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Available at both sites

Experience an interactive, hands-on learning experience focused on STEM, Social Studies and Expressive Arts inspired by objects and stories from our collection.

Under the Sea,  Nursery – P2 (1 hour)

Join Angie the Anglerfish as we journey from the beach to the deep sea exploring different habitats and objects we find in and around our oceans in this interactive STEM story. Afterwards we will investigate the objects we find. Do they float or sink? Are they living or not? Do they belong in the sea?
SCN 0-01a, SCN 0-15a, SOC 0-08a, TCH 0-10a
SCN 1-07a, TCH 1-06a

Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch, Nursery – P3 (1 hour – 90 minutes)

Our most popular early primary workshop based on the book by Ronda and David Armitage. Join Mr and Mrs Grindling and try to keep today’s lunch away from those pesky seagulls! First, design, make and deliver a delicious lunch for Mr Grindling, investigate which material is best to use for Mr Grindling’s picnic basket and finish building our giant 2 metre lighthouse as a class!
EXA 0-02a, LIT 0-04a, TCH 0-10a
EXA 1-02a, LIT 1-04a, SCN 1-07a, TCH 1-10a

Katie Morag and Island Life, P1 – P3 (1 hour)

Using Katie Morag stories as a stimulus, pupils will learn about life on Scottish islands by examining boat models, our puffer MV Spartan and items from our collection – a fun storytelling session!
SOC 1-02a, SOC 1-14a, TCH 1-11a

How the Pirates Turned the Tide, P2 – P4 (1 hour)

Ahoy landlubbers! Based on the wonderful new picture book by local author Greta Yorke, pupils will investigate recycling and keeping our oceans clean, all with a piratey theme! Arrrrr!
TCH 1-06a, TCH 1-10a, SCN 1-15a /
TCH 2-06a, TCH 2-10a

Scottish Shipbuilding, P4 – P7 (75 minutes)

Combine STEM and Social Studies in the story of Scottish shipbuilding and its importance to the lives of people in Irvine and Dumbarton. This includes object handling and an investigation into different ways to power a ship and the forces involved. Pupils will design and test their own vessel on our pond (Irvine) or mini test tank (Dumbarton).
SOC 2-01a, SOC 2-02a, SOC 2-03a, SOC 2-06a, SCN 2-07a, TCH 2-09a

Buoyant Adventures, P4 – P7 (60 minutes)

Explore buoyancy, density, floating, sinking and the science behind the world’s first ‘Eureka!’ moment in this interactive STEM workshop.
SOC 2-06a, SCN 2-08b, SCN 2-20a

Titanic: The Unsinkable Ship P4 – P7 (60 minutes)

What led to the world’s most famous shipping disaster? Pupils will discover the science behind sinking ‘the unsinkable ship’ and will get to test out some historic lifejackets before designing their own. SOC 2-01a, SOC 2-06a, SCN 2-08b

Living in a Tenement Flat, P3 – P7 (30 minutes)

Taking place inside our 1920s tenement flat, step back in time to find out what life would have been like. Investigate real historic records to find out who lived there? What did they wear? What jobs did they have? Think object handling and dressing up!
SOC 1-02a, SOC 1-04a
SOC 2-04a

Full Steam Ahead, P5 – S1 (1 hour)

Dive into the world of forces and steam power by investigating gravity, friction and what makes our huge engines move. A hands-on STEM workshop exploring fantastic forces.
EXA 2-03a, SCN 2-04a, TCH 2-10a

Maritime Codebreaking, P7 – S3 (1 hour)

Codes have been used for centuries, to send distress messages from the Titanic, encrypt secret messages on the Enigma machine in WWII and even in Roman armies. In this workshop we’ll test some coding techniques and write our own.
MTH 3-13a, TCH 3-13a, TCH 3-14a

Make a Museum, P6 – S3 (1 hour)

Fancy yourself as a Museum curator? Using our object handling boxes, replicas of some of our artefacts and artworks, design your own Museum display and learn the dos and don’ts of working in a Museum.
HWB 2-20a, SOC 2-01a
HWB 3-20a, SOC 3-01a, SOC 3-02a

Doon the Watter, all ages (1 hour)

Grab your suitcase and sunglasses as we head to the seaside! View our fantastic travel posters and make a postcard.
Curriculum links vary on session, call for more info on 01294 278283.

Shipyard Brag, all ages (1 hour)

What was it like to work in a shipyard? Explore the different objects, stories and social history behind this painting.
Curriculum links vary on session, call for more info on 01294 278283.

Powering Up, P7 only, with National Museums Scotland funded by the Scottish Power Foundation (90 minutes)

A hands-on workshop investigating renewable energy for P7 classes, including a 90-minute workshop based on wind, solar and hydroelectric energy delivered by National Museums Scotland at SMM Irvine and Dumbarton.

Dumbarton | 21-25 January 2019
Irvine | 18-22 March 2019, 15-18 April 2019

This session is FREE for schools in West Dunbartonshire, North, South and East Ayrshire and may include subsidised travel to and from the Museum. For more information and to book contact Craig Sinclair at or visit the website here.

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