The Water Planet areas let you explore our fascinating world of water and how we use it.
Over 70% of Earth is covered by water and we have found many different ways to use its power. The Water Circuit explores some of these methods combining three devices to lift water - a bucket chain, village pump and Archimedes' screw - with three more that spring into action as the water flows back down - a turbine, waterwheel and tipping buckets. You can operate devices which in some cases would have been familiar to your ancestors centuries ago.
The Water Play tanks let you do just this, play with water! Build dams, explore water pressure using pipes and connectors, see the patterns a fountain makes as you turn the taps on and off and create locks and canals.
The natural power of water as it progresses from streams to rivers to oceans is explored in the Erosion exhibit. Scoop up some sand and see the patterns formed as water flows around it.
Can you lift 680Kg of solid stone? Water can! Watch how the Stone Ball floats effortlessly on a thin frictionless cushion of water. The water pressure under the ball is about one tenth the pressure of a domestic tap but this is enough to lift the ball from its socket. The ball is so symmetrical that with just a bit of a push you should be able to get the ball to move in any direction.
Please note that the fog machine, water play tanks, granite ball and erosion are decomissioned during the colder months of the winter season in order to prevent the pipes freezing and splitting.
Our water play areas are treated with dilute bromine solution and are tested regularly. The concentration of Bromine is kept between 3-5ppm which is a safe and effective disinfectant against coronavirus. While the concentration is low some people may be allergic to bromine.
Please note that to minimise the risk of transmitting COVID-19 the following outdoor exhibits are not cuurrently available: