The MAD Museum
MAD is a family-run, independent museum in the heart of Stratford upon Avon. We support the National Curriculum for Art, Physics, Engineering, D&T, Maths and English. For school groups we offer:
- Group discounts
- Joint tickets with other attractions in Stratford upon Avon
- Free tickets for teachers
- KS1-KS4 activity packs for learners
- Free KS1-KS4 teacher resources
- Cam automata kits
- Linkages automata kits
- Marble run construction kits
- Free familiarisation trips for teachers
- Drawing and photography sessions
- Pre-completed risk assessment forms.
The MAD Museum is worthwhile, educationally beneficial and also a lot of fun. Nearly all of the exhibits displayed at The MAD Museum function at the touch of a button or the turn of a handle; we challenge pupils to operate, interact and understand how each contraption works.
Why book The MAD Museum for School Trips and Educational Visits?
As the only centre for mechanical art in the country, The MAD Museum displays the finest pieces of kinetic art and automata belonging to artists, inventors and engineers from all over the world.
Unlike other attractions, we encourage learners to be hands-on and interact with the machines and works of art on display. Maybe of the exhibits are one-off unique creations and all of them demonstrate innovative originality and clever design. There is also a marble run room where learners are encouraged to build their own marble run creations. As well as being a lot of fun, this room teaches learners about creative design and physics principals such as forces, air resistance and gravity.
Most groups that visit our MAD Museum come back in the following years and as a small, family-run business we can tailor each trip to suit your requirements.
Which Curriculum Subjects do you cater for?
Curriculum topics available: Comprehension, Composition, Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation, Creative writing.
Covering Year 1-11.
The MAD Museum is a very visual place. Learners are encouraged to see how an exhibit is functioning and then to use persuasive writing techniques to describe what they see and how it works. We offer activity packs for learners to complete in the museum, they contain questions about the exhibits. As a follow-up exercise, teachers like to ask the learners to describe their MAD visit and write about their favourite exhibit. Comprehension, composition, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation are all used.
Curriculum topics available: Logic and Problem Solving, Shape.
Covering Year 1-11.
Logic and problem solving are key components at MAD. All of the machines and artworks on display involve the practice of watching and working out how it moves and why it moves. MAD also supports learning about shapes – there are many different forms and we encourage learners to spot and identify them.
Curriculum topics available: Mechanics and engineering, Electronics, Materials, 3D Printing.
Covering Year 1-11+.
MAD covers mechanics, engineering, electronics and different materials. Get to grips with the wonderfully inquisitive world of engineering and purposeful beauty. We help pupils to understand how the gears, sprockets, robotics and eccentric paraphernalia all engage with one another at the touch of a button.
Every piece on display has been handcrafted with precision and remarkable skill. We encourage pupils to examine and interact with some of the world’s finest pieces of Kinetic Art and Automata, to identify themselves with different materials and design elements in order to ignite their imagination.
Covering Year 1-11+.
As the UK’s centre for mechanical art, The MAD Museum really does help to inspire creativity and innovation. This is where art meets movement sometimes operating to achieve a function but most of the time, just moving for the fun of it.
We also encourage schools to do sketching and photography sessions. These prove popular with groups and can be used in follow up activities back at school.
Curriculum topics available: Sound, Light, Forces and magnets, Electricity and circuits, Forces, Rollercoasters.
Covering Year 1-11.
The MAD Museum supports the learning of sound, gravity, light, forces, magnets, air resistance, electricity and circuits.
If you are teaching your learners about rollercoasters, MAD is a great place to visit. We display a large number of marble runs. Marble runs use a lot of the same principals as rollercoasters. Use immersive learning to teach your learners about gravity, force, movement and track design.
What activities are available during group visits?
KS1 – KS4 ACTIVITY PACKS
We provide an assortment of different Key Stage packs, all of which coincide with the curriculum and age-specific subjects. Please get in touch to find out more and to see examples. They are free (if you print them at the school) and we provide clipboards and pencils on the day.
KS1 – KS4 TEACHER'S RESOURCES
These are a free resource that we provide all teachers with once they have booked in. They contain helpful video links, engaging lesson ideas, tips and interesting MAD facts. These packs support teachers before, during and after a visit to The MAD Museum and can work alongside learner's activity packs.
CAM AUTOMATA KITS
For KS1-KS3 learners. Teach your class about cogs, cams and wheels with this activity. These kits help learners to explore the science of movement and are appropriate for children aged 5yrs +. After your visit to The MAD Museum, take our cam automata kits back to the back to the classroom. We do encourage a trip to the museum to support and inspire this automaton building activity but these kits can be purchased as a standalone order. Get in touch to find out more.
LINKAGES AUTOMATA KITS
For KS1- KS3 learners. Linkages help learners to understand push and pull movements. Each kit contains the components for a learner to design and build their own object and bring it to life. Like the Cam automata kits, our Linkages kits are appropriate for children aged 5yrs+ and can be purchased as part of a school booking or as a standalone order.
For KS3 + learners. At The MAD Museum, we design, make and sell these marble kits in our gift shop. Schools can purchase these kits at a discounted rate. There are 4 different types to choose from and each kit comes with instructions and a helpful video. These tend to be popular with the older classes (year 9 onwards) as they are more challenging that our automata kits.
DRAWING AND PHOTOGRAPHY SESSIONS
The MAD Museum is a packed full of creativeness and design ingenuity. From a design perspective, the exhibits consist of different textures, colours, lights and motion. This is a great place to practice learnt techniques and get inspired. This a free activity and you are welcome to bring the equipment and accessories you wish.
What size groups do you cater for?
As this museum relatively small and almost entirely interactive, we say the smaller the group the better. We recommend between 10 – 35 learners at one time in MAD.
Do you offer on-site classroom facilities?
No, the space we do have is packed full of interactive exhibits.
Is there first aid on site?
Yes we do.
Do you offer access for visitors with disabilities?
MAD is fully accessible for disabled visitors. The museum is located on the first floor. As well as a staircase, there is a lift at the museum’s entrance which is available for wheelchairs and pushchairs. There are no ramps or steps featured in the museum. Disabled toilets are also on site. You can find more information about MAD's accessibility at
Do you cater for visitors with Special Educational Needs (SEN)?
Yes, we do. MAD is multi-sensory and hands-on. We encourage learners to press buttons and interact with tactile objects. Within this venue are a wide variety of sounds, lights, movements and colours on display. These all work together to provide an exciting, multisensory experience. The museum also helps with the development of social communication, cognitive skills and visual memory. The MAD Museum is relatively small meaning those with emotional and behavioural difficulties have the space to move around the museum freely while also never being out of sight or too far away. As MAD is a family-run independent museum, we have the flexibility to cater to individual needs. Our members of staff are experienced in caring across a broad spectrum of abilities. Please talk to us about your requirements, we will help however we can.
Our group discounts are only available during (Warwickshire) term time only. They exclude weekends and bank holidays.
In order to redeem our group discounts, you must book in advance (at least 24hours before the intended visit date). If you arrive on the date with no forewarning, we cannot provide group discounts.
Group trips usually take 1 hour and 30 minutes at MAD.
We offer joint discounted tickets with Stratford Butterfly Farm and Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall. Please get in touch to find out more.
Need more inspiration?
We are bursting with ideas on places that deliver first class teaching both outside the classroom and as in-school workshops. Below are a few similar suggestions to The MAD Museum , or head to our tailor-made trip form and let us know how we can help you!