Eureka! Science + Discovery, a landmark new £11.4m visitor attraction aiming to inspire a new generation of young people about Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths (STEAM) has today opened its doors to the public.
Expected to draw in around 180,000 visitors per year to its home on the banks of the River Mersey, directly opposite Liverpool’s iconic ‘Three Graces’ and set in one of the terminals of the world-famous Mersey Ferries, the attraction builds on the success of Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Yorkshire and is the first expansion of the brand anywhere else in the world.
With a range of unique and innovative exhibits, including a huge 12 foot tall cat complete with swishing tail and a giant climbing tree, as well as sections exploring the human body, low carbon technologies and an exhibit on the environmental impact of fast fashion, the attraction has been co-created in close partnership with 120 children and young people from the local area, with support from renewable energies firm and funding partner, Ørsted to help influence the questions and issues Eureka! Science + Discovery will explore.
Leigh-Anne Stradeski, who has been CEO of Eureka! since 2000, commented, “This project has been in the making since 2014, so we’re delighted we can now throw open our doors and share what we’ve been working on! The enthusiasm from young people, families, and schools from across the UK has been overwhelming, and we’re excited that we’ll soon be creating magic moments and inspiring a new generation about STEAM subjects through exciting interactive exhibits you won’t find anywhere else in the UK.
“Eureka! has inspired, educated and entertained families for 30 years, and now we get to show a whole new generation how to reframe the way they view the world around them. What a privilege!”
The new £11.4m visitor attraction has received funding from both public and private sector donations, including £6.4m from Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund, and a £3m investment from the Wellcome Trust/UKRIs ‘Inspiring Science Fund’, and plays an important role in supporting the Liverpool City Region achieve its inclusive growth and education ambitions by engaging young people in STEAM subjects in new, more accessible ways.
Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram said, “Our area has established itself as an international tourist destination for a reason: because we offer our visitors an experience unlike anywhere else in the country. Eureka!’s arrival will bring another fascinating new addition to our offer.
“What was a tired and underused space will be replaced by a fresh, interesting, and interactive new attraction for all the family, thanks in part to £6.4m of funding from the Combined Authority. It is just a part of our wider plans to revitalise Birkenhead and the Left Bank area.
“As someone who is passionate about skills and technical subjects, I’m delighted to see that Eureka! Science + Discovery will be putting a special emphasis on STEAM subjects, introducing our region’s young people to topics like life sciences, digital innovation and green technology in a fun and refreshing way.
“We want to inspire our youngsters, especially young women, to explore the opportunities out there for them and help to address some of the gender imbalances that exist in these sectors, and I can think of no place better for them to start that journey than here in the Liverpool City Region. With some of the world’s leading clusters of innovation in science, technology and AI right on our doorstep, our area is a natural fit. Who knows how many engineers and scientists of the future might be inspired by their visits?”
Wirral Council Leader, Councillor Janette Williamson, added, “We couldn’t be more excited to have a world-class attraction like Eureka opening in Wirral. Not only is it a big boost for our local economy and will create many jobs but it’s such an exciting, immersive way for children to learn.”
Eureka! Science + Discovery is the only visitor attraction in the UK co-designed specifically with children and young people aged seven and over. It harnesses arts and creativity as vehicles for exploring broader STEAM themes around Health and Life Sciences, Digital and Creative, Low Carbon, Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing.
The attraction includes hundreds of hands-on and interactive activities and fun learning experiences based on key themes relevant to everyone’s daily life. These include zones exploring the wonderful uniqueness of our Bodies, all the things that are part of the fabric and spaces of our Homes, and Nature where questions ranging from the smallest critters to the big questions around climate action are explored.
There is also Make Create, a space where imagination and innovation come together to allow visitors to tinker and create. A phase two opening of the Discovery Café and a dedicated exhibition area for the younger visitors, The Burrow will be launched after Christmas.