Workshops & Science Shows

For information about outreach activities delivered in your school, see here.

Science Centre workshops and science shows can add a unique and exciting twist to your school visit to the Science Centre. Designed with the National Curriculum in mind, they provide meaningful and memorable experiences to spark curiosity and encourage independent thought. Many activities include use of equipment and skills not generally available in schools.

These activities are designed and led by members of the Education Team, all professional science communicators dedicated to inspiring future generations of scientists.

Science Centre workshops and activities are delivered to class-sized groups in dedicated spaces. Most workshops can be presented in parallel, allowing for up to eight matched workshops in one day.

Most of the activities offered can also by delivered in your school by the same team. For more information and outreach pricing, see here.

Planetarium shows are found here, charged at £1.75 per seat required (excluding VAT).

Booking enquiries: please use the online booking enquiry form.

For other queries, contact our Schools Booking Officer, Anita, tel: 01962 891942 (8am - 4pm) or e-mail anitashearing@winchestersciencecentre.org

 

Activity
Suitability
Duration and price per student*
Activity:

Adaptation and Evolution Workshop

Suitability:

KS2

Duration and price per student*:

£1.50 (45 min)

Activity:

Alien Worlds Workshop 

Suitability:

Upper KS3 & KS4 

Duration and price per student*:

£1.50 (45 min)

Activity:

Control Technology (Mindstorms) Workshop

Suitability:

Upper KS2, KS3

Duration and price per student*:

£3.00 (90 mins)

Activity:

Destination Space: Materials

Suitability:

KS1

Duration and price per student*:

£1.50 (45 min)

Activity:

Destination Space: International Space Station and Beyond

Suitability:

KS2

Duration and price per student*:

£1.50 (45 min)

Activity:

Explore Your Universe Science Show 

Suitability:

KS3 & KS4

Duration and price per student*:

£1.50 (45 min)

Activity:

Fantastic Forces Science Show

Suitability:

KS1 & KS2

Duration and price per student*:

£1.50 (45 min)

Activity:

How Food is Digested Workshop

Suitability:

KS2

Duration and price per student*:

£3.00 (90 mins)

Activity:

Invention Studio (Mon & Fri only)

Suitability:

KS2

Duration and price per student*:

£1.50 (45 min)

Activity:

K'Nex Towers or Bridges Workshop

Suitability:

KS1, KS2, KS3 & KS4

Duration and price per student*:

£3.00 (90 min)

Activity:

Plant Hunters Workshop
(Easter - October half term only)

Suitability:

KS1

Duration and price per student*:

£3.00 (90 min)

Activity:

Rockets and Forces Workshop

Suitability:

Early Years, R, KS1, KS2 & KS3

Duration and price per student*:

£3.00 (90 min)

Activity:

Seed Collectors Workshop

Suitability:

KS2

Duration and price per student*:

£1.50 (45 min)

Activity:

Sounds Interesting Workshop 

Suitability:

KS2

Duration and price per student*:

£3.00 (90 min)

* These prices are for workshops delivered at the Science Centre, for outreach prices see here. All prices quoted are exclusive of VAT. Entry to the exhibition is an additional £4.15 per pupil. Minimum charges apply:

  • 45 minute workshop - £40.00 (£48.00 inc VAT)

  • 90 minute workshop - £80.00 (£96.00 inc VAT)

  • 45 minute Invention Studio - £22.50 (£27.00 inc VAT)


Further Information and Curriculum Links


Adaptation and Evolution Workshop

Who survives and why? In this practical adaptation and evolution workshop students will investigate the skeletal remains of contemporary and ancient creatures to facilitate discussions about how we can use the fossil record to understand the life, diet and role adaptation and variation plays in the evolution of species.

Curriculum Links

Working Scientifically: - asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them, - recording findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables, - reporting on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions, - identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes, - using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings, - identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

Animals, including humans: - identify that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement.

Rocks: - describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock.

Evolution and inheritance: recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago, - recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents, - identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.


Alien Worlds Workshop

A KS3&4 workshop working with real data. Investigate real exoplanets orbiting other stars, interpreting data from telescopes and other sources using mathematics. For instance, calculating the orbit distance from period, planet type from mass and diameter, working towards calculating the expected temperature of the planet. Students require confidence with basic mathematical concepts (e.g. taking the square of a number) and reasonable literacy as the workshop is largely self-led. There is a lot of math!

