New Education Package Turns School Children into Heart Heroes and Takes Them on a Mission in Space


Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium has launched an upgraded school offering for the new academic year, which includes an intergalactic experience delivered in schools and a new interactive biology workshop about the heart and how to keep it healthy.

Explorer:Space – Mission:Rescue is a full-day science and engineering experience delivered inside schools by Winchester Science Centre’s experienced science communicators. It is based on the Science Centre’s highly successful Explorer:Space exhibition that was launched last summer by NASA astronaut, Michael Foale.

Mission:Rescue is designed to be a highly stimulating and immersive experience that puts children at the centre of a space mission to rescue Sophie, an astronaut trapped in space while exploring an exoplanet. During their expedition, they are faced with a series of unexpected events that challenge their success. Using the available tools and resources, the children have to think like engineers to find the missing crew, build a heat shield and safely land a spaceship. The children will need to be creative, communicate well and work as a team to find the solutions that will enable them to complete their mission.  

“Mission:Rescue is a fabulous way to ignite young minds and get them using and developing real-life skills that will help them succeed in the workplace,” said Ben Ward, CEO of Winchester Science Centre. “Our ever-popular Explorer:Space exhibition has been with us now for 12 months and it’s great for schools, but it relies on them coming to us in order to benefit. Mission:Space goes out into schools and creates an absorbing experience to capture young imaginations and because there are no travel costs; it provides an easy and affordable alternative to the school trip.”

Teachers across the region can also book the mobile planetarium to help bring space to life inside their school. It is a 6m inflatable state-of-the-art digital planetarium equipped for 360-degree fulldome films and presenter-led shows, with an experienced astronomy expert.

Schools visiting the Science Centre now have the option to choose a biology-based workshop. Heart Heroes is a new 45-minute workshop suitable for KS1 & KS2 children. The learning is geared toward understanding the heart and how to keep it healthy. It includes interactive augmented reality T-shirts, fun biological models of the heart and an optional animal heart dissection.

“Heart Heroes is the ultimate biology lesson borne out of our exciting collaboration with LifeLab at the University of Southampton,” added Ben Ward. “The human heart is amazing. This workshop educates and empowers children to better understand how starting heart-healthy habits now can reduce their chance of cardiovascular disease and other health conditions.”

Professor Mark Hanson, British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiovascular Science at the University of Southampton added: “Helping young people understand how the heart works can help enormously in motivating them to keep it healthy. Winchester Science Centre’s Heart Heroes initiative will make a great contribution to doing that.”

Heart Heroes is delivered at the Science Centre as part of the all-inclusive Ultimate STEM School Trip, which also includes a live planetarium show, an interactive space challenge and time to explore the hands-on exhibits. State-funded schools get a 15% discount and there is a 60% discount for Winchester Science Centre priority schools and any school with 14% or more students receiving free school meals.

To find out more visit: Schools Outreach and STEM School Trip