About the Centre

Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium is a unique, exciting interactive centre which is an educational charity. It was set up with the specific purpose of promoting the knowledge and understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It was previously known as INTECH - the name changed on 24th October 2013. The charity was founded in 1985 by like-minded people in business, industry and higher education in response to the local shortage of scientists, engineers and technicians.

From humble beginnings Winchester Science Centre has grown into an important regional hub for informal science learning and a popular visitor attraction for schools and the general public. Annual visitors figures have grown year-on-year and at present in excess of 150,000 visitors attend the Science Centre per annum and around 100,000 tickets are sold for the planetarium.

Winchester Science Centre acts as an inspirational school or visitor destination. Almost all of the exhibits have been designed and built on site. The workshop team also builds exhibits for other science centres, museums and attractions.

Winchester Science Centre does not receive grant aid from Winchester City Council or Hampshire County Council - and needs to generate ticket income each year in order to pay its bills which is why an admission charge is levied.

 

Aims of the Winchester Science Centre

“To advance the education, knowledge and understanding of the public, in particular the young, in scientific and technological principles and processes, so as to create and inspire both a new generation equipped with the skills for modern enterprise and a population more able to appreciate fully the significance of today’s increasingly complex issues”


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Management and Trustees

The Winchester Science Centre staff team consists of education, STEM and planetarium staff, an in-house workshop team, finance, marketing, corporate, admin and front-of-house staff plus a Director. There are 19 Trustees who are leaders in their fields and greatly assist with the strategic development of the Science Centre. The Science Centre is fortunate to have two Patrons - the Earl of Selborne and the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire.

Chief Executive Officer:
Mr Ben Ward

Director of Finance:
Mr David Carpenter

Director of Learning and Participation Education:
Dr Jenny Shipway

Director of STEM Engagement:
Ms Emily Thorpe-Smith

Director of Operations:
Mr Graeme Pick

Director of Marketing & Communications:
Ms Charlotte Barnaville 

Board of Trustees:
Ms Terry Marsh - Chair of Trustees
Dr Ian Jenkins - Deputy Chair of Trustees
Mr Jeremy Booker
Mr Colin Brook
Dr Dolores Byrne
Mr John Clarke
Professor Malcolm Coe
Admiral Sir Kenneth Eaton
Mr Tony Hey
Dr Vanessa Lawrence
Mr Barry Lipscomb
Professor Diane Newell
Mr Richard  Peckham
Ms Janet Preston
Dr Martin Read
Ms Jane Tabor
Ms Elizabeth Wallace
Mr Paul Wilton

 

History

In 1985 the charity was founded and initially housed in an old canteen on the site of a secondary school in Winchester. Exhibits were made by volunteers and later a paid work force was employed.

In 2002 the Science Centre was re-housed into a new 3,500 square metre purpose-built, award winning building at Morn Hill, near Winchester. The multi-million pound project was funded partly through the Millennium Commission, NTL, IBM, the DfES and DTI, SEEDA and HCC. The exciting exhibition consists of 100 hands-on exhibits, which communicate the fundamental principles of science and technology and their applications in industry and the home in a fun and interactive way.  
 
In 2008, with the support of SEEDA, the auditorium was converted into the largest capacity digital planetarium in the UK - employing state of the art digital projection equipment and software. The planetarium programme comprises a full range of presenter-led and pre-recorded shows for schools and the general public.
 
In October 2013 INTECH changed its name to Winchester Science Centre. 

The exciting exhibition consists of 100 hands-on exhibits, which communicate the fundamental principles of science and technology and their applications in industry and the home in a fun and interactive way.  The Science Centre acts as an inspirational school visit destination and a unique and fun public visitor attraction. Almost all of the exhibits are designed and built in-house utilising many years of experience to ensure that they are fun, educational and robust; the Workshop team also build exhibits for other science centres, museums and attractions.

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Schools visiting the Science Centre benefit by participating in a whole host of scientific and technological investigations and hands-on experiences which cover many areas of the curriculum. Winchester Science Centre also runs curriculum related workshops with pre-planned learning outcomes for class-sized groups on topics such as control technology, data capture and computer aided design and manufacture. The workshops can be delivered at the Science Centre or offsite as part of the Outreach programme

 
Winchester Science Centre holds the STEMNET Contract for Hampshire and Isle of Wight and as such it provides information and links to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Enhancement & Enrichment (E&E) activities.  The Science Centre recruits people who are willing to give their time and energy free of charge to help inspire young people in STEM; they are largely people employed in or recently retired from STEM careers and university students. The Science Centre facilitates their DBS checks, maintains a database of their skills and helps to deploy them to schools and colleges – they can do this in a variety of ways from illustrating specific careers or helping with classroom activities to assisting in extracurricular activities such as clubs, challenges and competitions. The Brokerage and Ambassadors contracts are awarded by STEMNET.
 
Winchester Science Centre also has a wider role in the community presenting a range of fascinating lectures and science shows. The Space Lectures give visitors the chance to hear internationally renowned experts talk about their field of interest in an engaging way followed by a tour of the night sky using the planetarium. The Science Lectures are designed to be family-friendly and cover a range of topics ranging from Cloud-spotting to ‘Maggots and Murders’ – the role of insect evidence in forensics.
 
As well as a superb all-weather centre Winchester Science Centre offers a variety of flexible facilities for corporate meetings, conferences, launches and hospitality. The air conditioned planetarium provides a stunning setting for business presentations with its 176 tiered seats, state of the art lighting and 7.1 surround sound.
 
Winchester Science Centre is proud of the impact it has achieved, making the most of its limited resources. In 2010 the outstanding achievements of the Winchester Science Centre team were recognised when INTECH Science Centre was awarded ‘Business of the Year’ at the Winchester Business Excellence Awards. At the same awards Winchester Science Centre also won the category ‘Business Excellence through Technology’. In 2013 the Science Centre was nominated for two Winchester Business Excellence Awards and also long-listed for the national Kids in Museums Awards.

Winchester Science Centre is an independent educational charity. Registered Charity No. 294582 - Company No. 02014929 - VAT No. GB 711 9712 45

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