Family Craft Activities at Enginiuty

Heroes of History Activities for May Half-term

Discover more about your favourite heroes of history, engineering and sport during the spring half term, 27 May – 4 June, at a variety of fun family events across the Ironbridge Gorge Museums, Shropshire with hands-on activities, interactive workshops and demonstrations. The events are part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust’s 50th anniversary celebrations, which will continue throughout the year.

Hands-on activities bring the inventions of our past heroes to life at Blists Hill Victorian Town

Visit Blists Hill Victorian Town, near Ironbridge in Shropshire over the spring half-term break between 27 May and 4 June and join in a range of fun hands-on activities to discover more about Victorian engineering heroes and inspirational inventors, all of whom would have been regarded as superheroes of their day.

Have a go at packing tea in the Grocers and learn about Ferdinand de Lesseps. The French diplomat and engineer was the driving force behind the building of the Suez Canal, which halved journey times from India and made tea more affordable for working people. Then learn about Morse Code in the Town’s Post Office; Samuel Morse revolutionised long distance communication and allowed people to send messages across the world.

Transform your smartphone into a ‘Box Brownie’ camera with a special cover at the Photographers and hear about Julia Cameron, one of the greatest Victorian photographers who was known for her portraits of celebrities.

Go along to Speakers Corner at 2pm where all ages can follow in the footsteps of the famous Victorian social campaigner Millicent Fawcett, who fought for women to have the right to vote. Props and scripts will be available to help you get into character. And finally try the Izod tester in the Ironworks between 2pm and 4pm; named after its inventor, Edwin Gilbert Izod, the tester determines the impact strength of metals.

On Bank Holiday Monday, 29th May only, Blists Hill’s own ‘engineers’ will demonstrate how a large, steel oil drum can be crushed using less than a cup of water. This simple but very effective ‘trick’ was developed by Thomas Newcomen when he invented the world’s first steam engine.

Decorate a frisbee flinger with your own superhero logo at Enginuity during half-term 27 May – 4 June

Go along to Enginuity, near Ironbridge during the spring half-term, between 27 May and 4 June, and join a hands-on workshop to discover more about your favourite heroes from the world of science, engineering, technology and sport.

Having been inspired, choose your favourite hero, or create your own; then use your imagination to create a logo, maybe featuring their invention. Cut out your design and use a heat press to transfer the image onto a fabric frisbee, or ‘Flinger’.  The flexible frisbees can be twisted for storing in pockets or bags, ready to spring open again when you want to fly - or fling - them.

Do you have superhero style reflexes? Find out how fast you can react and measure your hand to eye co-ordination by challenging the Batak Wall. Try and hit as many of the illuminated targets as you can within 30 seconds.  It’s a great fun way to test your skills and improve your powers. There’s also a chance to test how fast you can kick a football; the Enginuity team will measure its speed to find out who has superhero football skills.

The drop-in workshops will take place daily, between 10.30am and 3.15pm; there is a small charge of £1.50 for materials plus admission.

Heroes and villains tile decorating and ceramic clay workshops

Between 27 May and 3 June, excluding Sunday 28 May, join drop-in heroes and villains tile decorating workshops at Jackfield Tile Museum and use your imagination to decorate tiles using the traditional tube lining technique. Tiles cost from £5 each (plus admission) and can be sent home later for a small extra charge to cover postage and packing. It takes up to 1½ hours to decorate a tile so last admission is at 3pm.

Across the river at Coalport China Museum you can take part in hands-on superhero themed workshops between 27 May and 4 June. On Tuesday and Wednesday, you can try sculpting your own character from air-drying clay; while throughout the spring half-term holiday you can also paint ceramic items such as a money box, fridge magnet or delicate china flower as well as paper plates. Sessions take place between 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm and activities vary from day to day, all ceramic items carry a small charge of £1-£4 in addition to the museum entrance fee.

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