From education to employment

Science Museum celebrates one-millionth milestone for Technicians: The David Sainsbury Gallery

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Today, Technicians: The David Sainsbury Gallery, a free interactive gallery for 11-16-year-olds at the Science Museum, welcomed its one-millionth visitor, with students from UCL Academy in north London visiting as the milestone was reached. The Technicians Gallery is one of the museum’s most popular galleries for school groups, with more than 20,000 students visiting since the gallery opened in November 2022.  

The group was taking part in one of the gallery’s free Meet Employee workshops where students get the chance to meet a real technician and experience what it’s like to do their job through hands-on activities and a Q&A session. 

The students celebrated the milestone with Tyler Terry-Wallace, a Simulation Technician at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, who was delivering their on-gallery workshop. He said:

“I’ve been delivering workshops at the Science Museum since the Technicians Gallery opened and I absolutely love being able to showcase my job and inspire young people who may not have considered this career before as something they could one day do themselves. It’s such a privilege to be part of today’s celebration – I used to come to the Science Museum as a child, so to be back here and showing my career, and how that can make a difference in the real world, is a big deal!”

Laura Manning, Director of Careers at UCL Academy, said:

“At the Academy, we encourage thinking beyond school to life in the future and were particularly interested in the Technicians gallery and the Meet an Employee workshops to help inspire our students. In taking them outside of school they get to meet different people like Tyler and also challenge outdated stereotypes around STEM careers. We were delighted to take part in today’s announcement – this workshop activity is unique and we appreciate how it focuses on the application of science in the real world, bringing it to life.”

Laura Southall, Head of Learning at the Science Museum, said:

“While every one of our visitors is special, I am delighted to welcome the millionth visitor to the museum today. Achieving this remarkable milestone is a testament to the gallery’s engaging design, interactivity and of course, the technicians who deliver exciting, interactive learning experiences, and highlight the importance of technical careers. We’re grateful to the Gatsby Charitable Foundation for enabling the museum to shine a much-needed light on these important careers in the gallery and through the amazing and free schools programme we offer.”

Technicians: The David Sainsbury Gallery is a free interactive gallery which champions the vital but unseen role of technicians and seeks to change perceptions of technical careers. Young people can go behind the scenes and explore the roles of technicians working in advanced manufacturing, creative industries, health science and renewable energy to explore where technicians work, hear their inspirational stories, and experience daily life as a technician. 

Visitors to the gallery can handle essential items technicians use every day and try out one-of-a-kind interactive exhibits which replicate the important tasks technicians perform. Visitors can use their skills to control the film set lighting in a recreation of Shuri’s Lab from Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, make lifesaving drugs as an NHS pharmacy technician, practice precision welding techniques and diagnose problems as a wind turbine technician.  

Although an estimated 1.5 million technicians work in the UK—from archaeological technicians to veterinary nurses— few young people know about the pathways to these technical roles. Demand for these skilled jobs continues to increase, with 800,000 technicians and apprentices desperately needed across the STEM sector. The gallery helps to address the demand for these important jobs, providing a one-of-a-kind space for young people to explore different technician roles, discover more about the varied routes into these important careers and imagine themselves as technicians. 

In 2023 more than 100 technicians were collectively awarded The Royal Society Hauksbee Award, given in recognition of their efforts to address the critical technician skills shortage by generously volunteering their time to support Meet an Employee workshops at the museum, working with the Technicians: We Make the Difference website and campaign, and other invaluable contributions to their various industries. 

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