Activities for all ages taking place during August. As always, check in advance with the organiser’s website for current details about start time, and whether there’s any charge or need to register.
National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park, until 28 August
Open every afternoon from noon until 5pm, the Summer Bytes Festival has fun and learning in store for all the family. Throughout August, visitors can experience different realities and see into a completely different world from the safety of the Museum with virtual technology like Oculus Rift and more. There is stunning augmented reality too with Pokémon Go (the Museum is a Pokémon Gym!), the Quiver app that brings 3D colouring cards to life and an insight of the 4D+ world of Octagon Studios flashcards magically transformed with iPads. Good old-fashioned retro reality is featured too with computer games that absorbed youth a few decades ago. Robots past and present meet when 2016 Pepper starts a conversation with George, Tony Sale’s famous robot creation from the 1950s. If words fail George, Pepper will turn to visitors for stimulating conversation – be prepared to meet the future of robotics! A selection of workshops and talks involves everything from the science of Doctor Who and special effects to F1 in Schools challenge, computer art and music.
IET London: Savoy Place, 10 August
It’s now well recognised that the First Word War had a deep impact on the technology and practice of telecommunications, but much remains to be understood about the complex and multifaceted nature of that impact, as well as the evolution of telecommunications between the wars. The interwar years arguably witnessed the maturing of wireless technology, with the completion of the transition to continuous wave systems, the growth of broadcasting, the setting up of long-distance networks and the evolution of smaller, more portable and easier to use devices. Likewise, telephony saw significant evolution with extensive growth in users, the development of trunk telephony and the automation of exchanges. This IET conference brings together diverse perspectives to understand the extent to which the interwar period was a formative one, exploring not just innovations and their use but also the political, social and economic dimensions of telecommunications development.
Online course, 1-14 August (3 hours per week)
Discover why the stereoscope and stereo photography mesmerised Victorians when they first appeared at 1851’s Great Exhibition with this free online course from the National Museum of Scotland examining the rise of stereo photography and the work of pioneering photographers George Washington Wilson and Thomas Richard Williams. Participants will explore how the stereoscope, originally created by inventor Sir Charles Wheatstone to investigate human binocular vision, was improved by scientist Sir David Brewster, to become a vital, elaborate drawing room essential with thousands of stereo images were printed and bought each year.
Tuesday-Saturday, 31 May -3 September
Like all museums, Bristol has much more in its collections than can ever be displayed at any one time. L Shed contains thousands of items from the industrial, maritime and social history collections that are vividly brought to life by our volunteer guides on tours where visitors can encounter treasures from Bristol’s past. Go behind the scenes and see huge machinery, delicate models and intriguing objects of all shapes and sizes that, one day, will have their turn on display.
Royal Museums Greenwich, Until 29 August
Experience what space flight is really like and glimpse into its future in this family-friendly, interactive exhibition where visitors can encounter the unique wonder of flight as thye learn to fly like a bird, and design and race their own supersonic jet. Take an elevator ride to the edge of space and enjoy the view of Earth from above, or go on a Marathon to Mars and see how your body would cope on the long-haul trip to the red planet. Above and Beyond is the most interactive exhibition on aerospace ever to tour. It’s packed with immersive simulations, participative design challenges and visionary concepts for the future and features over 10 exciting interactives.
Science Museum, London, all month
A new exhibition at the Science Museum explores how members of the public are playing a greater role in scientific research than ever before. Beyond the Lab, which forms part of the EU-supported initiative Sparks, tells the stories of nine different innovators who are using crowd-sourced data, community lab projects and DIY apparatus to revolutionise front-line scientific research. The projects are explored through objects, video interviews and photographs that illustrate the breadth and strength of contemporary scientific practice across Europe today. Case studies range from The Mosquito Atlas Project’s Doreen Walther, who crowd-sources mosquitoes from across Germany to provide a vital monitoring service allowing prediction and planning for outbreaks, to Sara Riggare, who has Parkinson’s disease and uses wearable technology to track her symptoms and customise her treatments.
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 18 June – 6 November
This summer exhibition focuses on the design philosophy of Ove Arup (1895-1988), one of the most influential engineers of the 20th century and the pioneer of a multidisciplinary approach to design that has defined the way engineering is understood and practiced today. On display will be designs for some of Arup’s first projects such as Sydney Opera House and the Penguin Pool at London Zoo, alongside recent projects by Arup, the global engineering consultancy. The exhibition is part of the V&A’s 2016 Engineering Season which will also comprise a site-specific installation in the John Madejski Garden by engineer and architect Achim Menges and an associated programme of talks, workshops and events.
Museum of London, until April 2017
Discover London before, during and after the Great Fire of 1666 in an interactive exhibition marking the 350th anniversary of this infamous disaster. Experience the destruction of London through the eyes of people who were there at the time, explore the evidence for yourself and find out how the city rose from the ashes in this interactive exhibition.