The British Motor Museum

Students at the British Motor Museum.

STO takes a look at the educational opportunities available for Primary schools at the British Motor Museum, in subjects like Science and History.

The British Motor Museum in the West Midlands is said to be home to the world’s largest collection of historic British cars. However, its range of almost 300 classic, vintage and veteran cars are not the only thing it can boast about; it also has an extensive learning programme that offers cross-curricular activities.

Primary school workshops and interactive museum walks, which explore how cars and other forms of transport have developed over time can tie in with subjects including Science, History and Design & Technology.

School Travel Organiser takes a look at some of the sessions available…


Materials & Movement

This Early Years and Key Stage 1 workshop explores the different materials that are used to make cars through object handling and role play activities, and gets students to consider what makes a good car design.

Using what they have learnt pupils then build their own cars using Lego bricks to test on the British Motor Museum’s race track.

Toys through Time

This workshop for Early Years and Key Stage 1 students is made up of a tour of the museum as well as a handling session. It looks at the history of moving toys and how they have developed over the decades, before students are then given the chance to create their own toy truck.

Robotics & Coding

Suitable for Key Stage 1 and 2 students, Robotics & Coding uses programming resources, Lego Education WeDo and Lego Education Mindstorms EV3 to challenge pupils coding abilities.

Pupils will learn how to build and guide their robots around the British Motor Museum’s obstacle course and complete simple tasks while developing their coding skills.

Discovering Gears

Discovering Gears takes the form of a scientific investigation for Key Stage 2 students, which looks into the effect of gears on vehicles.

In teams pupils are challenged with constructing and testing a Lego vehicle to see how different gear ratios effect the speed of a vehicle. Students will discover the combination of gears that make the vehicle go fastest, and learn how gears are used to transfer force in vehicles to regulate speed and maintain control.

Discovering Forces

Complementing the Science topic on forces, Discovering Forces looks at forces at work in cars, such as pushes and pulls, gravity and friction.

Using Lego Technic kits to make model cars, students will conduct a scientific investigation into potential energy, recording data for analysis and discussion.

British Motor Museum

Interactive activities at the British Motor Museum.

Interactive Museum Walks

As well as its workshops the British Motor Museum provides a number of interactive museum walks, which involve a museum tour and activities led by a member of the museum’s education team.

Journeys through Time

Journey through Time features costumed role play as students get to experience what it was like to own one of the first cars and drive on Victorian roads.
Students will also get to explore the British Motor Museum’s collection of over 150 vehicles, including a 1920s London bus, and will consider how the development of the motor car has altered the way people have lived their lives over the last century.

Wheels of War

In this History-focused session, Key Stage 2 students will discover what it was like to work in car factories during World War Two and will also learn more widely about what life was like on the Home Front for workers and their families.

Led by a member of the British Motor Museum’s learning team, this interactive session includes the chance to handle real World War Two objects, see rare film footage from the museum’s collection, and tour the museum.

History of Transport

A guided tour and an object handling session is also available, in an experience called History of Transport.

Particularly suited for schools from the West Midlands area looking to complement a local history study, the session looks at the history of the motor car, and its importance in the West Midlands, where cars are said to have been built for over 100 years.

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