The Entrance to Eureka!
Eureka! The National Children's Museum is an interactive educational museum for children in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England, with a focus on learning through play. It is run as an educational charity and not-for-profit organisation. Eureka! is based on the North American model of children’s museums, aimed at families with children age 0–11 and encourages hands-on inter-generational learning.
Dame Vivien Duffield, Chair of the Clore Duffield Foundation, was inspired by the children's museums that she saw during visits to the USA. Back at home she pursued her idea to create the UK’s very own children’s museum, and The Museum for Children was formally constituted as a registered charity in 1985. Dame Vivien remains Eureka!’s Life President.
Eureka!'s location was partly inspired by Prince Charles, who opened the museum on 9 July 1992 and subsequently become its Patron until 2002. It is located on former British Rail land next to Halifax railway station.
The building design was led by Ken Moth of Building Design Partnership, an international architectural practice, and the exhibition designs were produced by an in-house team and by design groups who pitched for various elements of the work – co-ordinated by Richard Fowler. Design groups included Imagination (the Me and My Body gallery) and Conran (original gift shop) and individuals included Tim Hunkin (Archimedes) and Satoshi Kitamura (illustrations).
Eureka! celebrated its 20th birthday in 2012 by launching Play 20 - an online resource providing play ideas and campaign to get parents, carers and their children playing together.
The museum has four main galleries:
- All About Me - Opened in March 2013. A £2.9 Million gallery, lead funded by the Wellcome Trust, exploring the themes of health, well-being and the human body.
- Living and Working Together - A miniature town square (including a bank, fountain, garage and shops) and house.
- Our Global Garden - showcasing gardens from around the world: Town, Jungle, Ice, Ocean, Country.
- SoundSpace - An interactive gallery encouraging children to discover the science of sound and music, with the help of Orby the Alien.
The museum also has two galleries aimed at the under-fives:
- Desert Discovery
The grounds of Eureka! include:
- The Beach - possibly the biggest outdoor sandpit in the North of England.
- The Wonder Walk - An outdoor sensory trail.
- Helping Hands - A three-year project, funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, working to make Eureka! fully accessible to families with disabled children.
- Mission: Active Future - An interactive travelling exhibition designed to help children switch on to a healthier lifestyle.
- "Eureka! History". Eureka!. Retrieved 2013-09-25.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eureka, Halifax.|
- Eureka! website
- Play 20 website
- Eureka! Official Facebook Page
- Eureka! on Twitter
- The 10 Best Hands-on Museums - The Independent, 10 November 2011
- Eureka! blog
- American Association of Children's Museums
- Eureka! on the Charity Commission website