Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, has been shortlisted for the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award.

Charity Kids in Museums has run a prestigious annual award for the past 15 years, recognising the most family friendly heritage sites in the UK. It is the only museum award to be judged by families.

From April to June, families across the UK voted for their favourite heritage attraction on the Kids in Museums website. A panel of museum experts then whittled down hundreds of nominations to a shortlist of 20 heritage attractions.

Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, is vying against three other museums in the Best Medium Museum category. Out of 20 other museums across five categories, Thinktank is the only museum in the West Midlands to have been shortlisted in the major national awards.

Laurence Butler, Museum Manager at Thinktank says:

“We’re really pleased to have been shortlisted in the Family Friendly Museum Awards 2021. Thinktank is loved by families whether they are first-time visitors or regular visitors throughout the year. The museum is made for families to have fun - it offers a sense of adventure and entertainment, and it enables families to learn about the past, the present and the future. Being shortlisted in the Family Friendly Museum Awards is a fantastic acknowledgment of everything we do to provide a great experience for children and families.”

Thinktank has over 200 hands-on displays which bring themes of science, engineering, space, medicine, nature and future technologies to life. It showcases many amazing items from the city’s science and engineering collection, including the world’s oldest working steam engine.

MiniBrum, a fantastic gallery for under 8s opened in 2019 with the aim of encouraging families to learn together, through play. Designed by children, for children the exciting child-sized world features some of Birmingham’s iconic landmarks such as the canals and the University of Birmingham’s Old Joe Clock Tower. It also features different play zones including a home area where children can build their own dens, a burrow where children can find the hidden animals, and a construction zone.

Other highlights at Thinktank  include a Planetarium where visitors can journey to the stars and learn about the wonders of the night sky, and an outdoor Science Garden that invites visitors to explore the science behind energy, mechanics and mobility.  In 2019 the museum had one of its most successful years on record with more than 243,000 people and 45,500 school children visiting.

The museum will now be visited by undercover family judges who will assess the museums against the Kids in Museums Manifesto. Their experiences will decide a winner for each award category and an overall winner of the Family Friendly Museum Award 2021. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in October.

Follow the Family Friendly Museum Award on Twitter by following @kidsinmuseums and #FamilyFriendlyMuseum.

The Family Friendly Museum Award has been made possible by funding from Arts Council England.

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