Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums has teamed up with FutureEverything to deliver an exciting new programme of creative technology workshops at museums and galleries across Tyneside. 

The Future Makers programme is a series of exciting events that will enable children – and adults – to use new technologies for design and making.

From Minecraft sessions at Arbeia Roman Fort to a coders’ ‘hackathon’ at Stephenson Railway Museum, Future Makers seeks to inspire a new breed of creatives whilst challenging preconceptions of what museums and their collections mean in the digital age.

The programme gets underway on Wednesday 17 February with Gadgets: Adventures in Design, the first in the series of events at Gateshead’s Shipley Art Gallery. 

The event will be delivered by Hirsch & Mann, and utilising the gallery’s outstanding design collection for inspiration, children will create wearable objects for the people of the future before getting hands on with materials and the starter electronics kit Little Bits to realise the creations. 

The main event for adults follows on Sunday 21 February at North Tyneside’s Stephenson Railway Museum. Railway Codes is a 10-hour hackathon for developers, makers, engineers, data scientists, artists and train enthusiasts.

Follow in the footsteps of Robert and George Stephenson and join a team of 30 to experiment with historic data from both the museum collection and the UK rail network before creating new digital prototypes and artworks.

Budding inventor? New Inventors on Saturday 27 February takes place at Newcastle’s Discovery Museum, home to some of the region’s most celebrated inventions, including the world’s first light bulb. 

This event brings together two fun introductory electronics workshops for 7–11 and 12–14 year olds. The younger children will experiment with conductive dough, bringing it to life with light and sound, whilst older kids create electronic sounds by building their very own synthesiser.

Young fans of the phenomenally popular computer game Minecraft won’t want to miss the TimeCraft event at Arbeia Roman Fort, South Shields on Saturday 23 April.

In this workshop for 7–14 year olds, you’ll recreate Roman ruins in Minecraft and imagine what it was like to live in a fort like Arbeia. Play digital architect and archaeologist to transport yourself 2000 years into the past with the technology of today.

A further private event exclusively for Newcastle University students – The Museum as Medium – will see the creation of novel sound and visual digital artworks and light installations using data from the museum’s vast natural sciences collection. This takes place at the Great North Museum: Hancock on 23 and 24 March.

Places for Future Makers events are limited and should be booked in advance via: https://twmuseums.org.uk/future-makers

About TWAM

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM) is a major regional museum, art gallery and archives service. It manages a collection of nine museums and galleries across Tyneside and the Archives for Tyne and Wear. It is supported by the five local authorities of the area and Newcastle University. TWAM is also a Major Partner Museum funded by Arts Council England and has Core Funded Museum status.