Project information

The Science Garden

Fun, interactive science exhibits encourage a wide range of people to explore science. The Science Garden, run by Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, will be a major new outdoor science exhibition containing over 40 large scale interactive exhibits for all to enjoy.

September 2011 - June 2012

Charity information: Birmingham Museums Trust

Birmingham Museums Trust logo
  • Need


    Our world faces many challenges. Science has a major influence on how we live our lives, now and in the future. To address challenges and make informed decisions about how we lead our lives it is vitally important that people are interested in and engaged with science, and that people are inspired to pursue careers in science, engineering, technology and medicine. However, if we continue as we are, there will be a shortage of these vital scientific skills and understanding in the UK.


    The fun exhibits in the colourful Science Garden are designed to encourage a wide range of people to explore and understand key scientific principles such as force, motion and energy, and the practical application of these principles in everyday life. People will be encouraged to ‘power’ the exhibits by working together in groups, or by working alone. A programme of exciting activities and events for the public will also be run in the Science Garden, complimenting the exhibits.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Create a world class, 2,750 sqm Science Garden in the new Birmingham City Park


    » Design, build and install a series of 40 large scale, interactive exhibits demonstrating key scientific principles.
    » Exhibits to be grouped into 3 themed areas exploring transport, machinery and the harnessing of energy.
    » Exhibits to draw inspiration from and reflect the great science and industrial heritage of the West Midlands.
    » Create a covered community and learning space within the Science Garden

    What success will look like

    Success will be receiving over 250,000 visitors a year. Over 98% of these visitors to rate their visit as good or excellent and all to learn something new.

    Aim 2

    Run a changing programme of events and activities within the Science Garden for visitors


    » Run a changing programme of events and activities within the Science Garden for visitors

    What success will look like

    Success will be over 75% of visitors participating in events and activities and all learning something new.

  • Impact


    The Science Garden will contribute to increasing the number of pupils studying science at A Level and increase visitors’ knowledge of science. It will provide an inspiring and fun opportunity for young and old to explore science in an informal outdoor setting.

    We will demonstrate success by recording visitors learning and social outcomes achieved during their visit, and work with educational institutions to monitor the study of A Level science in the West Midlands.


    There is a risk that the exhibits do not effectively engage visitors. This risk has been minimised by conducting extensive consultation and protype testing with current and potential visitors.There is a risk that the project does not run to time or to budget. We have minimised this risk by setting up a specific project team at Thinktank to oversee the planning, deliver and budget of the Science Garden and by appointing a Project Management expert to oversee the project.


    Donors will receive a bi-monthly email report on the project detailing progress being made on the creation of the Science Garden. Once the Science Garden is open Donors will receive a quarterly email bulletin listing forthcoming activities and providing feedback from visitors.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £2,500,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,250,000 Science Garden Science Garden general construction costs
      £857,000 Science Garden Interactive exhibit design and manufacture costs
      £393,000 Science Garden Surveys and professional fees associated with the construction and design

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Trusts and Foundations £2,000,000 Conditional
  • Background


    The Science Garden will be situated directly outside Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, in the heart of Birmingham’s new City Park, in the Eastside of Birmingham. The area is characterised by high density housing, with very little safe, green play space.


    We expect 250,000 people to visit the Science Garden every year. We anticipate that approximately 60% of visitors to the Science Garden will live in Birmingham, 25% in the rest of the West Midlands and 15% from the rest of the UK or abroad. We anticipate that over 70,000 children in school groups will use the Science Garden to support their learning and 100,000 children will visit as part of a family group.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum has an excellent track record of creating successful interactive science exhibitions and running exciting activities. 98% of Thinktank’s visitors rate their visit as good or excellent. Thinktank also attracts a more diverse range of visitors than traditional museums and cultural facilities – many visitors would not normally choose to visit a museum in their leisure time. They choose to visit Thinktank because it is welcoming, fun and encourages learning

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Janine Eason

    Janine is Exhibitions Director. Since 2001, she has overseen 4 major gallery development projects at Thinktank and many temporary exhibitions.

    Clara Lim

    Clara holds a Bachelor of Mechanical and Production of Engineering and is responsible for ensuring that exhibits are fun and support learning.

    Elizabeth Frostick

    Elizabeth is Thinktank’s Development Director and has secured £5million for new galleries and exhibitions at Thinktank since its opening in 2001.