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Wow Zone

Included in science centre ticket
Age 7+ recommendation
Set aside about 45 minutes
Adults operating Big Machine in Life's Wow Zone.

Get hands-on with exciting exhibits in the WOW Zone!

Explore how to bend beams of light, see yourself in an infrared camera, discover what sound looks like, operate our 6-metre-tall ‘Big Machine’ and much more.

Get stuck into brain teasing exhibits, explore how amazing science is used in everyday life, and be wowed by dramatic demonstrations that YOU control! Wow Zone aims to be a fun and memorable experience for children and adults.

Big Machine and pulley chairs have moving parts and contain small items. Please supervise children in your care. 

Wow Zone video still
See inside Wow Zone!

Wow Zone highlights

Cog icon

Push and pull levers, twist and turn handles, and use conveyor belts to move plastic grain capsules to the top of the Big Machine and watch them fall through the chutes.

Lightning icon grey background.

Watch lightning bolts strike a mini replica of Newcastle’s famous Grey’s Monument. See what happens to the lightning bolts when you touch the glass tube.

Bridge icon.

Work with a friend to build an arched bridge. Are you brave enough to test it with your body weight?

Muscle icon.

Test your strength and lift yourself up to see the science centre from a different viewpoint on our pulley chairs.

Temperature icon.

Create a live heat map of your body with our infrared camera. What happens to the colours if you touch something cold?

Rotate icon.

Turn a handle to generate enough hydrogen and oxygen to blast a ping-pong ball the height of a two-storey building.

Accessibility information

Wow Zone has lots of hands-on activities to enjoy. There are instructions around to explain how to use the exhibits. Some might move, make a loud noise, or light up when in use.

Lots of the exhibits in this area are noisy, such as ‘visible vibrations’ which has a low, but loud humming noise, and the hand dryer, alarm and dimmer switch on the ‘circuits workbench’.  The hydrogen power tower makes a loud bang as it launches a ball inside a tube.  Ear defenders are available from reception for a refundable deposit.

Some exhibits in this area involve bright lights, such as the ‘lightning strike’ tube, the ‘coloured shadows’ and the ‘light island’. Sunglasses are available from our sensory backpacks at reception.

The ‘heat camera’ shows what visitors would look like in infrared on a screen, using a colour combination of blue, yellow, green and red. It might feel a bit strange to look at. There are also some metal symbols that can be touched to see how this effects the infrared display. These will feel cold when touched.

As Wow Zone is very new, we may have missed some important sensory information. If there is something we should include in this visual story, please let us know by emailing

‘There are so many interesting facts to read and interactive exhibits to try out, my children really enjoyed it.’

Amy, visitor

‘All of us loved the exhibits in this section. My 4 year old could have played with the big machine all day!’

Sarah, visitor.

‘It had something for every age. Everyone in the family, despite our different ages, really enjoyed this wow section!’

Lilly, visitor.

Other exhibits or activities you may enjoy

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Experiment Zone
Included in science centre ticket
Age 7+ only
Set aside about 30 minutes
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Brain Zone
Included in science centre ticket
Age 7+ recommendation
Set aside about 30 minutes
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Space Zone
Included in science centre ticket
Perfect for everyone
Set aside about 1 hour

Thank you to the following for making the Wow Zone happen!