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National Museums Scotland Community Engagement is grateful for funding and grants to enable us to deliver a range of projects across Scotland. This vital support enables communities across Scotland to enjoy access to our collections, try fun activities and experience new learning opportunities.

Special projects

Summer of Play

Brilliant Bugs

National Museums Scotland is bringing Brilliant Bugs to parks and museum grounds as part of Summer of Play. Brilliant Bugs offers families opportunities to explore the biodiversity in their area, connect with museum collections, work with an artist and meet The Undiscovered Creature by Georgie Mac, recently seen at Imaginate’s Edinburgh International Children's Festival, who will animate the spaces whilst exploring nature.

The Undiscovered Creature will also be encouraging family visitors to examine the natural world through imaginative play with pop-up performances at the National Museum of Rural Life and the National Museum of Flight on selected dates over summer 2021.  

This event has been funded by Museums Galleries Scotland as part of the Scottish Government's Get into Summer programme, supporting opportunities for children and young people to socialise, play and reconnect this summer.

Scotland 365: Youth engagement project

Scotland 365: Youth engagement project

We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Kick the Dust fund support for our new ambitious youth engagement project, Scotland 365.

National Museums Scotland is the only single Scottish heritage organisation in receipt of this funding, totalling £776,000 over three years from 2018. Through Scotland 365 we will work with diverse young people to explore contemporary Scottish heritage.

National Lottery Heritage Fund

Find out more about Scotland 365

Discover the Museum

Discover the Museum

Discover the Museum brings classes from schools who are not regular visitors, from areas of mid-high deprivation within Edinburgh, to the National Museum of Scotland for a free, self-led, supported visit.

The project aims to build the confidence and knowledge needed for pupils to return on their own in the future and to see the museum as a place that is accessible, friendly, and full of interesting artefacts and exhibits. For many, it is their first visit to the Museum. The project first ran between November 2018-March 2019.

Find out more about Discover the Museum

Powering Up: Schools Science Outreach

Powering Up: Schools Science Outreach

Powering Up was a schools and communities science outreach project funded by the ScottishPower Foundation. Between 2017 and 2020 we worked with primary schools, families and communities in Midlothian, South Lanarkshire, Perth & Kinross, North Ayrshire and West Dunbartonshire to take science engagement to them.

Scottish Power Foundation

Find out more about Powering Up

Girls Rip It Up

Girls Rip It Up

Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop prompted a lot of visitors to pick up their instruments again, dust off their collection of LPs and crank up their favourite tracks by Scottish musicians.

For the group of young women who live locally in Edinburgh and met each other for the first time in October 2018, this exhibition took them on a bigger journey.

Find out more about Girls Rip It Up


Photo from Girls Rip It Up © Neil Hanna

Young Demonstrators

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. They are now hard at work, with other young people, helping to shape our new Scotland 365 youth project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund Kick the Dust programme.

The Adventures of Dolly the Sheep

Above: The Young Demonstrators worked with artist Henry Cruickshank to create a comic strip starring our very own super sheep, Dolly.

Find out more about Young Demonstrators

Curiosity! BBC Children in Need/Wellcome Trust

Curiosity! BBC Children in Need/Wellcome Trust

From Spring 2018, we will be taking National Museums Scotland science engagement activities out to children and young people across Fife.

We are supporting Fife Young Carers in delivering a science outreach and engagement project, funded by the BBC Children In Need and Wellcome Trust Curiosity fund. 

For more details, contact Jane Miller on (Wed-Fri only) or Clare Meakin on at the National Museum of Scotland, or Nina Collins at Fife Young Carers on

Inspired: Films by HND Television students from Edinburgh College

Inspired: Films by HND Television students from Edinburgh College

Students in their second year of HND Television at Edinburgh College Milton Road campus were given a brief to create three-minute videos in response to an artefact or display at National Museums Scotland.

Find out more about these films

Still from 'Animals of Africa' by Lewis Whitelaw

Craft Scotland: Celebrating Scottish Craft

Craft Scotland: Celebrating Scottish Craft

for people living with dementia

In a partnership programme supported by Craft Scotland, we are working with two outstanding Scottish-based craft-makers to run a series of high-quality craft workshops and events at the National Museum of Scotland.

Joanna Kessel delivered four workshops in January and February, making mosaic pieces inspired by the museum collections. 

Laura Murray delivered three fun and experimental workshops in March, looking at artefacts in the Museum's collection for inspiration. Participants designed, sketched and experimented with colour, then translated their designs onto metal, learning techniques such as hammering, filling, drilling and forming.

For more information, contact Laura Bennison on for the National Museum of Scotland (tel: 0131 247 4435 Mon, Tues only).

Photos of workshops © Neil Hanna.

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