Writer Overnighter at the Powerhouse Museum

Saturday night at the Powerhouse Museum was the most excellent fun night I have had with a bunch of kids for yonks!

Eighty children, including some of the scouts from the 1st North Sydney Scout troupe, their parents and scout leaders rolled up for the activities and the best part – the sleepover. Early in the afternoon was a tour through the Wallace & Gromit World of Invention exhibition and then the exhibitions trail followed by more Wallace a Gromit fun! We rolled up for dinner which was a catered feast – stuffed chicken, macaroni cheese, steamed veges – most plates were scraped completely clean (or nearly)! While feasting, there was an Inventions Quiz which I was not allowed to participate in – something about having written the book I would know all the answers – so Bini and I stood aside chit chatting with one of the managers. As special guest  for the Writer Overnighter it was then time for the Writer part of the evening withe me talking about writing and some of my books, looking at what inventors do, and following the Wallace and Gromit theme we then set about creating INVENTIONS. And what an inventive collective of writers. There were instructions and directions for building inventions that would:

  • complete homework
  • provide extra arms when required
  • create delectable dinners from food scraps
  • prepare the user for the morning by brushing your teeth, getting you dressed and all those mundane morning tasks (including going to the toilet),
  • electric cars powered by magnets – complete with inbuilt accident protection
  • a thought transmitting machine
  • a few more food creating inventions
  • hologram creations
  • … and very many more!

Liquid nitrogen ice-cream for desert was then followed by a rip roaring Wallace & Gromit movie: The Curse of the Were Rabbit. There were more than few peals of laughter at the adventures (and that from the adults).

Of course Writer Overnighter was not done. The Overnight part was to begin and that for sure was the highlight of the night – sleeping IN THE MUSEUM. What a buzz … sleeping in the halls next to solar powered cars, under the airplanes, in the old signal boxes … even on train platforms. There was a mad rush to find the best sleeping positions with the worst decision ever (I heard those words being exclaimed) that had to be made for some kids … where do we sleep?  The scouts were in for a very Spacey night as they gathered to sleep under Space! With the Overnighters gathered and nearly settled it was time to bail out for our comfortable bed, so congrats -HUGE congrats- to the mums and dads and scout leaders and museum staff who spent the night at the museum. Good idea for a book / movie. Sigh, its already been done!

Thanks to the Museum and especially Michael Van Tiel who pulled me in to be the special guest for the night. What a buzz.


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