Winchester Science Centre launches the ultimate STEM school trip, with a pricing structure designed to build science capital for all

School children are invited to explore science and take a guided mission through space, as part of Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium’s new ultimate STEM experience for school visits. The new all-inclusive experience is designed to spark curiosity and ignite passion and enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

The new programme includes a revised pricing structure designed to make the Science Centre’s school visits affordable for all. State-funded schools benefit from a 15% discount and those with a higher than average number of children receiving free school meals are eligible for 60% off the standard rate. Furthermore, the Science Centre has identified 60 neighbouring schools that will also get 60% off.

The new school trips include a choice of six Key Stage 1-3 themed workshops exploring Sound, Space, Life, Matter, Robots, and Rockets; a live planetarium show; an interactive space challenge – a guided mission through Explorer:Space, a new zone opening this Summer; and time for students to explore the hands-on activities in exhibition hall.

The educational charity is now taking bookings for the next academic year and is calling on teachers and parents to make the Science Centre their first choice for school trips.

“Winchester Science Centre has all the right ingredients for the perfect school visit,” said Emily Thorpe-Smith, Head of STEM Strategy at Winchester Science Centre. “We welcome over 40,000 students on school trips every year and have an incredible team of experienced science communicators, who are great at connecting with children. The new programme for school visits will guarantee students get the very most out of their visit.

“We don’t want cost to be a barrier for teachers planning their school trips. The new pricing structure means state-funded schools benefit from a 15% discount and those with a higher than average number of children receiving free school meals will be eligible for 60% off the standard rate. In addition, through our long-term community engagement programme, we have identified 60 priority schools located in Aldershot, Andover, Basingstoke, Bordon, Gosport and Southampton that will also get 60% off their school visit, bringing the cost to only £3.80 per child.

“We have a brilliant team of Curiosity Officers and Inspirers running our live shows and workshops – the new offer ensures this activity is at the heart of every school visit and not an added extra limited solely to the schools that can afford it. This is in line with our charity’s mission of building science capital for all,” added Emily.

Winchester Science Centre’s profile is going from strength-to-strength thanks to the leadership of Ben Ward, who became CEO in November 2016. The Science Centre recently welcomed its millionth visitor into the highly-popular Planetarium attraction, which is in fact the largest standalone planetarium in the UK. Over the past year, thanks to the new weekend and holiday offer, more than 180,000 people have visited – the highest ever recorded.

Ben Ward, CEO of Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium said: “Over the past 18 months, the charity has invested in its staff and in developing its events programme. We’ve launched the Invention Studio, introduced themed weekends, free holiday activities, a holiday club, a new Christmas experience and an evening events programme. And it’s making a real difference; we’ve seen many more people enjoying the Centre, including plenty of first-time visitors, which is great. We are really excited to continue inspiring and empowering children in STEM.”

The new schools offer is available from September 2018, for the next academic year. Schools can still book the current programme this summer term. For more information about school visits please see or call 01962 891 942 or 01962 891 903.

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