A sprawling Science Garden featuring a water fountain powered by visitors and an eight metre-high ball-firing totem has won £500,000 from the Wellcome Trust as part of a major new Birmingham park devised by Thinktank Science Museum.
The Science Garden, which will be built outside the popular museum celebrating the scientific and industrial heritage of the West Midlands, will become the city’s first new park in more than a century when it opens in June 2012.
The £2.6 million plan includes a central fountain driven by natural energy, a towering Terminus which sets off “dancing balls”, whistles, smoke and insights into efficient vehicle design.
It aims to rival other science gardens around the world such as the New York Hall of Science and Danfoss Universe in Denmark.
“The City Park will transform the Eastside of Birmingham, and this Science Garden is going to be an extraordinary feature of the new public space,” said Thinktank Trust chairman Len Clark, who said planners were “truly grateful” for the Wellcome investment.
“We are now working with contractors on the design and construction of the large-scale exhibits and look forward to opening this new addition to the museum next year.”
Clare Matterson, the Director of Medical Humanities and Engagement at the Wellcome Trust, said the space would allow children to “explore their natural curiosity of science through play.”
“As one of the original funders of Thinktank since it’s beginnings over a decade ago, we are pleased to support this project,” she added.
“We hope that it will encourage more people to step inside and explore the many hand-on exhibits the museum has to offer.”
Work on the garden will begin in August 2011.
- Businesses and individuals interested in joining the project are being invited to visit a dedicated website.