Sparks fly at half term

Following a successful summer of science-themed events co-ordinated by Winchester City Council to mark Einstein Year and World Year of Physics, sparks are set to fly once again this half term as Bright Sparks - Winchester's Year of Science and Discovery picks up the pace with an action-packed week of activities for all the family to enjoy.

INTECH, the science and discovery centre at Morn Hill, will be offering a host of hands-on activities to keep children amused, some on a spooky theme in the lead up to Halloween. Learn how space rockets launch and find out some fun facts about fireworks on 24 October, make a spooky periscope, look at light and see how a fibre optic lamp works on 25 October, or be a ghostly engineer and launch your phantom flyer on 28 October.

Hear all about 'Spooky Science' during a special science show on 26 October and discover ways of saving energy in the home, with the chance of winning a prize on the energy trail and joining in some game shows on 27 October. These events are just a taster of what INTECH has to offer throughout the week.

Half term week also sees the launch of a new exhibition at Winchester's Guildhall Gallery. See the whole universe unfold before your eyes when Exploring Space touches down on 21 October. Mysteries of time and space will be unravelled for all the family in an exciting new approach to an endlessly absorbing topic. More wonders of the universe will be revealed at a special event in The Guildhall Gallery on 24 October. Find out about the sky at night, space mythology and up-to-date space facts when you book your place in the Mizar giant inflatable Travelling Planetarium.

Monkeys - why are they so fascinating? Out in the District, a visit to Marwell Zoological Park (24 - 30 October) will enable you to 'Meet the Family'. Humans share many characteristics with primates and you can learn more about our 'cousins' and the family trees.

Commenting on the Bright Sparks programme, Councillor Thérèse Evans, the City Council's Portfolio Holder for Culture, Heritage and Sport, said: "The Bright Sparks year has seen a whole host of imaginative events taking place across the District - which have been widely enjoyed by visitors and residents alike - and the half term activities are set to be just as popular. We are very grateful to local visitor attractions for their willingness to work in partnership in this way, as it plays a key role in encouraging return visits to the area."

Full details of these and other Bright Sparks events can be found on or obtained from Winchester Tourist Information Centre on 01962 840 500 or by e-mailing