THE Wollongong Science Centre at Fairy Meadow will be celebrating two important milestones tomorrow (Thursday).
Firstly, the Centre will be celebrating its one millionth visitor since it opened in 1989.
As the region’s most visited indoor attraction it has been a resounding success providing both education and entertainment. It has the only major planetarium theatre in NSW and has been an innovator in many of the technologies which are used in science centres.
It was the first to show full dome movies and remains the only facility to have laser graphic shows. In 2011 the Science Centre received an award for Tourism Innovation.
As well as its many public visitors, the Science Centre also hosts large numbers of school classes on excursions. More than 500 school classes visit each year, half from outside the Illawarra. The Science Centre prides itself on being a family friendly facility catering for people of all ages and backgrounds. More than half of its visitors are people in family groups.
To celebrate its one millionth visitor the Science Centre and Sheldon and Hammond will donate a computer controlled telescope to the lucky visitor at 2pm tomorrow.
A second most impressive milestone has also been reached. The Science Centre has now invested more funding into student internships than the $2.6 million of government funding which was provided to build the building.
These student interns include many trainee teachers who have learned practical science communication and teaching skills at the Centre and are now working in schools with greatly enhanced science and technology abilities.
With government priorities clearly focussed on improvements in the quality of teacher training, particularly in the areas of science and technology, the Science Centre Director Glen Moore said the centre was contributing in a most significant way to this mission.