Great Exhibition & Stephenson's Rocket- FAQ's

Discovery Museum and the Great Exhibition of the North


The Great Exhibition of the North takes place in Newcastle and Gateshead from 22nd June-9th September 2018.

As part of the Great Exhibition Discovery museum will be hosting Stephenson’s Rocket on loan from The Science Museum in London.

This very exciting loan means that the Discovery Museum is likely to be very busy from the 25th June- 20th July. We are running tours and workshops for 10 schools per day as part of the Innovation walking trail and well as self-led visits. In addition a high volume of general visitors to see Stephenson’s Rocket are expected.

How do I book?


All facilitated workshops and tours are now fully booked until the end of the academic year.

You are welcome to visit the Discovery Museum self-led. We ask that groups get in touch to let us know when they will be coming to the museum. We can offer advice on how busy the museum is likely to be and areas of the museum that might be of interest to your group.

When you enquire about a visit please we will ask for the following information:

·         Name of school

·         Contact Name

·         Telephone number

·         Email address

·         Number of pupils & year group

·         Preferred dates

·         Access requirements

The museum is free of charge however if you wish to see the Stephenson Rocket exhibition, It’s Rocket Science (from 25th June), you will have to book a time slot for your group (see below).

How do I book tickets to see the It’s Rocket Science Exhibition?


Due to high demand, entrance to see Stephenson’s Rocket and the It’s Rocket Science exhibition will be ticketed. Groups visiting Discovery Museum will be unable to see Rocket or the exhibition without a ticket.

To book your group ticket please get in touch with the discovery learning team (from 21st June). You will be asked for preferred dates and times for your visit. Please note that the maximum number of tickets per session is 30. As this will include the adults we may need to book two time slots to accommodate groups.

How much does a visit cost?

Entry to all our venues is free however tickets do need to be booked in advance to see Stephenson’s Rocket and the It’s Rocket Science exhibition. 

What if I need to cancel my visit?

If you are visiting us for a workshop please contact the learning team if you have to cancel your visit. As we are now fully booked we are unfortunately unable to offer you an alternative date.

We would also appreciate if self-led groups would also let us know if they are unable to come. This will help us to manage the number of people in the building during the Great Exhibition. 

Can I make a preliminary visit?

Yes! We highly recommend you make a preliminary visit to help you get the most out of your trip, especially if you are on a self-led visit. The Learning Team are happy to discuss your visit with you, ensuring you and your pupils get the most from it. Please contact them directly for more information on the resources available or to arrange a meeting to discuss your requirements.

Please note if you wish to visit Stephenson’s Rocket or the It’s Rocket Science Exhibition for a preliminary visit you will be required to book a ticket (free of charge) through our website. This exhibition will be open from 22nd June.

 https://discoverymuseum.org.uk... 

You will be unable to see this exhibition without a pre booked ticket. 

Is there a Risk Assessment?

Unfortunately we do not have a Risk Assessment you can download, as the Department of Education's publication 'Safe Keeping' states, ‘the group leader should carry out a risk assessment’. However each venue has a Hazard Identification Sheet which, along with your preliminary visit, will help you write your risk assessment.

The Hazard Identification Sheets can be downloaded here: Hazard Identification Form

For further help please contact the venue Learning Team directly.

How many adults should I bring?

There is no restriction on the number of adults you can bring on a visit, however we expect all visiting groups to follow current guidelines appropriate for the age and needs of their individual group. It is your responsibility to ensure your pupils safety and conduct whilst visiting the venue. We suggest you prepare your pupils and adult helpers for the visit, ensuring a valuable and enjoyable experience for all.

Please ask the venue Learning Team for specific information if you need to discuss ratios.

Are there any safety issues I need to know about?

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums actively try to make our venues as safe as possible. However, our venues (especially outdoor sites) can still be hazardous. Members of staff are always onsite to ensure, as far as possible the safety of visitors. However, ultimately your pupils are your responsibility, never leave them unsupervised.

Please ensure that your pupils are suitably dressed and are wearing appropriate footwear for the weather and activities they are participating in.

What should I do on arrival?

If you are booked in for a facilitated Tour as part of the Innovation Trial or a Stephenson’s Rocket and the Rainhill Trials workshop please meet at the schools meeting point outside of the building. This will be signposted from the 25th June.

If you are self-led group please report to the front desk through the main entrance. You will need to sign your group into the building. If you have booked tickets to see Stephenson’s Rocket it will be up to you to ensure that you are waiting at the entrance of the Rocket exhibition for your time slot. Schools arriving after their time slot will not be able to see the exhibition. 

Is there somewhere we can store our bags and coats?

Schools participating in the Stephenson’s Rocket and the Rainhill Trials workshops will be provided with space to store their bags and coats on arrival.

Due to the high volume of school groups coming through the museum from the 25th June- 20th July we will be unable to provide bag storage to schools visiting as part of the walking trails or self-led groups. Schools are advised to ensure their students travel light and are able to carry all their own belongings. 

Are there lunch spaces available?

Schools participating in the Stephenson’s Rocket and the Rainhill Trials workshops will be provided with space to eat their lunch (30mins) they will be advised on this upon arrival.

Due to the high volume of school groups coming through the museum from the 25th June- 20th July we will be unable to provide lunch spaces to schools visiting as part of the walking trails or self-led groups. Schools are welcome to use the plaza area outside of the building to eat their pack lunches. 

Is there a shop?

Yes there is a shop. We ask that students are supervised to help ensure a quick and efficient visit to the shop.

Are there toilets?

All our venues have accessible male and female toilets.

Are there any resources available to help my visit?

Hazard Identification Sheets, teachers packs and resource sheets are all available here: Resources and Downloads