Find out more about our current community engagement programmes exploring science and technology and decorative art, design and fashion.


HomeWorks is a project inspired by art and design collections at the National Museum of Scotland. Using our collections of wallpaper and prints, ceramics, and chairs – everyday features from people’s homes – children and families from Edinburgh can design their own personal creations. Led by the artists Katie and Sophie Orton and Ali Glanville-Jones, the workshops aim to inspire creativity, connect people to our new Art and Design galleries opening in July 2016, and encourage an understanding of design processes.

You can find out more about the project here.

Above: Creating plates with Ortonandon

Museum Socials

From October 2015, National Museums Scotland has offered a series of events for anyone affected by dementia and their relatives, friends and supporters. Inspired by Meet Me at MoMA, we are programming this with the National Galleries of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. You can find out more about the programme here.

 Museum socials

Above: Museum Socials. © Ruth Armstrong.

You can read more about Museum Socials in this blog post.

At the end of 2016 we were approached by Edinburgh Napier University School of Arts & Creative Industries to ask if we could offer their students the chance to develop some practical experience in the field by taking part in work-based learning modules at National Museums Scotland. We asked staff if they would like to submit a project brief aimed at 4th year students studying television, film and community media, where they could complete a short film or animation for us based on any theme or aspect of our work.

Christine McLean, Community Engagement Manager in Learning & Programmes, submitted a project proposal relating to the Museum Socials she manages as part of Community Engagement services. The brief was a good match for Laura Briggs, a 4th year student studying for a BA in Television. This is the film she made.

We are finalists in Scotland’s Dementia Awards 2017!

Our Museum Socials programme has been short-listed, together with the National Galleries of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh for Best Dementia Friendly Community Initiative.

We were nominated by Julie Baikie whose mum, Rae, has been coming to the Socials every week for over eight months. 

Julie wrote:

“It’s the highlight of her week…. the variety of Friday activities are right up her street. It’s a fabulous program doing really important work and definitely contributing greatly to my Mum’s mental health and wellbeing.”

Scotland's Dementia Awards Finalist

Young Demonstrators

Formed in summer 2015, our group of Young Demonstrators meet regularly to plan activities and events for other young people in the museum. So far they have created their own tours, given visitors the chance to dress up in our photo booth, run object handling for the public and even worked with an artist to create a comic strip about Dolly the sheep! You can find out more about our Young Demonstrators here.

1. Group

Fashion and Style: Feeling Good

This workshop session will be inspired by the themes and collections in our new Fashion and Style gallery. Through discussion, activities and object handling the session will explore identity, body image and what it has meant to 'look good' throughout history. Workshops will be delivered both on-site at the National Museum of Scotland and as an outreach activity, with targeted community groups. This project is already under way, we have been working with a secondary school in Dundee to test out some ideas.

Fashion shoot

Above: Student fashion shoot at the National Museum of Scotland.

Opening up the Museum

This new project will offer resources developed by, and for, adult learners. The programme will be agreed with participants but is likely to include:

  • workshops and training programmes to prepare adult group leaders to undertake self-led visits to the Museum
  • new tours devised and delivered by new volunteers trained for working with vulnerable adult learners
  • new resources developed by adult learners and groups for their peers
  • new handling resources designed by, and for, adult audiences to support on or off-site learning.

Our Museum Socials are part of this project and our work with adult learners will get under way from February 2016.

Artist's impression of the new Science and Technology galleries

Above: Artist's impression of the new Science and Technology galleries.


With help from The Robertson Trust, our Museum2Go project took the National Museum of Scotland out to schools across the country. Find out more about the project here.


Outreach and engagement blog posts

Keep up with the latest outreach activity from our Community Engagement team.

Find out more

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