Contact us2021-07-16T13:04:44+10:00

The Discovery Team

The Discovery Team are a dedicated and fun group who love inspiring scientific curiosity!

If you’re interested in joining the team we’re always looking for volunteers. If you’re after support for your school or organisation you can make a donation request here.

Got a query? Check our permanent staff below to find out the best individual to contact.

Contact Us

Early Years Program Developer
Angela Holdworth

Email Angela

Science Communicator and General Manager
Alissa VanSoest

Email Alissa

David making connections

Science Communicator
David Holmes

Email David

Science Communicator
Brett Hoppenbrouwer
They/Them
Email Brett

Team Coordinator 
Leslie Sharples

Email Leslie

Retail and Online Presence Coordinator
Jessica Healand

Email Jess

Bookings & School Liaison Officer
Kara Lawrence
She/ Her
Email Kara

Resident Good Boy
Loki

FAQs

Discovery during COVID-192020-05-22T13:06:43+10:00

We are aware that safety is a major concern for groups visiting us. During this difficult time Discovery is trying to support our community how ever we can and will be following government guidelines around reopening.

Step 1- Discovery has gone Virtual! we are offering online workshops, challenges and equipment hire to schools and community groups and free online Curious Kids sessions Wednesday at 1:30pm. We have also ramped up our social media providing you with hours of fun hands on experiments you can do at home.

Step 2- Discovery is keeping things Virtual but will also open our doors for Birthday Parties and meetings for up to 20 people at a time. You can book all of Discovery for 3hours just email [email protected] (we can not do planetarium or slide sessions at this time).

Step 3- Discovery is keeping things Virtual but will also be opening our doors and welcoming back our members and the wider community. With social distancing measures we will be implementing and online ticketing system and having no more than 100 people in the centre at a time. We will also be increasing our cleaning schedule and asking people to stay at home if they are feeling unwell.

For more information please email [email protected]

Can Family Daycarers or Early Learning Centres access this program?2018-08-07T10:48:32+10:00

The Curious Kids program is designed for a ratio of 1 supervising adult per a maximum of 2 participating children. Family Daycarers and Early Learning Centres are able to participate providing this ratio is observed. Groups of 5 or more must book in advance so that we can prepare sufficient resources, or you can book an incursion or excursion for your Early Learning Centre.  Call (03) 5444 4400 or email [email protected].

Can we do more than one Workshop for an incursion?2018-06-26T13:51:11+10:00

Workshops require a lot of equipment, so we can only offer one type per incursion. If you would like to include your whole Primary School in an incursion then a Science Show is a fun way to engage all ages.

Do these workshops relate to the curriculum?2018-06-06T11:53:11+10:00

Please click on the Workshop images above to see the Curriculum Links

Do we get any resources?2018-06-18T16:09:00+10:00

Teachers booking incursions or excursions will get access to our online teacher portal which have resources that can be used with students after the Workshops to continue the learning.

Is teacher assistance required?2018-06-18T16:08:13+10:00

Teacher assistance or additional adult supervision is required for incursions

Do you need a projector or TV?2018-06-06T11:49:40+10:00

‘Circuits & Switches’ or ‘Wind Tunnels’ do not require a projector or TV.
‘Marble Runs’ and ‘How Sound!’ do require a projector or TV.

Do we need seats or tables set up?2018-06-06T11:48:08+10:00

For the table top Workshops ‘Circuits & Switches’, ‘Turbulent Tunnels’, and ‘How Sound!’ the ideal layout is 7 tables with no chairs.

For ‘Marble Runs’ the ideal layout is a big empty space with no tables or chairs.

What sort of venue to you need?2018-06-06T11:37:53+10:00

A hall or double class room

How long do you need to set up prior to beginning?2018-06-06T11:37:16+10:00

30-45 minutes set-up time

How long do Workshop Sessions run for?2018-06-06T11:36:20+10:00

Between 60-90 minutes per Workshop session with a reset/student transfer time of roughly 10 minutes in between sessions.

Can our community organisation book an incursion?2018-06-15T11:55:56+10:00

Discovery is happy to discuss incursion opportunities with community organisations that will ensure adequate staffing and safety.

Can we combine two schools?2018-06-06T11:17:20+10:00

Yes but if the workshop needs to be packed up and moved then we charge the original price

When can I book an incursion?2018-06-05T17:18:43+10:00

The Discovery Centre offers incursions on Weekdays during Victorian School Terms.

