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  Sensational science at Techniquest - what will you discover? - Techniquest  

Imagine a place where children learn without realising, where the inquisitive mind can explore, and where getting stuck in, hands on and involved is positively encouraged.   It’s Techniquest, the hands-on science centre in Cardiff Bay.

There was a time – not so long ago – when schoolchildren learnt about science from books.   There was little opportunity to connect what happened in the books with what happened in everyday life.  Every child, playing with modelling clay at home might realise that moving it about in their hands made it more pliable.  But how many might connect this with any kind of scientific reaction going on?

What a hands-on science centre like Techniquest can do is give children the chance to see and touch science, and make things happen for themselves.  It is no longer a matter of reading about electrical circuits in a textbook – here you can make one and see the results.  The waterfront building is filled with more than 120 exhibits waiting to be prodded, pushed, pulled and generally played with, as pupils discover the wonder of science for themselves.  Where else will they find out how to fire a hydrogen rocket – and why it works?   Or work out how a body fits together, or how water can help shift half a ton of granite?

In addition to all the interactive exhibits, all school groups who visit Techniquest can attend a show in the Science Theatre, or Planetarium, or a  workshop in the Laboratory.   The ever-changing schools programme at Techniquest covers STEM subjects for pupils of all ages, from reception class right up to A-level, with all shows and workshops firmly tied to the National Curriculum.   Pupils are encouraged to discuss topics, respond to questions – and ask their own – throughout all presentations

A new range of shows for KS2 pupils is launched in September 2010, with spectacular demonstrations to inspire children to further self-directed learning.   The shows cover fundamental themes such as light, electricity, and forces.  They present real life applications of science theory, and involve the pupils in exploring fully each topic in an exciting and engaging way. The pupils will leave the show equipped with a list of key words to individually explore further on the exhibition floor.   Teachers will use cameras to record the children’s activities and they will be given these images, together with additional resources to conduct a session back in school helping the children develop and reflect on the day’s activities.

Techniquest led the way with experiential learning, and is doing so again with metacognitive development.  From an early age, children are encouraged to discuss the activities and what they discover from them.   A visit to a science centre can give pupils much more than a different perspective on science, they can learn useful transferable skills such as communication, teamworking and problem solving.

Techniquest’s entire programme for schools encourages pupils to learn through investigation, discussion and collaboration, from the Foundation Phase show “Becky Bubbles” to the A level workshop “DNA Photocopying”.

Full details of Techniquest’s programme are available on the website…or contact info@techniquest.org or telephone 029 20 475 475 to request your free teachers’ information pack and wallplanner.

Techniquest, was one of the first places in the UK to gain the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge. School visits are so well organised that teachers can relax and focus on the learning experience from the moment they arrive. Upon arrival, children remain briefly on their coach while TQ staff explain the logistics of the visit. This enables the timetable to run smoothly. Visits are supported by written material for teachers and pupils.  Areas can be set aside for children to have a packed lunch, and time can be set aside for pupils to visit the gift shop before they leave.  To book a visit to Techniquest call 029 20 475 476.  Admission is £3.95 per pupil with supervising adults admitted free.

Teachers are welcome to visit Techniquest at any time during opening hours to help plan their visit. If you are a teacher responsible for arranging school visits, please advise staff at the admissions desk when you arrive.

  Tel:    029 20 475 475
Web: http://www.techniquest.org
Email: info@techniquest.org
Fax:   029 20 482 517


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