New National Children’s Science Centre will be home to a planetarium

24 Feb 2016

Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens will be home to some elements of the new Exploration Centre, which will include a planteraium – image via Wikimedia Commons

A National Children’s Science Centre that has been in the works for decades now is moving much closer to reality, with plans to open up in Dublin in 2018.

According to a report in The Irish Times today, the Office of Public Works is submitting an application for planning permission for the old north wing of the National Concert Hall.

Should it prove successful, the “multi-million euro” project will see the Exploration Station (which it will be called) open up the Iveagh Gardens, with 200 interactive exhibits and a 15-metre dome to cover its planetarium.

It’s pretty cool that a project of this ilk is being pushed through, at last, as facilities like these are often one of the first things you visit when abroad. Despite it technically being a children’s facility, there’ll be fun for everybody.

The funding for the project is two-pronged. All costs related to the State-owned north wing of the Concert Hall (and its refurbishment) will be handled by the Office of Public Works. The subsequent €13m, which it is estimated it will cost to fill the new facility with cool exhibits, will be funded privately, through donations and patronage.

“This will be very strongly welcomed and it supports ongoing efforts to encourage more young people to study STEM subjects,” said Prof Brian MacCraith, president of Dublin City University.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic