The Science Alive Story

SA_V1_RGBScience Alive – who is involved?

Science Alive is an education charity dedicated to community learning since the year 2000. In 2003, discussions between education and business partners led to a venue being identified as part of the plans for a new leisure centre within the Harlow Gateway development programme.

A company limited by guarantee was registered and charitable status secured in 2004. Our Trustees are still drawn, as at the beginning, from industry, education and business backgrounds, with a strong community representation.

If you are interested in supporting us through your company or organisation – we would love to hear from you!

Science Alive provides a unique approach to leisure and informal learning within the Eastern Region STEM. Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – is our key area of interest, working with educators and industry. We have a small team of staff and a growing number of  volunteers provide hands-on workshops, master classes and special interest events for thousands of visitors every year.

 Science Alive – what do we do?

We provide community learning opportunities for all ages and we manage two visitor centres in Harlow, Essex: The Time Machine and Harlow Museum and Walled Gardens.

There are 1000 schools within 60 minutes drive of Harlow and we provide opportunities for them to enjoy our workshops and outreach activities on a regular basis. Around 6m  people live within reach of the Time Machine gallery and Harlow Museum & Walled Gardens. Families and schools in and around Harlow and South West Essex are therefore a key audience for our work.

The Time Machine is our state of the art visitor gallery, which we designed, built and opened in July 2010. This was an investment in our community of just under £1m, which we raised ourselves, with a little help from our friends. The gallery includes some great interactive  science and technology exhibits, alongside  fascinating exhibitions which change on a regular basis.

In May 2012, Science Alive took over management of Harlow Museum, providing the Museum Service in partnership with Harlow Council and adding new programmes under the working title of Living History.  We are now planning for the long term future of this service.

We have regular events for those interested in history, archeology, natural science and the environment both at Harlow Museum and at our Time Machine gallery. The Harlow area has an industry rich in science and engineering companies that can contribute to and benefit from Science Alive, many of whom we have worked with on joint projects.

Harlow has a fascinating history as one of the New Towns built in the 1950s – it was designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd. Harlow Museum and Walled Gardens is a unique historic centre which recounts the story of the town over many many generations, using a wonderful local collection of artefacts, notations and historic records.

Our Key achievements

  • £1m secured in grants and funding to support development work.
  • Gallery design, construction and fit-out with costs fully paid off in less than three years.
  • Visitor numbers now well in excess of 100,000
  • Almost 100 schools have enjoyed an exhilarating and educational experience with the Science Alive education teamA
  • Adaptable and versatile, we generate most of our income from low-cost admission charges and group visit fees.
  • Working as a proud partner with Harlow Council to provide a Museum Service at low cost for the local community
  • A not for profit community organisation through and through: we see the possibilities that others find hard to believe

Science Alive would like to pay special tribute to the following individuals and organisations who have helped us with our work over the last 10 years. Without their support, we simply wouldn’t be here.

Anna Wing MBE

Awards for All (National Lottery)

Charles S French Trust

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Erach and Roshan Sadri Foundation

Essex County Council

Harlow Council

Harlow Health Centres Trust


London Stansted Communities Fund

Partnership Working Consultancy

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