Coming Soon to Dorset

Coming Soon to Dorset

Dorset Science & Technology Centre

We’ve been fundraising for a while now to get our own premises. Visiting schools across Dorset is great, but there’s only so much we can bring with us and setting up the planetarium takes a lot of time to set-up & pack down. Plus, with over 100 product lines and some large artefacts, we’re all out of storage!

I’m pleased to announce that thanks to our supporters and our new sponsors; Santander, Dorset County Council and Just Act, we’ve secured the funds needed to open in the very near future. Located in the beautiful countryside of North Dorset, just on the outskirts of Sturminster Newton, the site lends itself to be a long-term base. Plenty of parking, a large outdoor area for dinosaurs, dark skies for astronomy and plenty of room inside for science & coding clubs.

If that wasn’t enough, we’re in talks with some potential sponsors to secure the other half of the building. This would allow us to use our planetarium daily and would also carry 2 themed zones. As you enter forest themed dinosaur zone you will be surrounded by realistic dinosaurs, with sound effects and mist to add to the atmosphere. We’ll of course be displaying our large range of dinosaur bones and fossils, but we also have a unique interactive area planned and the software already written (thanks The Honest Agency!).

The neighbouring Space Zone will be dominated by an 8m planetarium (our current mobile one is 4m) offering highly immersive 360o shows. Surrounding the planetarium will be our collection of meteorites, space models and space-flown artefacts. The clever design will allow us to completely clear the clear the centre sections of both zones within 30 minutes, allowing us to hold various community events. Our own events will include science fairs, games/movie nights and small exhibitions. The venue will be available for hire for birthday parties (with our team providing entertainment), corporate events and community fundraisers.

Activity at the centre will include:

  • After-school Science & Coding Clubs
  • Robot making & Electronics
  • Elderly Computer Lessons
  • Unique Dinosaur Zone
  • 360-degree Planetarium
  • Discounted educational store (including our range of fossils, minerals and dino bones)
  • Astronomy evenings
  • Community events

If you’d like to get involved, we need volunteers of all abilities to help us with:

  • Painting
  • DIY
  • Finding Sponsors
  • Planning activities / interactive displays
  • Generally spreading the word

If you’re a local business looking for a unique sponsorship opportunity, why not get in contact. We have a range of opportunities available including “sponsor a dinosaur”.

Here’s just some of the things you can help with: https://patchworkit.com/8944/atomclub

We’ll keep you up dated with progress, but we expect to be able to offer our first activity in late March.

17 thoughts on “Coming Soon to Dorset

  1. Can’t wait to bring my children..looks and sounds amazing!!

  2. This is going to be brilliant, can’t wait to bring grandson

  3. Fantastic, well done. I hope this business booms! My grandson will love this. Good luck. Myself and my partner are also looking for a business locally. No toe stepping though, canine ventures.

  4. Will be in the queue for that! Looks amazing… my son will love it!

  5. My 4 year old boy is obsessed with science, this place will be amazing!! Can’t wait!

  6. Too far for us unfortunately, is there anything similar in east Dorset anyone knows of?
    Good luck with this amazing venture!

    • Hi and thanks for your kind comments
      There’s the Science Zone in Boscombe which is a similar concept in a shop, might be worth a look. Failing that, it’s a trek, but the Winchester Science Centre is great – obviously more expensive, but a great day out.
      I’m sure we can convince you to attend one of our events…
      Best regards
      Chris

  7. Catherine Jones

    my daughter would like this too – what are you going to do to encourage girls?

  8. Catherine Jones

    Not that I think you should change or alter the topics in any way, just that girls might be less likely to attend if it’s seen primarily as a boy thing, and just looking at the above comments, it’s all sons and grandsons interested so far!

    • Hi Catherine and thanks for getting in touch
      I completely agree! There is a real shortage of women in STEM fields and both Science & Coding are seen rather stereo-typically as more for the boys, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The girls I’ve had in my sessions so far have been equally excited and engaged, if not more! We hope that by catching them at this young age and showing them that science/coding isn’t just for boys will be just what they need. We’re starting out by focusing on the topics of space and dinosaurs which are exciting to both. It’s been suggested that we do “girl’s only” sessions where they use chemistry to make bath bombs, etc but personally I don’t think that’s the answer. Imagine the reaction we’d get if we did boys only sessions where they build robots… I want all of our sessions to be open to all. We will be offering bath bomb making, etc but it will be open to all – in that session I’d imagine we will have more girls than boys.
      Regarding your other comment – I’d welcome any suggestions you may have as to how we can encourage girls. Once they’re at the centre they’ll have a great time and will love it, the same as they do when we visit schools. The older high-school children is where it starts to get harder.
      Thanks again and best regards
      Chris

      • My 12 year old home educated daughter can’t wait for you to open! To be honest it never even occurred to her or me that it might be seen to traditionally be more of a boys thing, surely we’ve moved on from this kind of stereotyping anyhow.

        • Thank you – that’s brightened my day! Exactly, let’s destroy that stereotype and get all children interested in science and technology!

  9. Catherine Jones

    Hi Chris

    Thanks for your reply. Well, my 8-year-old daughter will definitely be up for it and I’ll get her to tell her friends. Maybe you could get in touch with local schools and visit for assemblies and so on. I know her school recently had a Science day which was v popular. The whole project sounds great though and I love the sound of your positive attitude. Look forward to hearing more about it.

    • Thanks Catherine 🙂
      Yes we’re in touch with some local schools and our upcoming leaflets will be going out in book bags, so that should help.
      Thanks again for your support and best regards

  10. Catherine Jones

    Agree that girls only bath bomb sessions is a terrible idea!!

  11. Hi
    I have a son who would love this. However we would also both be up for volunteering to help get the centre ready. When do you need help, we can paint and clean etc
    Thanks Ruth

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Atom Club is no longer trading - Check out our friends at Dorset Tech who have taken over the centre