A slice of science with your cuppa

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The view from the Museum’s upper gallery has always been spectacular; it’s the best place to admire the roof’s decorative iron work or to spot the dinosaurs lurking below. But add a great cup of coffee and a slice of cake to the experience and it steps up to a new level of pleasure. So it’s been fantastic to see so many happy visitors enjoying a break in our brand new café, Mortons at the Museum.

IMG_1127But we know that our visitors are a discerning bunch and are keen to learn, even when they’re enjoying elevenses, so we’ve installed a new display that runs the length of the upper gallery. A-Z is a taster of 26 natural history topics for you to get your teeth into.

From A for Adaptation to Z for Zoogeography, the alphabetical adventure whizzes past terms as diverse as Nocturnal and Living FossilIt’s designed so that you can take a pick and mix approach to whet your appetite, before devouring the large-scale displays around the Museum.

Zoë Simmons examining an abalone shell ready for the Iridescence case.
Zoë Simmons examines a Haliotid shell for the Iridescence case.

Zoë Simmons, of the Museum’s Life Collections, curated A-Z. She says that “One of the greatest challenges of the project was working on a display that encompasses such a wide range of subjects and crosses all disciplines of the Museum’s collections. I learnt a lot whilst researching and writing up the text for these displays.

“My favourite case is Iridescence. Not only is it full of beautiful rainbow-hued objects, but it has examples from all areas of the collections. There’s a fossilised ammonite, peacock ore, a Nectarinia bird, a jewel scarab and a Haliotid shell. It’s wonderful to be able to put a truly multi-disciplinary case together, as the opportunity is rare.”

A to Z

Each case has two levels of interpretation; a shorter, more light-hearted piece of text pitched at an average 10 year old visitor (though enjoyed by big kids too!), plus a more in-depth explanation for those who prefer a bit more science with their snacks.

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Lovely cakes in the new Café.

Tea and Typescake and Camouflage and sandwiches and Stromatolite seem to sit well together. Next time you’re experiencing museum fatigue, join us for a little nibble of natural history up in our brand new café.

Bon appétit.

Rachel Parle, Interpretation and Education Officer

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