Science Museum's Making The Modern World Is Best Of Web

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 19 April 2005
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Shows a screenshot of a web page, entitle Making The Modern World. At the top there is a row of links to the sections of the website, below which there is a row of photographs, including an astronaut against the backdrop of the globe, a steam train, a person and a crowd of people.

Making the Modern World combines the collections of three national museums in one fascinating web package.

Making the Modern World, the innovative online rummage through the National Museums of Science and Industry’s collections, has been named the Best of the Web at the prestigious Museums and the Web Conference 2005.

Created by the Science Museum, Peter Symonds College, web designers SAS and Winchester-based museum consultancy mwr, Making the Modern World was named Best Education Site and handed the overall Best of the Web award at the event in Vancouver.

Speaking to the 24 Hour Museum, Tilly Blyth of the Science Museum said: "We're overjoyed! To win one award feels good, but to win two major awards feels very special indeed."

"Making the Modern World was very much a collaborative effort between the Science Museum, Mackenzie Ward Research and SAS our designers," she acknowledged.

Through the digitisation and collation of objects, images and records, Making the Modern World provides a unique window into the Science Museum, National Museum of Photography, Film & Television and National Railway Museum.

Shows a photograph of five people, men and women, standing in front of a display board showing the Museums and the Web logo.

A winning team - Tilly Blyth (centre) is joined by the Science Museum's Dave Patten and Mike Ellis (back); conference co-chair Jennifer Trant (far right) and a Best of the Web judge. Photo: Jon Pratty © 24 Hour Museum.

Created with £1.4 million of funding from the Government’s Invest to Save Budget and the Cabinet Office, the site offers over 80 animated rich media web trails.

Stretching the limits of the traditional online museum experience it gives unprecedented insight into the stories behind objects from rockets to radios, locomotives to lasers and cameras to computers.

Declaring the site Best of the Web the judging panel, including leading professionals from around the world, explained: "Making the Modern World is a robust demonstration of how museum artefacts can be offered online to engage audiences in an innovative learning experience."

They continued: "A highly interactive site that gives the user many options for shaping their experience and makes good use of new technologies. It is deep and provides interdisciplinary learning. Great site. Funducational and very informative. Something for everyone! The whole family will be fighting for computer time!"

A three-day event held on April 13-16 in Vancouver, Canada Museums and the Web is the leading international conference for culture and heritage online.

Shows a screenshot of a wb page, on which there are a number of text and word panels under the headline Women making the modern world.

From rockets to radios, locomotives to lasers and cameras to computers, Making the Modern World offers a comprehensive and instructive online gateway to

Now in its ninth year, 2005 saw webmasters, educators, curators, librarians, designers, directors, scholars and consultants address the social, design, technological, economic, organisational and cultural issues of culture and heritage on the Internet.

As part of proceedings, each year there is an award ceremony to honour the work considered by a panel of experts to be the Best of the Web.

In 2005 it was a double success for Making the Modern World as the site was also named the Best Education Site.

"Two of the most compelling aspects of education are the notion of relationships and theory/application," explained the judges. "This site addresses both in an elegant manner."

"The aspects I find most appealing," remarked one of them, "are the open questions (inviting students to probe further) and the related material grid at the bottom of each module. This site promotes higher order learning while keeping the user engaged with visuals, flash demonstrations such as the space race, and simple narratives."

The 24 Hour Museum was nominated in the Best E-Services and Best Educational Website categories.

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