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W5 Science Centre re-opens after £4.5m investment

The W5 Science Centre has re-opened to the public following a £4.5m redevelopment with eight new interactive zones.

The Move It Zone at W5
The Move It Zone at W5

The reimaged attraction in Northern Ireland offers STEM learning by using real tasks and scenarios – allowing visitors to discover the problem, design, and experiment how to overcome it and develop a solution and understand why. The sceneries link to Belfast so that visitors are working with real life tasks that are relevant to their lives rather than abstract concepts.

Design consultancy Mather & Co worked with interactive design specialists, Aivaf, on the new science and discovery hub at the centre. They developed two new gallery floors of exhibits, interactives and engaging audio-visuals to stimulate science learning.

Funded by a NI Government grant to support opportunities and engagement with science in Northern Ireland, new features at the centre include a giant 4m machine, Marvellous Machine, where visitors can use the various mechanical interactivity to learn about ancient mechanics such as Archimede’s screw, cogs, springs and levers.

In the Energise zone, visitors can power the city of Belfast to learn what energy is and how it is created. The high energy zone delves into renewable and non-renewable energy forms and their impact on our lives and environment.

“It was really rewarding to design a whole experience where the focus was on facilitating young people's learning in a fun way. The design helped expand how engaging and varied this can be for the visitors,” said Alec Hawkins, graphic designer at Mather & Co.

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