015-16.”

The project is the first international collaboration for Science Museum Group and the first time it has helped developed an interactive centre outside its own museum network.

Final design work will be carried out in coming months before construction begins early next year. The transformation will be staged to ensure visitors continue to have access to Sciencentre experiences while the works are undertaken.

Queensland Museum Network CEO and Director and Queensland Chief Scientist Professor Suzanne Miller said the partnership with the Science Museum Group would pave the way for best practice between international museums and STEM engagement.

“Our new Sciencentre will better support Education Queensland’s curriculum, improving the experience for teachers and students, and connect visitors with more of the museum’s outstanding collections, so the journey of discovery continues throughout their visit,” Professor Miller said.

“Our goal is to ensure our visitors understand the beauty and wonder behind the science that shapes our lives and inspires the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.

“As we progress our plans for the Sciencentre at Queensland Museum in South Bank, we’ll also explore ways we can extend the science experience to other campuses in our Queensland Museum Network, including the Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville.”

The Science Museum Group’s popular Wonderlab galleries were designed by acclaimed practices muf architecture/art and Ab Rogers Design, which are renowned for working collaboratively on innovative projects and combine interactivity and creativity in their architectural design.

Science Museum Group Director, Ian Blatchford, said: “The Science Museum Group inspires futures by exploring the science that shapes our lives and by sharing expertise with partners across the globe. With our world-class Wonderlab galleries delighting visitors in the UK, we are proud to work with Queensland Museum to spark curiosity and creativity in people on the other side of the world.”

The Sciencentre redevelopment will be completed by mid-2018.

Media Contact:
Kylie Hay, Senior Media Officer, Queensland Museum, 3840 7789/0417 741 710
Heidi Jones, Senior Media Officer, Queensland Museum, 3842 9388/0416 273 279