It has six different themed galleries, over 150 hands-on activities, the UK's largest Planetarium using surround video and state-of-the-art sound technology to transport visitors across the cosmos and the most stunning Rocket Tower this side of the launch pad. The facility is also a centre for learning, providing education programmes that aim to increase the science literacy of children and the general public.
The National Space Centre in Leicester was co-founded in the mid 1990s by Leicester City Council and the University of Leicester, which has more than 30 years experience in space research. It was the subject of a joint bid for Lottery funding to the Millennium Commission, which agreed to back the project as its Landmark Millennium Project for the East Midlands region, in the summer of 1997. A brownfields site in Leicester was chosen as the site for the Centre.
The Centre's main aspiration is to make science more appealing for children and adults alike. Research undertaken by the University of Leicester and Leicester City Council has shown that children who took part in a National Space Centre education programme achieved higher grades in science subjects. The Centre is truly engaging with young people, with over 90,000 children taking part in an education programme in 2006 alone.
The project has also triggered regeneration elsewhere in Leicester city centre, and the land surrounding the National Space Centre is currently being developed into a £60 million Science and Technology Park, creating over 1,000 new jobs in the city.
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