Architect's sketch of Technicians: The David Sainsbury Gallery © JAC Studio
Today (17 May), sees the announcement that Marvel Studios, the NHS, National Grid, and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at the University of Sheffield, are four or the organisations that are collaborating on the Gatsby funded, Technicians: The David Sainsbury Gallery at the Science Museum, London.
Visitors to the Technicians Gallery, which will open to the public of 3 November this year, can explore where technicians work, hear their inspirational stories and experience what it’s like to be a technician through interactive exhibits which showcase technicians working in four key sectors: advanced manufacturing, creative industries, health science, and energy networks.
Education groups, including schools, home educators and youth groups, can now add the Technicians gallery to their itinerary when they book their next visit to the museum, making use of a new online booking system for groups which launched today. Schools can also book free hands-on gallery workshops with real-life technicians, which will immerse young people in the daily tasks technicians perform and provide insights into the skills needed to do their job. The workshops will also encourage young people to explore their own skills and consider a wide range of technical careers that they might enjoy.
Thanks to a close collaboration with Marvel Studios, a centrepiece of the new Technicians gallery will be the reconstructed film set for Shuri’s Lab from the hugely successful film, Marvel Studios’ Black Panther. Visitors can re-enact the role of a film-set lighting technician, tasked with adjusting the lighting brightness, colour and intensity to correctly light the set, work as a post-production sound technician, and perform the role of a visual effects technician to integrate virtual objects into footage from the film.
With a design inspired by the exterior of The Royal London Hospital, the health science section of the gallery will focus on the role of pharmacy technicians who create bespoke drugs for patients in NHS hospitals. Visitors will be able to try out their analysis and measurement skills through interactive exhibits which mimic the life-saving tasks – such as preparing an IV bag, checking medicines for contaminants and pipetting – something NHS technicians must perform daily with exceptional accuracy.
A huge wind turbine model will greet visitors to the energy networks section of the gallery, which reveals the technicians, often working outdoors or in extreme environments, who build, maintain, and repair energy networks. Visitors can take on the role of a wind turbine maintenance technician, diagnosing and solving problems then checking their fix has succeeded with a virtual wind turbine model, or pilot a remotely operated vehicle on the ocean floor, studying multiple camera feeds and weather charts while operating a range of piloting controls to successfully clear obstructions from an underwater trench.
Visitors can experience the work of technicians at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre by testing innovative designs using computer aided design and experimenting with simple coding to optimise the movement of a robotic arm, watching it in action in a task inspired by the use of robotics in recycling facilities. The enjoyment of taking apart an old games console to see how it worked inspired one individual to begin a technical career and that deconstructed games console can be seen on display alongside another inspiring object, a bespoke prosthetic leg made for a ballet dancer by advanced manufacturing technicians at Imperial College London.
Commenting on the announcement of the four collaborating organisations announced today, David Sainsbury said:
'It shows what a vital contribution technicians across our workforce make to the economy that employers of the calibre of the four announced today have given it their enthusiastic support, and I am very grateful for their help.
'Over and above the four areas of work reimagined on the Technicians Gallery, many more industries, employers, and one hundred different technician roles – some not currently as well understood as they should be – will also be celebrated. Discovering more about jobs that could bring us fulfilment and security, and the educational routes to them, particularly those that we know less about, can be life-changing.
'The choices we make about our careers are some of the most important of our lives. If some of the young people who visit the Technicians Gallery are inspired to undertake a career that they never knew was open to them, I believe that the beneficial impact on their lives, and the success of the industries in which they work, will be enormous.'
For more information visit the Technicians: The David Sainsbury Gallery page on the Science Museum website.