National Museum of Scotland

This is just a brief entry about a very brief visit to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. I enjoyed my short visit here. It seemed fun, relaxed and interesting. It was rather quiet too, which was a welcome change from the museums I’d just visited in the US.

The NMS had an impressive collection of Roman and Medieval items which were thoughtfully presented. But the main attractions I want to comment on was their interactive spaces. These seemed to be quiet numerous and well integrated into the more formal areas of the museum.

Tomb of Mary Queen of Scots at NMS

The first one was a hands on science and technology area called Connect. This area looked as though it had been around for some time. But it was still really fun and enticing. My husband was quickly absorbed by a reflex timing activity and I was drawn to the robots. To me it wasn’t a challenging space, I didn’t feel like I was learning many new things or adapting to new ideas, although I think this would be different for children. But it was fun and enjoyable. I also saw its potential as a learning space, where children can go and have a go and then share their discoveries or have team challenges to find solutions.

Connect at NMS
Robot interactive in Connect

Another space of note including the Discovery Zone in the medieval exhibition. After looking at long swords and celtic relics visitors are invited to try on costumes, construct a soldiers armour and test their skills at a mini-catapult. This was all fun, and informative. It was simple, yet cleverly turned glass covered relics into physical activities and thought-provoking challenges.

How an armoured shoe works
Medieval Discovery Zone
Simple questioning activity
Art and craft space in exhibitions

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