AN INFLATABLE museum was set up outside Manchester Town Hall in Albert Square for the launch of a new learning initiative in schools.

Manchester Museum will officially launch the project in September 2016 as a way of bringing the museum experience into schools and engaging children with historical artefacts.

The programme will reach out to schools that cannot afford to transport children to the museum and reduce huge number of schools which they cannot accommodate because of huge demand.

Jack Ridley and Menaka Munro were part of the team establishing the inflatable museum.

Jack Ridley, who will be conducting the workshops as Inflatable Museum co-ordinator, said: “This is a way of expanding our capacity and extending our reach because we would love to go to as many schools as we can.

“This is about getting real objects in the museum out all over Greater Manchester and giving (pupils) a sense of what the museum is all about.”

The museum already offers educational services to over 30,000 pupils in house and will extend its remit with the scheme.

The inflatable museum can be set up in about half an hour, in a relatively small space, whilst projectors and sound systems will be used to give pupils a more immersive experience.

Initially the museum will be offering their Egyptian artefact workshop, which is their most popular in-house.

The workshops will take pupils through the history of the items they are looking at, from their discovery in the 1800s to the reception of the items and allowing children to create their own exhibition.

Dan Stoker, 27, from Manchester who is a teacher said: “The idea of coming into schools is great, it’s such a different initiative.”

His sister Helen, 30, from Rusholme, also a teacher, said: “The feel of being on a school trip as opposed to seeing a box of items is much more engaging.”

The programme has been funded by a grant from The Zochonis Charitable Trust who have been working with the museum for over a year since the idea’s inception.

Menaka Munro,  learning manager at Manchester museum said the idea was to create as close as possible to a museum environment in schools.

She said: “We have always tried to do outreach in schools but lunch rooms are not as inspiring as museums and that was the thought behind creating a mobile immersive experience.”

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