We are a discovery centre where everyone can experience Spectacular Science through the medium of interactive hands-on activities- every exhibit is designed to be played with to see what happens; investigate, learn and have fun!
"Thanks for another awesome day. The children had an amazing time; can't believe it went so fast. Please pass on our thanks to all your team who were incredible. The children are buzzing on the coach with tales of their day...see you next year!"
The Centre is unique among science centres because of its connection with astronomy: being located within buildings that were part of the former home of The Royal Greenwich Observatory.
It opened in 1995, with the aim of increasing appreciation of science and technology through interactive hands-on exhibitions, educational events and activities, taking into account the site's historic links.The vision was to become a place where everyone could explore, discover and learn. The Centre has gone from strength to strength and offers Spectacular Science and discovery amongst the domes and telescopes of a world famous observatory.
The Observatory Science Centre is part of Science Projects Ltd. a company with charitable status dedicated to the promotion of science for everyone and designers of interactive exhibitions and hands-on exhibits since 1986. As a charitable organisation, profit from contract work is invested into the site to maintain the Grade II* Listed building and expand the exhibitions.
Our ethos is that science should always be Spectacular and fun.
We work in partnership with you and the education programme is constantly expanding with both Day and Twilight options.
There are also includes outreach opportunities: If you cannot visit us then we can bring Spectacular Science to you. We offer portable ScienceWorks interactive exhibits and / or inflatable planetarium with a truly awesome fully-customisable and immersive 360 degrees astronomy experience.
You can include as much or as little as you wish to make the most of your time on site........
Your visit gives access to 90+ educationally designed indoor hands-on exhibits plus a further 20+ outdoor exhibits in the Discovery Park and Water Planet areas.
'Hands-on' at The Centre grows into 'minds-on' back at school as experience develops into understanding.
Time interacting with the exhibits will motivate pupils and stimulate their interest by offering first hand experiences (through seeing, hearing and feeling what happens) of ideas & principles that help science make sense.
Pupils leave with a wealth of enthusiasm that can reinforce previous knowledge and support work in the classroom. This helps to enhance the curriculum and provides opportunities for cross curricular activities as well as scientific enquiry.
The majority of educational groups participate in a workshop activity to compliment your topic: from bridge building to robot arms
Most school groups also choose to add a guided Telescope Tour and / or Science Show.
"The whole visit was a fantastic experience. It was so well organised with not a minute wasted.The group activities were excellent and it was so nice to have the freedom to explore the exhibits during timetabled slots. We had a brilliant day and have already recommended a visit to colleagues in other schools. Thank you".
"Thank you all so much for such a fantastic day yesterday. The children were absolutely engaged and were full of how much they had enjoyed everything when we discussed it today. They learned so much more than I can ever do in the classroom and big thanks go to the three staff who led the workshops and telescope tour. Your organisation was faultless and you had thought of everything. I look forward to seeing you all again next year."
We welcome groups from all school and educational establishments and there is something for all Key Stages.
Some pupils will especially enjoy and benefit from the play element of the hands-on exhibits; not even realising that they are learning at the same time. Others will adopt a different approach according to their own level of understanding and will have fun as they explore new principles.
There is no specific target age and activities will engage all abilities with dialogue adjusted for each group.
Workshops, Telescope Tours and Science Shows will be aimed at the age and ability of each individual group.
We pride ourselves on adapting our educational programme for all ages & abilities and we encourage you to contact us with questions / suggestions / requests.
As an independent educational charity we strive to work in partnership with all educational groups and each year we incorporate workshops, team challenges and specific astronomy tours to fit into topic work and to include specific key words.
"I just wanted to send a massive thank you to everyone at the Observatory for giving us such a super day out. We all thought it was so well organised, perfectly pitched for our year groups and, frankly: a wonderfully easy day for us staff! And for that we are very grateful. We will certainly visit again!"
Your visit includes plenty of opportunity to explore the specially designed interactive hands-on exhibits, suitable for all.
Your admission includes a short workshop, appropriate to your topic and suitable for all. This workshop can normally be included at no extra charge, but for small groups or requests for extended workshops, a small charge may apply.
If you are booking a science show you can choose the same theme e.g. 'Newton in Motion' show and Bridge Building workshop, or a 'pick and mix' if your visit links different topics e.g. 'Materials What's the Matter' Show and Light Workshop.
"We had a fantastic day from start to finish. The workshops and staff that ran them were absolutely brilliant. Thank you for such a wonderful, enriching, fun filled school trip."
KS1 KS2 KS3 KS4
Your group will be led by a member of our team as you visit two domes housing historic telescopes.
A tour costs an additional £1 per pupil, lasts approximately 40 minutes and dialogue is led by the level of the group.
KS1 KS2 KS3
We offer Spectacular Science shows with themes linked to specific topics.
A show costs an additional £1 per pupil, lasts approximately 35 minutes and is a memorable experience with learning opportunities to capture the imagination of your group.
KS1 KS2 KS3 KS4
Visiting The Centre after normal daylight hours 'The Observatory in the Dark' is an exciting experience for everyone.
Upper KS2 KS3 KS4
A very popular package reinforcing the maxim that 'science can be fun'.
"Thank you so much for making our annual trip so enjoyable. The pupils had a fabulous time (as always) and we are ever grateful for your enthusiasm and patience."
Our programme is constantly evolving based around specialist equipment, often through grant projects.
Find all the FAQ essential information here: How to book, When can we visit, How many pupils etc.......
Check this section for our risk assessments.
Please contact us if further information is required.
"We just wanted to say thank you to you and your team for a fantastic day at the Observatory. Our children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and many told me it was the best day of their lives!"
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The Observatory Science Centre is part of Science Projects Ltd, a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 02186073 and a registered charity No: 298542. The registered office is 3 – 15 Stirling Road, Acton, London. W3 8DJ. UK.
It is with great sadness that we announce the closure of The Observatory Science Centre from 18th March 2020 until further notice.
This decision was made in the light of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and recent UK government advice, which our charity has been carefully monitoring and following.
The safety and wellbeing of our visitors, staff and volunteers is our absolute priority during this difficult time.
Given the uncertainty we are all facing, we don’t yet know when we will re-open. If you have booked group visits / upcoming events etc. we will be in contact when we return to work.
We sincerely wish good health for you and your families during these uncertain times and we can’t wait to welcome you back as we continue our 25th anniversary celebrations.
The Observatory Science Centre team
Thank you for your cooperation, understanding and support.