Wireless World: Inventing Radio Communication

Session details


Museum based

Curriculum Links
Science (electromagnetic spectrum)
History of communication

Key Stage 4 & Key Stage 5
Suitable for Years 10 & 11 and Years 12 & 13 (post-16)

Length of session
75-90 minutes

Maximum group size
20 students


In this session students will:


  • Find out about Morse code and the art of telegraphy
  • Learn about radio waves and the first radio transmission
  • Build a crystal radio set


The Museum has a fine collection of objects related to the early development of radio transmission known as the Marconi Collection.

This is a practical-led session that introduces students to the historical development of electrical communication from telegraphy to radio transmission.

Students see objects from the collection and develop their understanding of how radio receivers work by experimenting with simple crystal radio circuits, which they are able to test in the Museum.

They also have the opportunity to use telegraphic equipment and explore the use of Morse code for communication.

This session includes theoretical explanations of radio waves and the principles of tuning.

It also offers particular insights into how science works and how scientific ideas are applied in areas such as telecommunications.