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Science Projects
There are opportunities to join the team. Please check ABOUT US section of this website.
read more » 18th Feb 2017 16:50
Exciting programme of Events & Activities now in place for the 2017 season
read more » 27th Jan 2017 15:18
Exciting programme in place for the October mid-term. Join us for science and astronomy edutainment.
read more » 21st Oct 2016 17:53
The Observatory Science Centre
Herstmonceux
Hailsham
East Sussex
BN27 1RN
Tel: 01323 832731
Fax: 01323 832741

Email Us

Corporate and Team Challenges

Do you all need to get away from the workplace into a stimulating environment or does your team deserve a special day out at this historic site in the beautiful Sussex countryside?  If so, then The Observatory Science Centre may just be the unique venue you are looking for.

No more predictable, stuffy hotel conference rooms - The Centre offers an alternative venue for your Annual General Meeting, Conference or Staff Fun Day!

We have a choice of spaces for private meetings, from copper clad domes (maximum 75 people) seated beneath an historic telescope, to a circus style geodesic dome (maximum 175).

What is included?

Making Rockets The programme for your day will be tailored specifically to your group to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, has a rewarding experience.
Your visit can be as long or as short as you require; have just half a day with us for a meeting, with a small amount of free time and / or a Telescope Tour; or have the whole day and incorporate fun, interactive team challenges or science based activity workshops into the programme.  You might even like to consider arriving mid afternoon and continuing into the early evening, viewing through an historic telescope (weather permitting).
Team Challenges
The number of challenges, and the time spent on them can be adjusted as befits the group.  Working together, each team will face tasks that tease the brain and stretch the imagination, but the emphasis will always be on fun and no prior scientific knowledge is required.  Many of our exciting 'hands-on' exhibits readily lend themselves to an assortment of both physical & mental challenges and these challenges are a perfect way to encourage your staff to work together - maybe by having inter-departmental teams, or by mixing your departments.  The challenges are mostly physical (but not arduous) and are set against the clock.  Some are our own creation, whilst others will be a twist on a more familiar format and include the following:
  • Bridge Building - fastest time wins with the construction of this large wooden truss bridge.
  • Tower Construction - tallest tower wins using our shaped foam blocks- we expect at least 2 ½ metres!
  • Tower of Hanoi - our own version of this amazing logical maths puzzle.
  • Launch Pad - a favourite straw & paperclip construction activity.
  • Locks - crack the code to open the padlocks
  • Lost in Space - Option 1 -reassemble the planets in their correct order - but don't fall off your gravity blocks or you will be Lost in Space.  Option 2 - a harder version of the above, involving a variety of space objects.   
These challenges can be mixed & matched in any number of ways.  For example, Bridge Building, Tower Construction and The Launch Pad would be a suitable combination of physical challenges with an emphasis on construction, whilst Locks & Tower of Hanoi would be ‘table based' and suitable for more logical brains.

Workshops
A water rocket workshop lasts 45 mins - 1 hour.
Each team will be instructed in the design of a water rocket, which carries a cargo of a raw egg in the nose cone.When built, these water rockets will be fired outside to see whose egg survives!

Telescope Tour
No visit to this historic site would be complete without a 30 minute telescope tour.  You will be led by a member of science centre staff to see one or two historic telescopes and to learn a small part of their history.We also have an exhibition ‘Domes of Discovery - the story of the Royal Observatory' which brings to life the 300-year history of one of the most famous scientific institutions in the world.

Before your departure, when all challenges are completed, a small prize is awarded to the members of the winning team.

Catering is available to suit your requirements, from morning coffee and pastries, to light snacks, buffet lunches, cream teas etc.
Our café manager will discuss options with you and we are happy to tailor the catering and venue space to meet your needs and suit your budget.

Cost and How to Book

£325 for groups up to 20 then £10 per additional person. (+vat).
Cost includes complimentary use of the facility, hands-on exhibits, Domes of Discovery Exhibition, Team Challenges or a Workshop, plus a Telescope Tour.
Catering is additional.


All bookings are discussed on an individual basis.
Please contact Jo Harris.
Telephone: 01323 832731
Fax: 01323 832741

Important Information and facilities

  • Ample FREE parking for coaches, minibuses and cars.
  • Access to a delightful historic site, the former home of The Royal Greenwich Observatory.
  • FREE entry for your coach driver.
  • Picnic spaces around the grassed areas of the site and at the picnic tables beside our beautiful pond.
  • Café serving refreshments, sandwiches & light meals etc. with group catering options.
  • Gift shop with a fantastic range of unusual gifts, souvenirs, science books, resources and astronomy items.  Every purchase helps to support us and prices start at just 15 pence!
  • We have a dedicated team of staff and volunteers, all holding a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Certificate and most of whom are STEM Ambassadors.
  • The Centre is a NON-SMOKING site.
  • CCTV is operating throughout the site.
Feedback Company M.D.
"The whole day was the right balance between relaxed activity, fun and teamwork and this can be attributed to the staff at the Observatory. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the activities were the main topic of conversation for days."
Feedback Chief Executive
"We had high expectations for our staff conferences and these were exceeded by The Observatory Science Centre. The staff and venue create an excellent, fun atmosphere, which doesn't compromise on a professional service. Very highly recommended"