Challenging for yr 7, best for yr 8+. This workshop is suitable for students who already are confident with basic astronomy such as the fact that planets orbit, the Sun is a star and that exoplanets exist.

Curriculum Links

Working Scientifically: - pay attention to objectivity and concern for accuracy, precision, repeatability and reproducibility, - apply mathematical concepts and calculate results, - present observations and data using appropriate methods, including tables and graphs, - interpret observations and data, including identifying patterns and using observations, measurements and data to draw conclusions, - present reasoned explanations, including explaining data in relation to predictions and hypotheses, - use and derive simple equations and carry out appropriate calculations, - undertake basic data analysis including simple statistical techniques.

Space physics: - gravity force, weight = mass x gravitational field strength (g), on Earth g=10 N/kg, different on other planets and stars; gravity forces between Earth and Moon, and between Earth and sun (qualitative only), - our sun as a star, other stars in our galaxy, other galaxies, - the light year as a unit of astronomical distance, - the main features of the solar system.


Control Technology (Mindstorms) Workshop

This introduction to programming workshop serves as a brilliant first steps into 'drag and drop' or scratch-style programming. Students will be taught a series of inputs and outputs and test and refine their code before using it to control lego robots to compete in teams against each other in a robo-dance off or other challenges. This workshop is suitable for both beginners and students experienced with scratch programming and serves as a great real-world use of their programming skills.

Curriculum Links

Computing Programmes of study: - design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts, - use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output,


Destination Space Workshop: Materials

This workshop which focuses on investigating materials, takes your class on an exciting mission to help ESA (the European Space Agency) fix a problem on the International Space Station (ISS). The pupils are asked to take on roles, such as an engineer, a doctor or a mission planner, to help each other discover what materials would make a good space suit. One of your brave pupils will wear the completed suit to fix the station’s batteries.

Curriculum Links

Working Scientifically: - Identifying and classifying, - Using observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions, - Asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways.

Everyday materials: - Distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made, - descirbe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials, - compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of their simple physical properties


Destination Space Workshop: International Space Station and Beyond

This 45 minute workshop presents your class with an introduction to working for the ESA and living on the International Space Station, providing the opportunity to experiment with smart materials and water absorption, how technology is used in space and how we might explore this incredible frontier in future years. 

Curriculum Links

Working Scientifically: Using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings

Forces: explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object


Explore Your Universe Science Show

An exciting Science Show including demonstrations using a thermal imaging camera, a Van de Graaff generator*, a solar telescope and a particle accelerator in a salad bowl. 

*Persons with a pacemaker, cochlear implant or underlying heart condition should not come within 3m of the Van de Graaff generator when it is switched on. Children using the Van de Graaff generator must have their parent or guardian’s permission.

Curriculum Links

Atoms, elements and compounds: - a simple (Dalton) atomic model.

Energy changes and transers: - other processes that involve energy transfer: changing motion, dropping an object, completing an electrical circuit, stretching a spring, metabolism of food, burning fuels.

Light waves: - the transmission of light through materials: absorption, diffuse scattering and specular reflection at a surface, - colours and the different frequencies of light, white light and prisms (qualitative only); differential colour effects in absorption and diffuse reflection.

Static electricity: - separation of positive or negative charges when objects are rubbed together: transfer of electrons, forces between charged objects, - the idea of electric field, forces acting across the space between objects not in contact.

Space Physics: - the light year as a unit of astronomical distance.

Atomic structure and Periodic Table: - a simple model of the atom consisting of the nucleus and electrons, relative atomic mass, electronic charge and isotopes.

Forces: - forces and fields: electrostatic, magnetic, gravity.

Wave motion: - electromagnetic waves, velocity in vacuum; waves transferring energy; wavelengths and frequencies from radio to gamma-rays, - uses in the radio, microwave, infra-red, visible, ultra-violet, X-ray and gamma-ray regions, hazardous effects on bodily tissues

 

 


Fantastic Forces Science Show

Fantastic Forces is both a great intro to and end of topic review of the forces acting on our everyday lives. This inspiring show explores Newtonian physics with lots of audience interaction and introduces students to electromagnetism through exciting Van der Graaff demonstrations. 

Aimed at KS2 (years 3 – 6)’


How Food Is Digested Workshop

An interactive journey through our digestive system focusing on taste, teeth and the processes that turn our food into fuel. This workshop involves tasting a variety of different foods and investigating how different factors influences our perception of taste. Students will also investigate and discuss the skulls of a variety of familiar and exotic animals and present to the rest of the class their conclusions on diet and identity of the animal. Throughout the workshop the various organs involved in digestion are discussed with students actually taking the roles of the teeth, stomach and intestines. *Caution* this workshop involves tasting foods so please let the Schools Booking Officer know if there are any food allergies in your group.

