And for the first time, the hands-on experiences will be continued throughout the school break, with the launch of Tinkertastic, a holiday programme full of innovation, DIY and try it yourself activities.
The nine-day celebration of invention and creation, which gives families the chance to get stuck in and try something new in fun and exciting ways, will kick off with MakeFest on 25 and 26 May. Taking over the museum, this will be a weekend of tinkering, testing, coding and creating, all supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious scheme, an awards scheme that supports and funds the most creative and impactful projects that engage the public with engineers and engineering, and the People’s Postcode Lottery.
Featuring dozens of DIY tasks, mums, dads, children and grandparents can all enjoy working together and getting hands-on with a plethora of exciting activities hosted by an array of engineers, hackers, coders, makers, artists and scientists from all over the North West and beyond.
From driving a buggy across a moonscape and telling stories with recycled wood creations to making a mini version of a massive geodome and turning colour into music, MakeFest visitors will discover their inner inventor with plenty of family fun and a give-it-a-go attitude.
Elli Chapman, Head of Learning and Public Programmes at the Science and Industry Museum, said: “Last year, we welcomed over 4,000 visitors to MakeFest. Whatever their age, they all loved meeting the ‘makers’ and really getting to grips with inventing and innovation that anyone can try.
“This year’s event is even bigger and better, with a brilliant line up of makers and inventors that will truly inspire everyone this half term.”
Continuing the half term hands-on bonanza, Tinkertastic will run until 2 June. Families can make, try, experiment and discover hidden talents as the museum showcases the best global innovations that have been invented through DIY, tinkering and making.
Every day throughout the May half term, the museum’s Explainers will host a special Science Showdown show themed around famous inventors and makers who got it wrong first time and through trial and error, succeeded. Guests can watch live experiments and some lucky volunteers can even be part of the show. Everyone will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite invention at the end.
Tinkertastic also features daily free in-depth workshops and drop-in making sessions. The Made-up Machines workshop will have families creating parts of a bigger machine, but will everything work when they’re put together? You’ll only find out at the end. For the drop-in Build a Band session, guests make musical instruments out of scrap. How about a set of rubber glove bagpipes?
Alongside all this, any trip to the museum features exhibitions from the iconic early railway locomotive, Stephenson’s Rocket and the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station to a working replica of the first stored programme computer, Baby, developed right here in Manchester. Perfect for inspiring the next generation of inventors to create something new and change the world.