For almost four decades, we have been on a mission to break down barriers and make science accessible to as many children as possible.  This is our journey so far...

The Evolution of Wonderseekers


Our story began when our Charity was founded with the mission to encourage children, through science, to reach their full potential and make a difference. The ambition of our founding trustees was to increase school age children's interest in science. Their solution was an early intervention with hands-on, interactive exhibits to ignite excitement and build interest in science for all children.


As we entered a new millenium, we received funding from the Millennium Commission to build a brand new visitor attraction for Hampshire. In 2002, we opened our award-winning science and discovery centre in the beautiful South Downs National Park, the site we still cherish today.  Its name was INTECH.


Towards the end of the decade, our Charity achieved an exciting milestone when we opened the UK's largest standalone planetarium at our Science Centre. Equipped with a 16.5m dome screen and 176 seats, we expanded our breadth of offer to include live and interactive shows all about space!


After just over 10 years of sparking curiosity, we renamed our Centre from INTECH to Winchester Science Centre. This is the name we still use today.


With over thirty years of engaging children in science under our belts, we introduced a new five-year strategy which placed a focus on accessibility and inclusion. We began to build relationships with other organisations with shared ambitions. One of these was the University of Southampton. This partnership, which remains strong today, is focused on increasing public engagement in science. In the same year, our Charity was awarded the STEM Ambassador contract for Central South England.


As we began to implement our five-year strategy, we worked to improve our breadth of offer at the Science Centre to ensure that science is as fun and engaging as possible. We opened Explorer:Space, a new immersive and interactive exhibit. We launched our Ultimate STEM School Trip which introduced more equitable pricing structures, offering an all-inclusive price with up to 60% subsidies for schools with high free school meal eligibility. We also established a community and priority schools outreach programme, dedicated to bringing science to children who may not be able to visit our Centre.


Continuing our relationship building with like-minded organisations, we established another partnership to increase public engagement in science. This time with the University of Surrey. Alongside this, we began our mission to make Winchester Science Centre a welcome space for everyone, particularly children living with a disability or impairment. With funding and support from our partners, we set about improving access to our building and programmes. We upgraded our planetarium which introduced subtitled shows and the use of tactile resources to support visitors with visual or hearing impairments. We also installed a vital Changing Places toilet.


As we entered a new decade, we continued on our journey to make our Science Centre as accessible and inclusive as possible by installing a Recombobulation Room, a quiet space for anyone who needs to take a moment to themselves to reset. We worked with acoustic specialists to reduce the noise level inside the building to improve people's learning experiences.  As well as the changes to the building, we also improved our digital infrustructure. We launched a brand new website for the Science Centre as well as 'Science At Home' and 'Science in Schools' digital actvities, which began as a fun way to maintain science engagement during the Covid-19 pandemic.

2021 and 2022

Following our accessibility improvements the previous year, we launched British Sign Language (BSL) days at the Science Centre to support children with hearing impairments and d/Deaf visitors in their engagement with science. To make our Centre even more inclusive, we created sensory maps to reduce some of the anxiety children may face when visiting a new, unfamilar environment. Then, in 2022, our Charity went through an exciting rebrand and introduced the world to Wonderseekers!

2023 and beyond

Soon after our rebrand, we launched our brand-new strategy For People and Planet 2030. At the heart of this exciting strategy is the mission to create a more equitable world where children can treasure science and are equipped and empowered to improve lives and protect and heal our planet. We have also recently embarked on a new journey to make our Charity and Winchester Science Centre as sustainable as possible. So far, we have installed waste stations around the Science Centre to encourage recycling, removed single-use plastics in our cafes and introduced one-use cups that are 100% compostable. We are excited to increase the sustainability of our Charity and Science Centre over the coming years.