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Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for visiting our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. Here, you will find answers to common questions about our upcoming children's science centre. Whether you're a visitor curious about our exhibits, an educator looking for information on school programs, a scientist interested in collaboration, or a potential partner wanting to learn about sponsorship opportunities, we have the answers to your questions.

Our goal is to provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your experience with us. If you have any questions that are not answered here, please feel free to contact us directly. We're here to help and look forward to welcoming you to the National Children’s Science Centre in 2028!

Q: When is the science centre opening?
A: The National Children’s Science Centre is set to open in 2028. Stay tuned for the exact date and grand opening events.

 

Q: Where is the science centre located?
A: The NCSC is located at Earlsfort Terrace, in the heart of Dublin. Easily accessible by public transportation and ample parking will be

available.

 

Q: What types of exhibits can we expect?
A: The NCSC will feature a wide range of exhibits on topics such as space exploration, environmental science, human biology and technology. Our 122-seat planetarium will allow visitors to embark on virtual journeys through the cosmos, experiencing space flight and visiting new worlds. We will also explore the intricacies of the Earth's structure, the building blocks of life, DNA, and much, much more.

 

Q: Will there be any special programs or events?
A: Yes, we plan to host a variety of programs including workshops, guest lectures, planetarium shows and seasonal events. You will also be able to book the planetarium or other areas for corporate events and personal parties and events.

 

Q: Will the NCSC be suitable for younger children?
A: Yes, we will have dedicated sections and interactive exhibits designed specifically for young children, including a play area and hands-on activities.

 

Q: What about accessibility?
A: The NCSC will be fully wheelchair accessible. We will also offer wheelchair rentals to visitors who need them and we will have tactile maps for blind and visually impaired visitors.

 

Q: Is the NCSC just a kids’ science centre?
A: No, our exhibits can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. While some exhibits and programs are best appreciated by children, others will be very popular with people of all ages.

 

Q: Will there be dining options available?

A: Yes, the NCSC will have a café offering a variety of snacks, meals and beverages. We will also provide picnic areas if you prefer to bring your own food.

 

Q: Will there be a gift shop?
A: Yes, our gift shop will offer a wide range of science-themed gifts, educational toys, books and souvenirs. It will be a great place to find a unique memento of your visit.

 

Q: Will the NCSC be moving into the Iveagh Gardens?
A: No. There will be no encroachment on the Iveagh gardens. The centre will provide access to the Iveagh Gardens, respecting the site’s heritage and its original connection to Earlsfort Terrace designed for the 1865 International Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures.

 

Q: I still have questions. Who can I contact?
A: Call our team at +353 01 416 0043 or info@nationalchildrenssciencecentre.ie

For visitors

Q: What impact will the NCSC have on Irish Children?
A: We want the NCSC to be a key part of education in Ireland. We aim to work closely with schools across the country to integrate our resources into the national curriculum. By the time we open, we hope to have these partnerships established to enhance what children are learning in school and make the NCSC a regular destination for school trips. Our goal is to educate and entertain and we look forward to seeing the positive changes this will bring for children across Ireland.


Q: How will the NCSC support the science curriculum for primary and secondary education?
A: The NCSC will serve as a valuable extension to the primary and secondary school STEAM curricula by providing interactive and practical experiences that enhance classroom learning. It will aim to complement the curriculum by offering hands-on opportunities to explore STEAM concepts and carry out scientific research in a state-of-the art science laboratory.

 

Not only will we support the national curriculum, but we can also offer feedback in developing the curriculum through learning and research at the NCSC.


Q: What educational programs will you offer for school groups?
A: We will offer a variety of programs tailored to different age groups, including interactive workshops, guided tours, hands-on activities and planetarium shows.


Q: Will there be resources available for teachers to use before or after the visit?
A: Yes, we will provide a range of educational resources, including lesson plans, activity sheets and multimedia content that teachers can use to prepare students for their visit and extend learning afterward.


Q: What age groups are you targeting with this science centre and how are you planning to tailor the exhibits to these demographics?
A: Our exhibits will be designed to appeal to children from toddlers to teenagers and beyond. For younger children, we will focus on sensory play and foundational concepts, while older children will encounter more complex interactive exhibits that challenge their problem-solving skills and stimulate critical thinking.


Q: What emphasis does the NCSC place on sustainability?
A: Our science centre prioritises sustainability by integrating it into our core exhibit themes. Many of our exhibits will be carefully designed to shine a light on sustainability and taking care of our environment. We align with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals and focus on educating children about their role in protecting the planet. Through science education and creative thinking, we help them make informed decisions about critical environmental issues.


Q: What is your policy on inclusivity?
A: The NCSC has a policy of equality, diversity and inclusion, with a particular focus on ensuring access and engagement by children and young people of different abilities and disabilities. Exhibits and events will be planned and delivered in accordance with the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL).


Q: Will the NCSC provide professional development for teachers?
A: Yes, we will offer professional development workshops that will help teachers incorporate science education into their classrooms. These sessions will include hands-on activities, lesson planning support and access to resources.


