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Catalyst Science Discovery Centre - we put the fun in science

We put the fun in science

The only museum in the UK which explores the science and technology behind the chemical industry and its impact on our lives past and present through a host of hands-on exhibits, activities and demonstrations.

Book your visit (optional)

A unique interactive experience for all ages.

Over 80 interactive exhibits, re-constructed scenes and multi-media programmes stimulate the senses bringing a range of subjects to life from Science, Maths, Engineering and Technology to the Humanities and Geography. Suitable for pupils from Key Stage 1 through to Key Stage 4.

Catalyst offers an entertaining educational experience.

Catalyst Illustration
Time
Location
Food

Opening Times

  • Closed Mondays
    Open some school hols and Bank Hols
  • Tuesday – Friday
    10am–4pm
  • Weekends
    10am–4pm
  • School holidays
    Mon - Fri 10am - 5pm
  • Christmas 2019
    Closed 23, 24, 25, 26 & 31 Dec and 1 Jan
  • (Last admission 1 hour before closing)

Location

Mersey Road, Widnes, Cheshire, WA8 0DF.

Catalyst has a large free car park.

If you are coming over the Mersey Gateway Bridge, please don't forget to pay your toll within 24 hours. This can be done online at www.merseyflow.co.uk


See Directions Here

Café

The Elements Café is the perfect place to enjoy a tasty snack or drink whilst admiring the riverside views.

The café is open from 10am to 3.30pm (when closing at 4pm) and 10am to 4pm (when closing at 5pm). Hot food is served until 2.15pm.

Both the Elements Café and the Catalyst gift shop are open to the general public without paying admission to Catalyst.

Your Visit
Your Visit

Your visit

Science Gallery

Scientrific Gallery

Over 40 hands-on exhibits allowing you to investigate how modern materials and chemicals are made. Discover colourful crystals, investigate polymers, create big bubbles or generate some electricity in this interactive gallery.

Science Gallery

Alchemy Theatre & Catalytic Discovery Lab

Two fantastic teaching spaces funded by the Millennium Commission. Hosting a range of workshops and hands-on activities for pupils from 8 years and upwards. The Alchemy Theatre hosts a range of science talks and shows too!

Science Gallery

Birth of an Industry

Investigate the development of the Chemical Industry from ancient times up to the 1940s with the aid of fascinating historical objects, life like reconstructions, archive films and computer quizzes which bring the past vividly to life.

Science Gallery

Observatory

A glass walled, roof-top gallery accessed by an external glass lift, with panoramic views, hands-on exhibits and an extensive photographic collection. An ideal spot to learn about the heritage of the area with our new Panoramic Halton tablets.

What's on?

What's on?

Coming up at Catalyst...

23rd Nov - 24th Nov

Weekend Workshops – Elements in action

Visit Catalyst on Saturday 23rd or Sunday 24th November and take part in our fun, hands-on workshop celebrating the International Year of the Periodic Table. Workshops at 1...

Find out more
23rd Nov - 24th Nov

Weekend Workshops – Light Fantastic Show

Visit Catalyst on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th November for a chance to see our Light Fantastic Show Show at 12.30 pm An exciting, interactive show for all the family with...

Find out more
30th Nov - 1st Dec

Weekend Workshops – Light Fantastic Show

Visit Catalyst on Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December for a chance to see our Light Fantastic Show Show at 12.30 pm An exciting, interactive show for all the fam...

Find out more
30th Nov - 1st Dec

Weekend Workshops – Elements in action

Visit Catalyst on Saturday 30th November or Sunday 1st December and take part in our fun, hands-on workshop celebrating the International Year of the Periodic Table. Worksh...

Find out more
See all Upcoming Events
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What's on?

Schools

Catalyst aims to get your pupils excited and engaged with science and other STEM subjects

As well as visiting the museum galleries, you can choose from a range of hands-on workshops and science shows to give your pupils a unique educational trip to remember.

Education Programme

Find Out More
Workshops confetti
Workshops confetti

Fancy a sleepover in our glass-walled Observatory Gallery?

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Museum

The Museum

Explore the development of the Chemical Industry from ancient times up to the 1940s with reconstructed scenes, archive films and computer quizzes bringing the past to life.

Beginning with early civilisation, the exhibition looks at the use of natural pigments, dyes and new technology concerning the use of materials. It considers the importance of the industrial revolution, the introduction of health and safety laws and looks at some of the great discoveries of the past and the birth of the multi million pound empires of the major chemical companies in the 1930s and 1940s.

See more photos in the gallery
Support

Support Us

Catalyst is a charitable organisation and is funded with a little help from our friends.

A ‘Friends’ organisation was formed in 1987 to support Catalyst and now has more than fifty members. Its aims include:

  • Supporting the Museum by giving money for the purchase of artefacts, equipment or facilities.
  • Providing voluntary help when needed.
  • Encouraging others to visit the Museum to enjoy its displays and facilities.

The Museum is continually expanding its activities and needs more support from its Friends to help it achieve this growth.

Please help us to help the Museum by joining the Friends today.

Become a member

Trustees

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Catalyst is an independent charitable trust managed by a board of Trustees.

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Patrons

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Catalyst has a number of high profile Patrons

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Supporters and Partners

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Catalyst, its Trustees and staff would like to express their grateful thanks to the following individuals and organisations who currently support the centre.

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Corporate Partnership Scheme

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By joining our Corporate Partnership Scheme you can help Catalyst achieve its aim of preserving the past and inspiring the future.

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Volunteering at Catalyst

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From making new friends to preserving our local history, inspiring young ones into a love of science or simply enhancing your CV, volunteering is a great opportunity to make a real difference. At Catalyst there's something for everyone:

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Support

Community

Catalyst believes everyone should have the opportunity to be inspired by the wonder of science.

Catalyst works with many different groups and partner organisations to co-design and deliver activities both inside and outside the museum. These activities aim to break down barriers and increase access to science, and thanks to a recent grant from the Inspiring Science Fund, we will be launching a host of new activities and projects in collaboration with local communities.

For more information contact Community Engagement Coordinator Jade French on 0151 420 1121

Community Partners

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Catalyst is working with a number of organisations in our community.

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Community Projects and Events

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From accessibility audits and poster designs to community led exhibitions, Catalyst has an exciting programme of events planned.

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Outreach

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Catalyst will be out and about at various events throughout the year - come along and say hello!

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Get involved!

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Find out how your local community group can become involved with Catalyst.

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