Media Studies trip to the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford

By Gemma S, Year 13

On Tuesday 13th of December, more than 50 Helsby High School GCSE and A Level Media students, and a few keen Year 9’s considering Media Studies as a GCSE option, all went to the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford to explore a diverse collection of exhibitions and galleries. The students explored the various floors of the museum in groups, participating in hands on experiences, such as in the Wonderlab room where we could learn about sound, how echoes and sound waves are formed, and how different coloured lights affect the way we perceive an objects colour.

Separate floors contained walk through galleries of both animation and television. Containing replica models of various sets, such as the museum floor from Wallace and Gromit’s “The Wrong Trousers”, and a life sized Dalek. Early methods of animation, such as the phenakistoscope, were on display and available to use, allowing students to experience the first instances of moving pictures. The museum also contains one of England’s first IMAX cinemas. Here the students watched the documentary “Antarctica” in 3D where we learnt about chinstrap penguins, great whales and seals along with the impact of climate change.

A popular activity with most students was visiting the retro games lounge, which is located within the museum’s animation floor: it contains various arcade systems, video game consoles and their iconic videogames. Reaching as far back as Pong, to Space Invaders, Street Fighter, Resident Evil 2 and Pac-Man. It was a great experience for those who knew the games, having been able to play them on the original consoles and arcade machines, and those who had never had the opportunity before now.

The main attraction of the visit was the museum’s ‘Switched On’ exhibition, which explored the innovations in the world of BBC broadcasting over the last 100 years. Displaying different broadcasting cameras, the evolution of colour television and a section on Deep Fakes, this being images or videos where a person’s face is super-imposed onto someone else’s using AI. Its contents being thought provoking and applicable to the rise in social media and advancement in technology. The life online display was filled with information on the internet, how it was created and where it is now, along with different interactive screens detailing older methods of communication ,such as telegrams, what a computer virus is and how HTML works.

All in all, it was a long but enjoyable day, and thanks go to Ms McGuirk, Miss Harrison and Mr Ogden for organising and accompanying the trip.