The Statoil Gallery: Wonderlab

As a scientist, I’m used to hearing that science museums are boring, weird or just for kids. And in fact, when I arrived at the Science Museum, I found myself to be the only one there without children.

I crossed a mist of primary colours and mirrored walls and entered the Statoil Gallery, the home of Wonderlab. This new gallery challenges you to explore disciplines such as Chemistry, Physics and Maths in a fun and interactive way, that seems miles away from the stereotypical science museum experience.

There are over 50 demonstrations, experiments and installations that you can interact with to explore the wonders of Science. Inside a chamber of mirrors and lights you can sink into groovy visual hallucinations and feel yourself going down the rabbit hole. Walking through a black curtain into what feels like a misty South London club you will experience refraction of light through prisms and mirrors and play with colours as they divide along the spectrum.


At the Chemistry Bar, you will be welcomed by a live demonstration which can go from dry ice to volcanos in the span of 10 minutes. Whether you are an adult or a child, a scientist or an artist, you will transform chemical reactions into unique conversations with excellent scientists.


An evening at Wonderlab can take you on a trip around the Sun, after you turn your bones into speakers or watch freezing water become art through a polarised lens. The strength of this new exhibition is that it allows visitors to transform abstract scientific concepts into a fun afternoon with friends and family. Even though it was originally designed for children, I found that it was a fun and educational experience for people of all ages and backgrounds, especially for those who hate science museums.

Judit Agui is studying for an MSc in Science Communication.

Images: Judit Agui


One thought on “The Statoil Gallery: Wonderlab

  1. I think this should also comment on the fact that despite being sponsored by a major oil firm, this exhibition charges quite high prices (£5 if a student doesn’t come as part of a school trip). Statoil are also ignoring basic climate science by beginning drilling operations in the Arctic and Australia when we can’t even use all the fossil fuels we’ve already excavated. I don’t think it is sensible for a great magazine like I,Science to extol the virtues of this exhibition when it flies in the face of basic science.

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