Isle of Wight school children set to benefit from new partnership with Winchester Science Centre


The Isle of Wight’s Noël Turner Physics Festival is set to grow thanks to an exciting new partnership with Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium. The festival, which has inspired and engaged school children across the Island in physics for the past three years, was set up by a local steering group to commemorate the life of island resident Noël Turner, a senior Radar Design Engineer with BAE Systems.

“We’re very excited to be working on the Isle of Wight to deliver next year’s festival and are hugely grateful for the continued support of the festival host Cowes Enterprise College, sponsor BAE Systems and the festival committee,” said Ben Ward, CEO of Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium.

“Our charity is committed to engaging as many children as possible in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and the festival provides an excellent opportunity to do this on the Isle of Wight.”

The festival, which will run with expanded content over two days (6-7 February 2020) and be called the Noël Turner Science Festival, is aiming to raise aspirations and interest in all aspects of STEM.

Ben continued - “Moving the event from October to February enables us to engage schools in a pre-event challenge to increase school participation and student involvement. By making it a 2-day festival we’re able to focus on Year 7 & Year 10 pupils on one day and Year 5 on the next to provide a more tailored learning experience for all involved. We’d also encourage any home educators to attend.”

The festival is expected to be attended by more than 3,000 children and supported by many local STEM industry partners. The Science Centre’s experienced team will bring a new dimension to the festival with a pop-up version of its popular Science Centre experience, complete with live science shows, demonstrations and hands-on exhibits and activities.

BAE Systems Director Dr Brooke Hoskins said: “It’s fantastic news that Winchester Science Centre is taking the Noel Turner Physics Festival to new heights and that Noel’s legacy lives on to excite the minds of a new generation. We at BAE Systems believe in the importance of engaging early with students to inspire them to focus on STEM-based subjects, which is why we are so happy to support the festival.”

This special festival is supported by Noël Turner’s widow Ellen Weeks, who commented “The festival is a fabulous event and Noël would have been delighted that it engages so many young people across the Island. In partnership with Winchester Science Centre and BAE Systems, we aim to make it even bigger and better than before.”

Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium is inviting STEM employers and organisations who would like to be involved in the Noël Turner Science Festival to get in touch.

To find out more please contact the festival event officer at Winchester Science Centre by calling 01962 863 791 or emailing