Planning Your Excursion
To ensure your students have the most effective time at the Science Centre, is it essential to plan your visit before hand. Please use the information below to enhance your excursion to the Science Centre.
Bookings are essential for school groups and are to be made through our Bookings Officer on (02) 4286 5000 (option 2). Group bookings should be made between the hours of 9:30am – 4:00pm, Monday to Friday. All group bookings must be confirmed at least 2 weeks in advance by faxing/mailing/emailing your completed bookings sheet. Final numbers are to be confirmed by phone a few days before your visit.
Please advise the Bookings Officer at time of booking about what shows you would like your group to watch in both the Theatre and the Planetarium. We offer a wide range of exciting shows to meet your curriculum needs. Detailed show information can be found under our science and planetarium shows. If you have not selected specific shows for your group visit ahead of time, age appropriate shows will be chosen for you. Please note there is a minimum student number requirement for some shows.
Parking is FREE for Science Centre visitors. Please inform your drivers to proceed through the boom gates at the entrance to the car park and collect a ticket, which can then be validated at our Front desk on admission to the Centre. To ensure a prompt start to your visit, please have an exact head count of the number of children and accompanying teachers/carers BEFORE you arrive at the Centre.
In most instances upon your arrival, the Supervisor will be waiting to greet your group and give a brief orientation to cover any logistical details. If the Supervisor is not present, the group leader/head teacher should inform the Front Reception desk that your group has arrived and is ready outside.
Please note: schools do not enter through the Front Reception area. They enter the Science Centre through the gate at the right-hand side of the building, near the planetarium. Unless the weather is wet, we ask that students remain outside the Centre while final group numbers and payment is dealt with by the Supervisor. Your group will then be briefed by the Supervisor as to the excursion schedule and appropriate rules while in the Centre.
Visit start times
If you are not planning to have a meal break at the Centre, please still aim to arrive at least 30 minutes BEFORE your scheduled start time. As a number of groups may be booked for excursions on any one day, groups are expected to be lined up ready to start their visit at the booked time. School visits that start late due to unplanned meal breaks can heavily impact upon the schedules of other booked groups and may incur an additional cost to cover staff overtime expenses.
If your buses are running late or delayed by traffic, please contact the Science Centre as soon as possible on (02) 4286 5000 to advise us of your estimated arrival time. Unfortunately, if a group is excessively late, a booked visit may have to be shortened to accommodate other groups and schools booked on the day.
Science Centre supervisors are available to help on the day and ensure that your excursion runs as smoothly as possible. Supervisors will organise the schedule of the excursion on the day, advise of how many students should be in each group and will rotate groups through the different sessions accordingly. Please be ready to assist supervisors in rounding up and lining up students for each activity. Here is a guide for group sizes on the day:
|15 - 60 students||= will remain in 1 group|
|61 - 120 students||= divide students into 2 even groups|
|121 - 180 students||= divide students into 3 even groups|
|181 - 240 students||= divide students into 4 even groups|
Please advise the Bookings Officer upon making your booking of students with special needs and abilities so that we can best accommodate them during the excursion e.g. wheelchairs, students with hearing impairments, bringing along an interpreter.
If you wish to have morning tea or lunch at the Centre, this must be organised outside of your scheduled visit time in the Centre. From our experience if you have booked a 2 hour excursion in the Centre, please allow an extra 30-40 minutes for a lunch break and let us know when you book. A secure outdoor eating area within the Centre is available for your class to eat their own packed lunches. Outdoor chairs/tables, garbage bins, toilets, kiosk and the bag store are located nearby. Children are asked to keep to the pathways and grassed areas at all times and not walk through the gardens. There are some undercover eating areas available in the event of wet weather.
The Science Centre Kiosk also sells cold drinks, fruit, confectionery, canteen approved snacks and ice creams. Please let the Bookings Officer know if you wish for students to buy from the Kiosk when booking. Due to our limited oven facilities hot food is available on request for teachers and adult helpers but not students.
Photographs during group excursions at the Centre are encouraged as they allow students to capture fun memories of their visit and help to stimulate healthy, reflective discussions once back in the classroom. Please note that photography is not permitted in the planetarium.
A locked bag storage room is available FREE of charge. We ask that all loose items (e.g. jackets, hats, drink bottles) are kept inside bags to prevent them from becoming lost. If your students are purchasing items from the Science Shop during the excursion they will need to remove their money before placing their bags in the store room.
Please advise the Bookings Officer at the time of booking if you wish for your students to purchase items from the Science Shop. Students will visit the shop in groups of 8-10. A teacher or adult supervisor must be present at all times during shop visits. All purchased items are labelled with the student name then placed into a large box for teachers to distribute back at school.
As an alternative, fun bags are also available at $5 and $10 each. Fun bags may contain science novelty items, an activity sheet, a make-it-yourself sundial and a free planetarium show ticket. Fun bags are to be pre-ordered at least a week before your visit.
One adult supervisor (teacher, aide, prac. student, parent/grandparent helper) is admitted free at the rate of 1 per 12 students (1 free adult per 5 children for Preschools, Child Care Centres, Playgroups and SSP schools). All extra adults accompanying your group will be charged the concession rate of $11 per head.
Final payment by cheque, cash, credit card or EFTPOS can by made on the day. If payment is not made on the day of your excursion, an official invoice from University of Wollongong Finance will be sent to your school office.
Cancelling a visit without 7 days notice will attract a 20% cancellation fee to cover staffing costs.
- Footwear must be worn at all times
- No food or drink in the exhibit areas or theatres
- Students must walk at all times
- No behaviour which may be harmful to exhibits or visitors
- Unsupervised students will be asked to leave the Science Shop