Community & Environment

Waikato Museum exhibition in line for national award

Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato is a finalist in the ServiceIQ New Zealand Museum Awards for an exhibition celebrating its region’s flair for science and innovation.

Inventors and Innovations: Waikato Bright Sparks is a finalist in the Exhibition Excellence: Science and Technology category of the annual national awards.

The interactive exhibition, which opened in June 2018, is inspired by the proud history of inventing and innovation success stories originating in the Waikato. Examples range from the well-known, none more so than Gallagher’s electric fence, to the more obscure, such as the radiocarbon dating laboratory at The University of Waikato.

Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham says presenting complex stories of inventing and innovation in an interactive way proved an exciting challenge for her team.

“Inventors and Innovations: Waikato Bright Sparks tells the story of can-do attitudes and No.8 wire technologies and how this can grow into a world-beating industry,” says Ms Meecham. “As inventing is a hands-on process, we wanted our visitors to experience the thrill of creating. It was a natural fit for Waikato Museum to tell these stories and inspire our visitors to go on their own journey of discovery.”

The Science and Technology category is a two-horse race, with Waikato Museum up against MOTAT’s (Museum of Transport and Technology) Accelerate: Driving New Zealand exhibition.

“The outstanding calibre of entrants received across all categories is a hugely positive indication of the strength of our sector,” says Riah King-Wall, the Strategic Lead: Creative Industries and Arts of Whanganui’s economic development agency, who sat on the judging panel. “The quality of projects and programmes presented in the groups of finalists is a testament to the innovation, resourcefulness and vision of museums and galleries across the country.”

The winners of the 10 categories will be announced at a ceremony at Te Papa on 22 May 2019.

Inventors and Innovations: Waikato Bright Sparks situated within Waikato Museum’s Exscite suite of interactive science galleries. Admission fee applies.

Waikato Museum is open daily, 10am to 5pm.

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