Frequently Asked Questions
- When are you open?
- How long should I plan to be in the centre?
- What does my admission ticket cover?
- Why is the planetarium not included in the admission ticket?
- Can I just come to the planetarium without paying for the exhibition?
- Can I advance-book tickets?
- Is INTECH Science Centre suitable for under-5's?
- Is there a café?
- Do you have anywhere to eat a packed lunch?
- Can you guarantee my favourite exhibit will be working?
- How are you funded?
- What is Gift Aid?
- What is STEMNET?
- How can I become a volunteer at INTECH?
INTECH Science Centre is open seven days a week all year around (except Dec 24-26).
Standard opening hours:
10am - 4pm
Monday to Friday during Hampshire schools term-time
|10am - 5pm||Saturdays, Sundays and all days during Hampshire school holidays. See below for any extended opening hours.|
Extended opening hours:
|8:30am - 6pm||
Monday 27 May to Friday 31 May 2013 (during Hampshire half term)
Half price admission to the exhibition from 3pm these dates only
Evening lectures and events (including Saturday night planetarium shows) can be found on the the events calendar.
Please note there are occasional school-days when the planetarium is not available due to special events or private bookings. Check the events calendar or the bottom of the planetarium schedule for advance warning of such dates.
It depends on your stamina! Some people spend all day at INTECH Science Centre, but most probably spend about half a day, including a visit to the planetarium. As well as the hand-on exhibits and the planetarium there are indoor and outdoor picnic areas. You might also like to explore the butterfly conservation area behind the centre.
Admission covers entry to the main exhibition area which offers two floors of hands-on exhibitions (and any free events that are running that day). INTECH Science Centre often has free events in school holiday periods, check our events calendar for information.
The admission ticket does not include entry to the planetarium.
Not everyone wants to go into the planetarium (eg families with children under 5yrs) so visitors have the choice rather than automatically adding this cost to every entry ticket. Also some people might want to see more than one show.
Yes you can!
- All standard shows that end at closing time are available as planetarium-only tickets. Eligible showtimes are marked in bold on the schedule.
- The NEW Saturday Night at the Astrium Planetarium tickets are planetarium-only.
The planetarium schedule shows current prices and showtimes.
At the moment the Science Centre is unable to offer planetarium-only tickets for other daytime shows due to the planetarium being within the exhibition space. However, barriers will be introduced in summer 2013 which will enable tickets to be purchased for most planetarium shows without entry to the main Science Centre.
Yes, either online or by phoning 01962 891925, excepting for Monday to Friday dates during school holidays.
If you would like to buy a ticket as a gift then the Science Centre can provide a gift voucher. The voucher will not have a specific date so the recipient can choose when to visit. Call 01962 891902 to arrange this. You can also buy a gift Membership which makes an ideal Christmas or birthday present.
The exhibition is designed to be ideal for ages 5yr+, although younger children can have a fine time playing with the exhibits in a less structured way. Many parents appreciate having a safe interesting environment in which their children can express their natural desire to explore. Steps are available for younger children to stand on, although toddlers may have to be lifted up to the level of some exhibits.
The Astrium Planetarium is not recommended for children under 5yrs. The experience can be quite overwhelming and young children are often unable to sit quietly. Younger children are not excluded in order to avoid older siblings missing out, but please be ready to leave if your child becomes disruptive. You may wish to consider coming to one our our Chatterbox shows.
On busy days (Feb & Oct half-term, or rainy days during other holidays) the venue can get quite busy and loud. The quietest times are usually school-day afternoons. Hampshire schools holiday dates are shown on on the events calendar.
Yes there is a café franchise within the INTECH Science Centre exhibition space. The cafe makes the food on-site and sells a variety of hot and cold food and drinks. The café closes at 3pm in term-time, or half an hour before closing during school holidays.
Hot lunches are available from 12pm-2pm.
Most days the café sells a variety of foods including sandwiches, soup, baked potatoes, salads and cakes (on really quiet days there might be less of a choice).
Please do feel free to bring a packed lunch with you:
There is an outside picnicking area (with tables) accessed from the cafe with views of the South Downs National Park.
INTECH Science Centre also provides an indoor picnicking area downstairs and visitors are welome to picnic inside. Please note space is limited so at really busy times like half term it may not be possible to provide enough room for all visitors. All other times unless there is a special event in the centre then you should be fine.
Hampshire holiday dates can be found on the events calendar.
All exhibits are checked by technicians every morning seven days a week and then a number of times throughout the day. Check the “broken exhibits” board by the reception desk to see if your favourite is working (notice this board is usually blank!).
The exhibits are designed to be robust (some have had nearly a million uses!) and the staff work hard to keep them functioning. However, as they have moving parts and are used by many visitors there will always be a point at which they need attention. Once an exhibit is reported as damaged it is allocated a technician who then finds out what the fault is and will work that day to attempt to mend it. If it needs new parts then these are ordered and the exhibit is taken out of use until it is ready.
If you find an exhibit that does not seem to work then please let the team know; they can then check whether the exhibit is damaged, or show you how to make it work.
No hands-on science centre can guarantee all its exhibits will be functioning, but the Science Centre's average is 99% which given the fact that there are over 150,000 visitors a year is not bad.
INTECH Science Centre is an independent educational charity which does not receive subsidy from Winchester City Council or Hampshire County Council. The income generated from visitor admissions, the shop and corporate facility hire is used to cover running costs and to subsidise the work undertaken with schools.
INTECH Science Centre relies on fundraising to generate the money needed to develop new exhibits, to refurbish the ones already here, and to purchase new planetarium shows.
If you or your organisation are able to offer any support then please get in touch!
If you are a UK taxpayer and you make a donation that is 10% more than the standard admission charge, then the Government will give the Science Centre an extra 25% on top of your donation. The government rules were changed from the previous systems hence you are asked to add 10% to the standard admission charge: this is the same for all charities.
This extra income makes a massive difference to charitable attractions like INTECH Science Centre. The extra money goes towards the upkeep of the site, building and new developments. See "How are you funded?" for more information about our income streams.
The term ‘STEM’ groups together the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These are all interlinked in solving many of the challenges facing modern society.
INTECH Science Centre is the STEMNET contract holder for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. This means that INTECH is are able to give schools advice about the STEM enhancement and enrichment schemes with which they can become involved, and to inform about both local and national activities and help identify which opportunities can best inspire students in the STEM subjects. INTECH Science Centre also is able to provide a matchmaking service between schools and 700+ STEM ambassadors in Hampshire and IOW(volunteers who are either working in a STEM industry or have recently retired and wish to inspire students in their subject). The contract is awarded by STEMNET.
There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available, especially during school holidays. If you would like to volunteer then please contact us, telling us a little about your background/experience and when you might be available to help.