Thinktank, Birmingham

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Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum
Thinktank Birmingham.tif
Established 2001 (2001)
Location Millennium Point, Birmingham, England
Coordinates 52°28′58″N 1°53′10″W / 52.482908°N 1.886058°W / 52.482908; -1.886058
Type Science

Thinktank is a Science museum in Birmingham, England. Opened in 2001, it succeeded and has several exhibits from the City's Museum of Science and Industry. It is part of the Millennium Point complex.


Thinktank has four floors of over 200 hands-on exhibits and artefacts. Each floor has a theme, in general going from the past, in The Past (Level 0), through The Balcony (Level 1) and The Present (Level 2), to the future, in The Future gallery (Level 3).[1]


The decision to move the science museum was taken by Birmingham City Council in 1995, given the opportunity presented by the Millennium Commission to build a new museum. The old building was falling into a state of disrepair, and many of the artefacts were no longer in working order.

The Future[edit]

This gallery contains the Futures exhibition, dealing with future technology, innovation and space travel. The majority of the displays are screens, with a trackball to choose to play a video on a certain topic.[citation needed]

Topics include:

There is also a programmable drumming robot.[citation needed]

The Future of Space section of the Futures gallery has various displays, including the International Space Station simulation, and the Mars Rover.[citation needed]


The planetarium at Thinktank is the UK's first purpose-built digital planetarium.[citation needed]

The image of the night sky is projected onto a domed screen above viewers heads using 6 multimedia projectors, each connected to a PC.

The Present[edit]

This gallery deals with current technology and scientific understanding, and how everyday life has been affected by scientific ideas and advances.

There are five galleries on this floor:

Things About Me[edit]

This exhibition is aimed at younger children, helping them to understand how their own body works, and how to keep it working. It is a bright and noisy gallery. There are small characters called TAMs, who act as guides throughout the museum.


A Triceratops skull on display at the museum

This is a classic living history gallery, with stuffed and preserved animals. There is a collection of skeletons, skulls and fossils.

The Street[edit]

The Street is designed to show visitors how science affects their everyday life, and how objects they see around them work.

Kid's City[edit]

Kid's City is an exhibition that has been designed for small children, aged 7 and younger. It is more of a play area than a traditional exhibition, but also contains a garden with water feature, a health centre, cafe, and garage.

Medicine Matters[edit]

Medicine Matters is an exhibition that contains displays of current medical practices, and the moral dilemmas that occur, while other exhibits cover DNA, epilepsy, genetics, vaccination and personal health.

The Balcony[edit]

We Made It[edit]

We made it features more than 20 interactive exhibits that show just how and why Birmingham became known as ‘the workshop of the world’. Visitors are taken on a journey from raw materials to finished product, demonstrating how everyday goods are produced.

The Past[edit]

Move It[edit]

LMS Princess Coronation Class 46235 City of Birmingham as it used to be displayed in the old Museum of Science and Industry

Concentrating on Birmingham's transport history, Move It contains all of the vehicles on display in Thinktank, including the LMS Princess Coronation Class steam locomotive, 46235 City of Birmingham, Railton Mobil Special, a Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane hanging from the ceiling, and Birmingham Corporation Tramways tram 395.[citation needed]

In the gallery are a pair of robots that display how a car is spot-welded during construction.[citation needed]

Power Up[edit]

This exhibition displays steam engines, the main one being the Smethwick Engine, the oldest working steam engine in the world, built by Boulton and Watt. There is a display further on in the exhibition explaining the history of Boulton and Watt, and how they developed their engines. Other steam engines in this exhibition are those that have been used for pumping sewage, generating electricity, agricultural work and teaching.

There is also a display explaining how power is currently generated by a steam turbine.

Science Garden[edit]

The Science Garden is an interactive outdoor space with lots of exhibits to climb on, pull, push and explore.


Thinktank offers a range of activities during the school holidays and weekends. These range from free storytelling for under 7's, to whole family "shows" on a particular topic. Some of the daily activities are free to all paying visitors and others are optional extras.


  1. ^ Thinktank What's On Leaflet, 2013

"Thinktank - Explore".  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)

External links[edit]