Eureka! staff and visitors wish Scoot a long and happy retirement

Wednesday 7 November

Even for robots there comes a time in their lives when they feel the need to enjoy a well-earned retirement, which is exactly what happened to Scoot, the iconic robot at Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax this week. Scoot was bid a fond farewell by Eureka! staff and visitors on 5 November, after spending 20 years enchanting a whole generation of children and families.

The robot has played a pivotal role in the museum’s Me & My Body gallery by helping children engage with key aspects of their exploration on how their bodies work. Scoot’s retirement comes as Eureka! starts a £2.9m redevelopment of its Me & My Body gallery.

The gallery has now closed to make way for an entirely new gallery which will help children and families explore the same issues related to their bodies, while introducing content and exhibits that reflect questions and issues relevant to a new generation of children.

Lead funded by The Wellcome Trust, and designed in conjunction with experts from the NHS and medical academia, the new gallery will be thought-provoking, engaging and interactive, and will include a brand new robot whose identity and personality are still a closely guarded secret.

Speaking of Scoot’s retirement and the new gallery, Eureka! Chief Executive Leigh-Anne Stradeski said “Over the past 20 years Scoot has made millions of friends with children and families who have come to visit us, many of whom have very fond memories of their conversations with him. Saying farewell to such a much-loved personality is a tough call for all of us but we made the decision that our new gallery also needed a new robot who reflected the look, feel and issues that we now want to explore.

“Because Scoot is regarded with such a high affection we’re creating a space in the museum for visitors to share their memories about him while we’re building the new gallery. We’re also staging a whole range of events and activities while the current gallery is closed to keep children and families busy during the new build period.”

Eureka!’s new gallery will not only feature a new robot but will also have a new name, all of which will be revealed in the coming months.

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Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning... They have to play with what they know to be true in order to find out more, and then they can use what they learn in new forms of play." - Fred Rogers

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