Q: Will the NCSC be just Dublin based?
A: No. While the NCSC will be located in Dublin city centre, it will not be limited to this location. We plan to engage a broader audience through a permanent traveling outreach exhibit that will visit schools all over Ireland. Additionally, we will have interactive portals that will be accessible to children worldwide, expanding our educational reach far beyond the physical museum. Our outlook is global—we've had board members from similar centres in the United States and we will maintain ongoing collaborations with international centres.

Q: I still have questions. Who can I contact?
A: Call our team at +353 01 416 0043 or info@nationalchildrenssciencecentre.ie

For educators

Q: How can I collaborate with the NCSC on research projects?
A: We welcome collaboration with scientists on various research projects, especially those focused on early childhood science education and engagement.

 

Q: Does the NCSC offer opportunities to present my research to the public?
A: Yes, we will regularly host family-friendly science talks, interactive demonstrations and workshops where researchers will be able to present their work to a broader audience, including children and their families.

 

Q: Are there opportunities to contribute to the NCSC’s exhibits?
A: Absolutely! We invite scientists to collaborate with our exhibit design team to develop and enhance exhibit content, particularly with a focus on making complex scientific concepts accessible and engaging for children.

 

Q: How can I get involved with the NCSC science communication initiatives?
A: We have several science communication programs, including public outreach, educational content creation and social media campaigns tailored for young audiences. Contact us to find out how you can participate and help inspire the next generation of scientists.

 

Q: I still have questions. Who can I contact?
A: Call our team at +353 01 416 0043 or info@nationalchildrenssciencecentre.ie

For scientists

Q: What inspired the idea for this new children's science centre and what are your goals leading up to its opening in 2028?

A: The idea for the science centre came from a desire to create a space where children can explore and discover science. Ireland is currently the only OECD country to not have a national children’s science centre. By the time we open in 2028, we will have all sorts of exhibits that spark curiosity and get kids excited about STEAM. These will be specially designed to engage different ages and stages of development.
 

Q: Can you describe the leadership and expertise behind the NCSC?
A:
Our team is composed of seasoned professionals in business and education. Our board is a group of passionate volunteers who were approached by government over 20 years ago to establish a national children’s science centre and have dedicated to making this idea a reality. They bring a mix of strong business acumen, education credentials and include expert spokespeople in the world of science. The current board members are listed here.

 

Q: Are you a charity or a private enterprise?
A: The National Children’s Science Centre is a registered charity, trading under the name, Irish Children's Museum Ltd, number 20041731.

Q: Why Earlsfort Terrace?
A:
Earlsfort Terrace is rich in history and cultural significance. It was the location of the Great International Exhibition of 1865 and has continued to be place that's about boosting community through education and the arts.

We’re giving the North Wing of this historic university building a new life, complete with a cutting-edge planetarium. Its central location, right next to the National Concert Hall, makes the NCSC a perfect spot for all kinds of educational and cultural activities.

Q: What will happen to the Iveagh Gardens?
A:
The project promises to enhance the local area, providing access to the Iveagh Gardens, respecting the site’s heritage and its original connection to Earlsfort Terrace designed for the 1865 International Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures. There will be no encroachment on the gardens. This restoration will integrate the worlds of science, music and nature, creating a lasting legacy for the nation.

 

Q: How will the NSCS work with the National Concert Hall (NCH)?
A:
The NCSC and the NCH will collaborate to create a cultural hub at Earlsfort Terrace, combining science and music. While each institution will maintain separate entrances and identities, they will share space and coordinate staggered construction to ensure continuous cultural offerings.

 

Q: What role does the OPW play in the refurbishment?
A:
The development will consist of the refurbishment and restoration of the existing north and part of the east wing of the existing National Concert Hall and the Real Tennis building and the construction of a new four-storey over basement extension with a planetarium dome to the west of the north wing at the boundary of the Iveagh Gardens.

 

Q: What is the funding Strategy for Facility development?
A:
In addition to the partnership with the OPW, there is further funding required to fit out the facility. This will include developing the 14 Interactive Exhibit Spaces, a 15th national Outreach Exhibit, fitting the new 122 seat planetarium and other facilities such as a shop and café. The NCSC will independently raise the necessary funds for the exhibits and to cover the annual operating deficit through philanthropic donations, grants and special fundraising events.

 

Q: How does the NCSC align with government policies on STEAM education?
A:
The NCSC aligns with the government's vision for STEAM education as outlined in several policy documents. By offering a dynamic and educational space that emphasizes science and technology, the NCSC will help implement these policies, ensuring that they have a practical impact on students' learning experiences and future opportunities in STEAM fields.


Q: Will the NCSC be available for hire for corporate events?
A:
Yes, the NCSC will offer its space for corporate events, workshops and training days. Our venue provides a unique and stimulating environment that will be ideal for professional development and corporate gatherings.

 

Q: What are the long-term plans for the NCSC beyond its 2028 opening?
A:
We recognize our role as stewards of the building, owned by the OPW, and are committed to transforming it into a dynamic, world-class space that is interactive and continually evolving. One of our key objectives is to inspire future generations to connect with the natural world in innovative and positive ways, helping to build a sustainable future for everyone.

 

Q: I still have questions. Who can I contact?
A:
Call our team at +353 01 416 0043 or info@nationalchildrenssciencecentre.ie

For stakeholders and partners
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