Sports Lab - an interactive exhibition
Sheffield Hallam University
Region: Yorkshire & Humber
Sports Lab is an interactive exhibition that tells the story of the history of sports science and engineering. The exhibition explores the impact of technology on Olympic sports and explains the underlying science.
Sports Lab is an interactive exhibition that has stimulated debate and raised interest in sport, science and engineering and will reach an eventual audience of more than 400,000 visitors. The Centre for Sports Engineering Research worked in partnership with Museums Sheffield to develop the engaging and informative exhibition, aimed at young people (key stage 3) but accessible to all. Sports Lab explores the historical impact of technology on the sporting arena, and asks questions about where the future may take us. The exhibition is comprised of a collection of historic and contemporary artefacts positioned alongside numerous interactive sporting tests such as a virtual bike race, a reaction speed wall, a ‘smart’ dance floor, and even a skeleton bobsled simulator.
Sports Lab opened at the Weston Park Museum in Sheffield on January 29th 2011, and remained open every day until November 20th 2011. During this period more than 140,000 people visited the exhibition and developed their understanding about the fundamental role that science plays throughout the world of sport. An extensive schools learning programme accompanied the Weston Park exhibition and more than 100 primary and secondary school workshops were delivered by museum staff and PhD students. These school workshops were developed by the Centre for Sports Engineering Research and focused on curriculum linked aspects of human physiology and forces and motion.
The exhibition will re-open under the new name ‘Beautiful Games’ at the V&A Museum of Childhood on March 31st 2012, and will remain open until September 9th 2012. The Olympic timeframe and the close proximity of the exhibition to the Olympic Park has led to conservative visitor numbers estimates of 260,000.
This project was funded through a ‘Partnerships for Public Engagement’ grant from the EPSRC, sponsorship from Sheffield Hallam University, and core funding from Museums Sheffield.
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