Across our museums we preserve, display and interpret the many ways in which people have used science and technology through the ages to investigate the world around us and to try to make our lives easier and better.

Our collections cover life, the universe and everything in it: from science and engineering to nature and outer space. Find out more about the diversity of our science collections, our research and our commitment to science communication through formal and informal learning.

STEM engagement

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) engagement forms an integral part of our public programming, through innovative science shows, regular talks and lectures on science topics. As an active scientific research institution, we are able to draw on the expertise of our curatorial departments across the scientific disciplines and our STEM Engagement Group includes colleagues from across departments acting as a forum for discussion and development.

Science Saturday

Above: Trying out telescopes from our handling collection at a Science Saturday event. Photo © Ruth Armstrong.

Learning and Programmes

Our Learning and Programmes department has a wealth of experience in hosting public science events across our sites. We are a major partner and venue for the Edinburgh International Science Festival and collaborate with other leading institutions such as the University of Edinburgh, the Institute of Physics and science centres across Scotland.

Object handling with our Enabler team in our Explore gallery

Above: Object handling with our Enabler team in our Explore gallery. Photo © Ruth Armstrong.

Through our informal and formal programming we deliver science engagement across wide-ranging and diverse audiences covering everything from DNA workshops for schools to large-scale public events such as Awesome Bricks at National Museum of Flight.

Awesome Bricks at the National Museum of Flight

Above: Awesome Bricks at the National Museum of Flight. Photo © Chris Scott.

Get Energised and Powering Up

Scottish Power Foundation

Our flagship Get Energised programme funded by Scottish Power Foundation, our major STEM engagement funder, offers P4-S6 pupils the opportunity to participate in practical workshops on Renewable Energy technologies and to meet experts from industry. 

School children taking part in the Get Energised programme.

Above: School children taking part in the Get Energised programme.

Powering Up is our new schools and communities STEM outreach project for 2017/18. We are working with primary and secondary schools, families and communities in Midlothian, South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire to take STEM to them. 

Above: The Powering Up project in action. Photos © Ian Jacobs Photography.

Scientific research at National Museums Scotland

Our research unearths the significance of the millions of objects in our care and shares it with a wide audience, in Scotland and abroad. National Museums Scotland is recognised as an Independent Research Organisation by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

The Natural Sciences department undertakes fundamental scientific research in a variety of areas ranging from understanding life in the past to how modern climate change is impacting species distribution today. We collaborate with many university partners and supervise undergraduate and graduate student projects.

Digitally imaging insects in amber

Above: Digitally imaging insects in amber.

Our Science and Technology department looks after one of the most significant collections in Britain. Our collection and research covers four main areas: science, transport, communication and industry and engineering.

The Collections Services department provides practical skills and advice to improve the preservation and accessibility of the National Museums Scotland's collections. The Analytical Research section examines archaeological and historical objects by scientific methods to gain information about their condition, technology, history and use.

Conserving the coffin of Egyptian priest Iufenamun

Above: Conserving the coffin of Egyptian priest Iufenamun.

Explore more

Maths Week Scotland

Maths Week Scotland took place 10 – 16 September 2018. Events for families and adults across Scotland covered everything from game theory to solar flare modelling.

Play our games

From feeding hungry monkeys to exploring Ancient Egyptian pyramids, our games offer a fun learning experience for all ages!

Science and Technology stories

Uncover a world of invention and innovations with our science and technology stories and blog posts.

Natural World stories

Discover the wonders of the natural world through our collections.

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Contact us

Clare Meakin
Science Engagement Manager

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