Brunel’s ss Great Britain, the Science Museum and Aardman Animations have come together to create an interactive experience encouraging children to engage with culture and the work of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Part of a three year project called Museums and Schools, which aims to give 8,000 Bristol children the chance to visit Brunel’s ss Great Britain during years six and seven, Aardman Animations was tasked with creating a game which pupils could play in the classroom and at home with their families, resulting in ‘Full Steam Ahead’.
A series of ship building challenges, based on those faced by Brunel, aim to teach pupils that Brunel’s determination and resilience to persevere, solve problems and learn from mistakes helped him succeed. Completing the challenges earns the player money and stars which can be used to buy extra parts such as engines, propellers, sails, etc. which can then be used to create the ‘ultimate ship’ that can cut through rough seas, carry more cargo, go the furthest distance and destroy opponents in tug-of-war battles.
"When we set out on our mission to inspire so many Bristol school children with the work of Brunel and the ss Great Britain, we knew that we would have to venture into the virtual world. Alongside the activities they’ll take part in here at the ship we thought the best way to keep that excitement going is to provide them with a platform that enables the pupils and their families to extend their experience, even when they’re at home. Full Steam Ahead certainly does that and we’re excited to share it with everyone,” remarked Rhian Tritton, director of conservation and education at the ss Great Britain Trust.
Aardman Animations head of digital Lorna Probert added: “This has been an inspiring opportunity to work with the ss Great Britain Trust to translate the wealth of material and knowledge about this historical ship into a fun and engaging experience for children. The game simulates the challenges that Brunel faced allowing children to learn from them in the same way that he did.”