Planning a visit
Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium provides a unique opportunity for students to learn about science and technology.
Whether visiting the site in Winchester or booking outreach activities at your school or college, the Science Centre can offer resources to support and enhance the curriculum. Teachers can choose from a variety of activities, with visits lasting from sixty minutes to six hours, for small groups or whole school parties. The Education and Planetarium Teams welcome all key stages and are experienced at engaging with students with additional needs.
Before we can check available dates, we will need to know your total numbers and requested activities. Prices are shown below.
Activities available at the Science Centre:
- Self-led educational exploration using the 100 hands-on science and technology related exhibits
- Live or pre-recorded planetarium shows
- Curriculum related workshops or interactive science shows
- Annual special events such as National Science and Engineering Week in March, World Space Week in early October, and FIRST® LEGO® League in December
Activities available at your school or venue:
- A careers talk, demonstration or general activity support from a STEM Ambassador, tailored to suit your needs
Relaxed and sociable Teacher Preview Evenings offer a free tour of facilities and chance to ask any questions you may have.
These subsided rates are supported by the independent Winchester Science Centre charity, which raises its funds through public visitor income, corporate hire, sponsorship and other fundraising activities.
Education rates and activities are available to advanced-booked groups on weekdays during Hampshire schools' term-time, 10am to 4pm.
Payment - an invoice will be sent after the visit. If it is more convenient to bring payment on the day, please do so. Should you require any additional items to be charged to the school, for instance items from the shop, such costs can be added to your invoice.
Cancellation/changes - see below for full details. Changes of >20 students may incur a charge. After a 2-week cool-off period, a £50 charge applies, followed by a rising charge from 2 months before the visit date (from which time it is unlikely that another school should book in to a vacated slot).
Child Exhibition Entry (normally £8.40)
Accompanying adults free (normally £12)
£4.15 per pupil
£4.98 per pupil
Planetarium show when entering exhibition
£1.75 per person
£2.10 per person
Planetarium show without exhibition entry (excludes cafe & picnic areas)
£4 per person
£4.80 per person
Science show (accompanying adults free)
£1.75 per pupil
£2.10 per pupil
Workshops (individually priced, accompanying adults free)
From £3.58 per pupil
From £4.30 per pupil
Minimum charge per activity
Prices for Outreach Workshops
Full day (three sessions): first presenter from £220 (£264 inc VAT) plus travel.
Half day (two sessions): first presenter from £170 (£204 inc VAT) plus travel.
Selected workshops have an additional charge for consumables.
Prices for the Mobile Planetarium to visit your school (including presenter)
Full day (six shows): £500 (£600 inc VAT) plus travel.
Half day (three shows): £350 (£420 inc VAT) plus travel.
Cancellation and booking terms
The school will be invoiced after your visit for the numbers present on the day, but in the case of substantial changes to the number booked (>20 students), you will be invoiced for the full amount.
A sliding charge will be imposed for all cancellations or substantial changes to bookings:
- Less than 2 weeks from date of visit: 100% of original booking value.
- Less than 1 month and greater than 2 weeks from date of visit: 75% of original booking value.
- Less than 2 months and greater than 1 month from date of visit: 50% of original booking value.
- Over 2 months from date of visit: £50 (£60 inc VAT), refundable if visit is rebooked at the time of cancellation to take place within 6 months of the original visit.
- If cancellation or substantial changes have to be made because of situations outside your control, for example bad weather or illness, then, provided the booking is rescheduled for a date within 6 months, the cancellation charge will be waived.
By making a booking you are agreeing to the terms and conditions above.
Top tips for school visits
To get the most from visiting the Science Centre, the Education Team provide some suggestions:
- To have a clear purpose/focus, identifying teaching and learning objectives.
- Teachers and other adults involved in the visit attend a free teacher preview evening.
- A risk assessment and other helpful health and safety guidelines are available to assist with planning.
- Pupils must be supervised at all times, including during workshops and shows. The centre recommends an adult/pupil ratio of 1:6 for Reception-KS2, and 1:10 for KS3-KS4. These recommended ratios are in place to enable pupils to focus on the full opportunities they can gain from a visit.
- Group leaders are responsible for the behaviour and supervision of the party during the visit. Regular classroom management techniques will help ensure that pupils obtain the maximum benefit.
- It is recommended that packed lunches are brought in separate disposable bags.
Lunches - There is an allocated area for school picnics and personal belongings. Please bring your own packed lunches and drinks. Lunch times are allocated by the Science Centre one week ahead; please get in touch should you wish to check your lunch time in advance. The Science Centre has a water fountain and a small outdoor area available in fine weather.
Science Shop - A shop where the children can spend their pocket money (and practice their maths!); prices start at 60p. Purchases will be placed in named bags for each group to be collected by a teacher at the end of the visit. Schools can choose to pre-order a souvenir for the children, the cost of which can be added to the invoice. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a price list.
Pre-visit resources - A floor plan and downloadable worksheets designed around specific areas of the curriculum are available here.
Access and Special Needs - If your group includes anyone with special needs, please let us know when booking so we can discuss particular requirements to make your visit as rewarding as possible. Further accessibility information here.
All Science Centre staff and STEM Ambassador volunteers have been DBS checked within the past three years.
Did you know -
Winchester Science Centre co-ordinates the South Central England STEM Ambassador Hub to help inspire young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Centre is the contract holder for Hampshire & Isle of Wight, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, coordinating STEM Ambassadors’ activities and outreach activities in schools across the region. There are in excess of 3,000 Ambassadors in this Hub area, who have each been trained in engaging with young people and are DBS checked. Free services provided to schools range from topic support or STEM Club assistance to careers talks and site visits. Contact email@example.com for further details.
Winchester Science Centre is the CREST contract holder for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Winchester Science Centre is a Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge holder. The Quality Badge assessor judged Winchester Science Centre "An excellent resource for learners of all ages. A well planned and thorough curriculum that meets the needs of all learners. A unique, creative, exciting and challenging organisation that strives to provide consistent quality experiences for all its visitors".
Arrival and departure
On arrival, coaches should stop at the schools entrance, where they will be met by a member of the Education Team. Please see additional notes in the site plan below regarding vehicle arrival and departure. Groups should remain on their coaches until met by the staff member, who will direct them to a base area inside the building. Groups will be given a short briefing about Winchester Science Centre and safety issues. Coaches can then park up in the main car park if staying for the day, there is free car and coach parking. Disabled parking is also available adjacent to the building.
On departure, groups should assemble at the schools area inside the building. Science Centre staff will inform groups when their coach is ready for boarding.