Our learning sessions are fully booked until Christmas. We are now taking bookings for dates in 2023.

Make a booking enquiry now

In the 1890’s, Marconi and Colonel Crompton set up ground-breaking electrical engineering factories in Chelmsford. Inspired by their work, pupils will take on the role of electrical engineers. They will test their own ideas by conducting experiments and building a variety of different circuits. Through these experiments, they will explore how Crompton and Marconi used electricity to power motors and generate radio waves that enabled communication without being joined by wires.

This hands-on session gives pupils lots of opportunities to generate and test their own ideas as they explore the story of Marconi and Colonel Crompton. Pupils will:

Make electromagnets and carry out fair tests to investigate factors that might affect their strength.

Look for electromagnets in the enormous motor-generator Crompton’s built to power the first trams on Southend pier, then build mini a motor and generator to power a lighthouse and pulley system.

Test and sort a variety electrical conductors and insulators, comparing materials used in the original 1865 transatlantic electric telegraph cable and our modern cables.

Build a really large circuit to send Morse code messages across the Atlantic Ocean!

Train as Marconi Morse radio operators and discover the link between electricity, radio, Marconi and the Titanic.

Stay for a day

For two classes or a whole day visit, combine this session with our free History Makers Trail or Sparky's digital museum trail which will give your pupils an opportunity to explore the whole museum, see objects talked about in the session and find out more about other significant local people.

National curriculum links

  • Construct a simple series of electrical circuits using a variety of different components and identify possible causes when components do not work
  • Recognise that a switch opens and closes a circuit and use this to control components in a simple series circuit
  • Recognise some common conductors and insulators, and associate metals with being good conductor
  • Compare and give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, speed of a motor
  • Work scientifically, talking and sharing ideas, designing experiments to test ideas and apply learning to solve problems

Capacity

One class per session.

Facilities

We have indoor lunch space available, plus picnic benches and a children's play area in the park. The museum is fully accessible with a lift and an accessible toilet.

Last updated: 20 October 2022