New canal explorers films combine science lessons and waterways

Two new films produced by the Canal & River Trust’s Explorers learning team have used the Trust’s Anderton Boat Lift and National Waterways Museum in Cheshire to introduce basic physics concepts to primary school children.

Hoping to inspire a new generation of children about the wonders of the waterways, the Explorers films highlight the principle of ‘mechanical advantage’ using lock gates and cranes at the Ellesmere Port Waterways Museum.


They also shine a light on hydraulics by explaining the use of ‘incompressible liquids’ with the help of Britain’s first boat lift in Northwich.

Promoted on the website of the Canal & River Trust, waterways and wellbeing charity, the short films are aimed at older primary children and their teachers and families, providing a fantastic relevant way to illustrate science in action.

With both attractions currently closed due to the coronavirus restrictions, it allows people to enjoy a virtual visit to these important historical sites.


The films are fronted by the Trust’s learning coordinators Helen Evans and David Wilkinson, with the help of young graduate volunteer Laura Farrington, and produced by North Star Digital.

Helen explained: “With so much learning taking place online now, we want to tap into that need for engaging science lessons and hopefully encourage teachers to arrange virtual or in person school visits.

“We’re also keen to provide resources for families and home educators, as well as encouraging people to enjoy a great day out at the two amazing attractions.


“Living science is all around us at Anderton Boat Lift and the Waterways Museum. Hopefully these two engaging films will help to spark people’s interest and encourage them to get involved and visit in person when all the lockdown restrictions end.”

Check out the two films here: National Waterways Museum and Anderton Boat Lift

Any schools wishing to arrange a visit, should email the Canal & River Trust Explorers team at  For other great online resources for children, check out the website:

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