Skip to main content

National Science and Media Museum

Our senses tell us everything about the world around us, but their true power is often left untapped...

What makes the way you sense the world absolutely unique? How can we extend and amplify our senses? At this incredible family exhibition, you could hear the Big Bang, test your taste buds, see the world like an animal and get hands-on with technology that revealed how humans have been stretching their senses for centuries.

Sensory Soundpits

A musical instrument for the 21st century! The unique Sensory Soundpits used sand, motion-capture technology, original music and animations. As you played with the sand, you created your very own soundscapes and visual mixes.

Touch Me

You could really leave a mark on the exhibition by getting hands-on with Touch Me! This colourful artwork used different shades of thermochromic inks, which react to your body heat when touched.

In the Eyes of the Animal

Can you imagine what the world might look like if you were an owl? What about a frog or a dragonfly? This incredible video installation, presented on a huge 180˚ screen, took you on a visual journey as you explored a forest through the eyes of these creatures.

Journey Through the Mirror Pool

Sound recordist Chris Watson, who has worked on shows like Springwatch and Frozen Planet, teamed up with local students to capture sounds in, around and even below Bradford's Mirror Pool. The result was an eight-minute composition that revealed the hidden sounds of Bradford.

Animal sensing trail

Younger visitors could follow this trail around the galleries to find surprising and amazing facts about animals’ senses.

How can technology enhance senses? How can we sense the vastly distant, the microscopic, or the physically inaccessible? Objects from our collection illuminated the ways our senses can be tested, improved and augmented.

More to discover

Train your super senses

You’ve spent your whole life learning about the world through your senses. Keep on tuning and training them with this toolkit full of top sensing tips and tricks—simply print it out and make it at home.  

Download the toolkit (PDF)

Hear more of Bradford’s hidden sounds

If you enjoyed Journey Through the Mirror Pool, you can keep exploring the sounds of Bradford with extra recordings made by artists Noise Orchestra and Alan Dunn—including a ghostly tale from the Midland Hotel! Read Noise Orchestra’s blog post and visit Alan Dunn’s page on Journey Through the Mirror Pool.

On our blog


Sensory Soundpit created by artist Di Mainstone in collaboration with Kriss and Shi Blank, Howie Jacobs, Annie Keane, Paul Miller and Mandy Wigby with funding from Arts Council England

Journey Through the Mirror Pool created by Noise Orchestra and Alan Dunn in collaboration with Chris Watson. Recordings made by Paul Ratcliff, The Psychic Audio Group, Steve Cummings (University of Bradford), Chris Hladowski, Alex De Little (University of Leeds) and students from Leeds Beckett University and The University of Bradford: Naomi Gilby, Paul Walsh, Paulina Kalwarska, Marcus Christensen, Jonathan Rourke and Kristina Avramova. The artists wish to thank Tim Brunsden, Danny Saul, Sam Meech, Pro Audio Systems, Andy Abbott and Mark Goodall for their additional support

Touch Me created by Zane Berzina

In the Eyes of the Animal created by Marshmallow Laser Feast