The SDDC has been at the very forefront of our efforts to share the collection more widely
– Hartwig Fischer
The Samsung Digital Discovery Centre (SDDC), a technological hub for children and young people at the British Museum, has been reopened following a major refit. The partnership between the two organisations has also been extended by another five years, to 2024.
Over the ten years since it first opened, the SDDC has given 150,000 visitors the opportunity to learn about and interact with the British Museum's collection through technology. In its last year before the refit, the facility welcomed its largest ever number of visitors, with 25,000 school children and families using the centre in 2018/19.
The refit sees improvements to the user experience to cater for growing numbers of visitors, as well as a full upgrade of the Samsung technology inside, including Samsung Flip e-boards and the latest range of Galaxy smartphones, tablets and smartwatches.
Among the sessions scheduled for the SDDC are "Build Roman Britain in Minecraft", "Green screen Greeks", in which visitors can become an ancient Greek athlete and compete against their family, and an augmented reality exploration of the Parthenon Gallery via tablet, for schools.
The partnership between the British Museum and Samsung is also to see an expansion of the "Virtual Visits" programme, which enables schools that are unable to attend the museum to experience the collection via a learning session from expert staff broadcast directly into their classroom.
The programme has been successfully piloted before, and now 35,000 places over the next five years have been created for pupils to take part. Content has been created around the needs of the curriculum and the realities of classroom technology. Tailored sessions are offered on prehistoric Britain, Roman Britain and the Indus Valley, while additional sessions on ancient Egypt and ancient Greece are in development.
"Pupils from Andover to Aberdeen and Brecon to Belfast can now experience some of the Museum's incredible treasures from their own classroom, potentially sparking a lifelong curiosity in the history of the world," said Hartwig Fischer, director of the British Museum.
"The advances in digital technology have enhanced the learning opportunities within – and now outside – the Museum, and the SDDC has been at the very forefront of our efforts to share the collection mo