The Mechanical Circus touring exhibition is a collaboration between Museum Boerhaave in the Netherlands and Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, in the UK.

Juniors students (Year 0 - 10) 

This interactive exhibition offers a wide range of possible inquiries for students to follow. Hands on activities in the Noel and Melva Yarrow Education Room will enhance the gallery experience. Students will experience the automata exhibits. The replicas and interactive exhibits are instructive and entertaining for ages 5 and older. The exhibition  is styled as a summer holiday fairground, using tents and brightly coloured plinths to display the objects. Billboards and circus style posters announce the attractions: amazing animals, human wonders, optical illusions, the wonders of electricity.

New Zealand Curriculum Links

Science: This topic covers many elements of the Nature of Science and the Physical World Level 1-5.
Social Sciences: This topic covers many elements of Social Studies Levels 1-5.
Technology: Technological Practice, Technological Knowledge and Nature of Technology Levels 1-5.
The Arts: Understanding the Arts in Context and Communicating and Interpreting. Levels 1-5.

Senior students (Year 9 - 13)

Central to The Mechanical Circus is the time-honoured tradition that science and technology are entertaining. Throughout time, kings and emperors have enjoyed amusing their guests with clever mechanical toys. Audiences at fairs and carnivals were forever on the lookout for new and wonderful miracles of science to astound them.

Combining the optical, mechanical and electric ‘toys’ from the Museum Boeerhaave’s collection with the enchanting and often hilarious automata of Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, The Mechanical Circus brings the carnival atmosphere of scientific wonder and amazement to your students.

New Zealand Curriculum  Links

Science: NCEA Level 1-3  Physics.
Technology: NCEA Level 1-3, Technology Generic, Construction & Mechanical Technologies, Design & Visual Communication.
The Arts: NCEA Level 1-3, particularly Design/Photography/Painting.


Puke Ariki Museum
Term 1
Year level
Junior students (Year 0 – 10)
Senior Students (Year 11 – 13)
1 hour and 15 minutes
Free for Taranaki schools, $5 per student for schools outside Taranaki
Book now