Curriculum Links

Working Scientifically: - asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them, - recording findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables, - reporting on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusion, - identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes, - reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and a degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.

Animals, including humans:  - identify that animals, including humans, need the right types and amount of nutrition, and that they cannot make their own food; they get nutrition from what they eat, - describe the simple functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans, - identify the different types of teeth in humans and their simple functions, - describe the ways in which nutrients and water are transported within animals, including humans.


Invention Studio

The Invention Studio is a space dedicated to the tinkerer in all of us, a space where anyone, young or old can explore, create, construct and be challenged. This exciting zone is where you become the designer, the programmer or the engineer by bringing your imagination to life and finding innovative solutions to a host of different challenges. Please note the Invention studio is a dynamic space and its resources and challenges may change on a weekly basis. School sessions booked in the Invention Studio are facilitated by a member of staff but it is expected that accompanying teachers will direct students as they take part in the activities. Please call the Schools Booking Officer for more details.

Curriculum Links

As the space is dynamic, changing depending on available equipment and funding, the curriculum links are not specifically defined. It is reasonable to expect there will be elements of prototyping, programming and engineering challenges available at all times.


K'Nex Bridges or Towers Workshop

The K'Nex workshops take applied engineering to the next level. Depending on age and ability students will take part in a teamwork-based business challenge with a series of communication handicaps to facilitate students problem solving skills. These sessions are focused on problem-based learning in an engineering environment and allow discussions about forces, equilibrium and friction.


Plant Hunters Workshop

Students will learn what a plant hunter does, go on a plant hunt with a back pack of equipment and make detailed observations of plants and seeds, looking at the links between the two. Students will leave with a booklet of their observations to take home.

Please note, this workshop is not bookable for outreach.

Curriculum Links

Working Scientifically: - observing closely, using simple equipment, - identifying and classifying, - using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.

Plants: - identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees, - identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees, - find out and describe how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and stay healthy.


Rockets and Forces Workshop

Students will explore forces and simple pneumatics through building pop bottle water rockets in small groups. After assembling the water rockets, students will go outside to investigate further and to launch their rockets. Rockets are launched in all weather conditions (unless deemed as unsafe). If it is forecast to rain on the day of your visit, or if it has been raining in the days prior to your visit, please remember to bring a spare pair of suitable footwear and a coat.

Curriculum Links

Working Scientifically: - asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them, - setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests, - using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings, - planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.

Forces: - explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object, - identify the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction, that act between moving surfaces. 


Seed Collectors Workshop

How do plants spread their seeds? In this interactive workshop students will identify the need for seed dispersal, types of seed dispersal methods and features of the seeds that help in this process. Students will all leave with a booklet of observations and a mini seed copter.

For your information: This workshop involves the handling and being in the vicinity of fruits and nuts. Please inform the Science Centre upon booking if any of your students have food tolerances or allergies.

Curriculum Links

Working Scientifically: - asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them, - gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions, - recording findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables, - reporting on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions, - taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate, - reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and a degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.

Plants: - explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant, - explore the part that flowers play in the life cycle of flowering plants, including pollination, seed formation and seed dispersal.

Living things and their habitats: - recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways.

Forces:  - identify the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction, that act between moving surfaces.


Sounds Interesting Workshop

Students will be blown away by this exciting combination of demonstrations and experimentation, all focused on the theme of sound. Demonstrations involving intriguing instruments and energy transfer will set the scene for students to practically investigate all aspects of sound covered by the KS2 National Curriculum.

Key Features:

  • Exciting, thought provoking demonstrations
  • Student led investigation and creation of simple musical instruments
  • Introduction and reinforcement of all relevant vocabulary
  • Ideal as both an introduction and revision of the concept covered in NC KS2

Curriculum Links

Working Scientifically: - asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them, - setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests, - reporting on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions, identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes.

Sound: - identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating, - recognise that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear, - find patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it, - find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it, - recognise that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases

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Some workshops are gratefully supported by the Big Lottery Fund.


 

If you have any suggestions for future workshops then please contact Dr Ben Littlefield who will be happy to discuss this with you- benlittlefield@winchestersciencecentre.org.