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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.

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We're thanking National Lottery players for our heritage funding with FREE ENTRY
on Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th December!

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
    (Excl. Bank Hols)
  • Tuesday – Friday
    10am–4pm
  • Weekends
    10am–4pm
  • Christmas Holidays
    10am–4pm (closed 24th, 25th, 26th, 31st & 1st)
  • (Last admission is an hour prior to closing)

Location

Mersey Road,
Widnes,
Cheshire,
WA8 0DF

Catalyst has a large free car park


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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...

10th Sep - 31st Dec

New art exhibition open at Catalyst

Catalyst is thrilled to announce the opening of a new art exhibition called Crossings, by local artist and teacher Shaun Smyth. Shaun is exhibiting 7 oil paintings and 3 sk...

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7th Nov - 21st Dec

Halton Visitor Survey

If you live in the borough of Halton we would be very appreciative if you would be kind enough to do this survey:- http://www.halton.gov.uk/visitor. It takes about 5 minute...

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12th Dec - 13th Dec

National Lottery ‘#ThanksToYou’ Free Entry

We will be throwing our doors open for free to National Lottery players on Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th December 2017 from 10am – 3pm. We will be one of 350 partic...

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13th Dec

Widnes SciBar @the Hillcrest Hotel

How Feet Have Evolved & why it matters Hillcrest Hotel, Cronton Lane Widnes, WA8 9AR 8 pm, Wed 13th December 2017 Please note the later start Kris D’Aout, Lecturer in B...

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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

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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.

Gossage game
Corporation Of Widnes Plaque
Golding Davis & Co Plaque
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

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

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Patrons

Catalyst has a number of high profile Patrons

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Supporters and Partners

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

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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