Christmas Lectures: 28th, 29th and 30th Dec

Free fun and learning for the whole family. The Christmas lectures aim to inspire children and young people to engage with science and engineering. Unleash your inner engineer with hands on experiments and inventors’ workshop to take part in. Take inspiration from the great engineers from the north of England and create your own model vehicle to take home.

The Great Northern Coalfield provided the power that made England the world’s first industrial economy. It also gave birth to the modern world through its inventive genius and engineering skills producing the electric age. Steam power, hydraulic power, locomotives, railways, turbines, light bulbs and the generation and countrywide transmission of electricity were all invented or developed in the coalfield. The North East Region led the way into the modern age and the whole world followed.

In this year’s Christmas Lectures we aim to give you, the audience, the inspiration to create your own inventions. This year the theme is motive power and transport. Through interactive demonstrations and experiments which the audience are asked to join in with, Tom Mulholland will explore many of the inventions relating to transport emanating from this area and explains the scientific principles behind them. We will be making and testing vehicles of various types. We look at electric cars with a link to electricity generation and the work of Parsons and Armstrong. We’ll take a peek at battery technology and remember Joseph Swan and his early work on improving batteries for use in mines, which lead to the modern high density car battery and then on to the fuel cell. We’ll include the genius of Michael Faraday, the inventor of the electric motor and Eric Laithwaite, inventor of the maglev train, into the picture too.

The lecture will be followed by a practical hands-on inventors workshop with the aim of creating a model vehicle of your very own to take home with you.

The lectures will last for one hour and the workshop following a further hour.

Set in the spectacular surroundings of the Mining Institute’s lecture theatre, Tyneside’s very own version of the Royal Institution’s lecture space, the Christmas Lectures offer a fun packed way to learn about science with loads of hands on experiments for children and adults to take part in. Bring your camera and phone.

With so many fun packed live demonstrations to amaze and take part in, the Mining Institute’s Christmas Lectures have proved so popular with families we’ve added even more this year. All of our events are free. Please book your seats in advance. If you don’t have access to the internet please ring our office and leave a message (0191 232 2201). Each event will last up to 2 hours and doors open 30 minutes beforehand.

Book your tickets here:


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