When can I bring my group in?2018-11-29T11:26:42+10:00

Discovery is open from 10am – 4pm Tuesday to Sunday during term. We now offer booking from 9:30 am for school excursions. We try to be flexible and don’t want anyone to miss out. If a group simply cannot book within these hours we may be able to discuss other options.* (subject to availability)

How long will the visit take?2018-02-12T10:02:50+10:00

We recommend 2 hours for a General Visit and 2.5 hours for an Educational Visit. We are happy to add on extra time if you require a lunch or snack break.

What happens in my visit?2018-02-12T10:01:36+10:00

Your group will arrive at our Centre and be greeted by a Visit Coordinator, who will do a quick safety induction with the lead teacher. A quick run-down of what will be happening during the visit, and the rules will be given, before breaking the group into 25 – 30 children.

What activities will our group be doing?2018-02-12T10:00:03+10:00

In an excursion to Discovery you’ll have access to: The Exhibits; we have roughly 100 hands on exhibits in our open plan Centre. Everything is hands on and everyone is encouraged to explore.

The Planetarium; sit back and relax as one of our presenters takes you on a journey through the planets and the night sky.

Preschool groups will have access to our special under 6s learning space, Kaleidoscope.

School groups will have a session on The Vertical slide; where kids (aged 5 and over) and adults can drop from 7 meters in an adrenaline fueled fun session.

In an Educational Visit you’ll also have a Lab session or Inquiry Workshops and do some hands on science. Find out more about our amazing programs on our Workshop page.

Is there somewhere to eat?2018-02-12T09:23:29+10:00

The Discovery Centre will do our best to accommodate groups for lunch in the centre, either in the Auditorium or the Lab. However during days with multiple school groups these areas may required to deliver our programs. If it is a sunny day, there is also a large courtyard and grassed area behind the Centre.

Is there somewhere to store bags?2018-02-12T09:18:42+10:00

The Discovery Centre can usually accommodate bags in an open-access area. All items of value should be left at home. The Discovery Centre is not responsible for any lost or stolen items. Found items can be retrieved from the front desk.

Is there plenty of parking for buses?2018-02-12T09:16:29+10:00

We are located directly opposite the Bendigo Railway and Bus terminal. This large area is custom built for coaches and buses, with plenty of car spaces too. View our bus parking diagram.

Is it wheelchair accessible?2018-02-12T09:15:10+10:00

Yes, we are equipped with ramps and have a disabled toilet and shower room.

What if I don’t want my group to participate in an activity?2018-02-12T09:14:19+10:00

Let us know if you think an activity might not be suitable for your group. For example, we don’t offer our Vertical slide to Preschools due to the age restriction.

Are you easy to find?2018-02-12T09:13:51+10:00

Yes! We are located directly opposite the Train station. Why not catch the train to the Discovery Centre for an extra fun trip?

The Discovery Centre is located next door to Bendigo’s train station and bus depot, so it is easily accessible by public transport. View map here.

Coming by car? Park at the Bendigo Marketplace carpark, which can be accessed via Mitchell Street, Edward Street and Arthur Street and has over 1,200 free car park spaces including disabled car park and parents with prams parking spaces. View map here.

Bus parking is available behind the Marketplace and alongside the Marketplace loading bay. View diagram here.

How safe is Discovery?2018-03-23T08:02:47+10:00

We are aware that safety is a major concern for groups visiting us. We have a strict ‘no running’ policy and our professional staff are trained in level 2 first aid. There is only one entry / exit to the Centre for visitors, so you won’t lose anyone and the lead teacher is required to undergo a brief safety induction upon arrival.

You can download our Risk assessment on our website as part of the Teacher Planning Guide.

How do I pay?2018-02-12T09:09:07+10:00

We will send you an invoice after your visit to us. Be sure to provide an email to your school or groups accounts department, or be prepared to send it to us.

Want to know more? Call us on 03 5444 4400 or email [email protected]

You can also call in and visit us anytime!

How do I join Curious Kids?2020-03-05T13:48:58+10:00

Please go to our Whats On page, click on the Curious kids event and that will take you to an Eventbrite where you can sign up to come along and join in the fun.

When does Curious Kids take place?2020-03-05T14:01:44+10:00

For the dates and times of our next curious kids session please go to our Whats On page. If you click on the event it will take you to an Eventbrite with details of dates, times and how to book. A rough guide of when Curious Kids is running is for Mondays and Tuesdays every other month but please head to the Whats On page for more accurate details.

How much does Curious Kids cost?2018-02-10T18:03:47+10:00

There are two ways to pay for your Curious Kid:

Pay per session
Only $5 per session per child (Includes: All lab materials. Does not include admission to the general exhibition area)

Become a member and get in for free!
Becoming a member of Discovery not only entitles you to all of the amazing membership benefits, but also gives your child free access to all of the Curious Kids sessions for a full year*.

*Children need to be a financial member of Discovery (ie. have individual membership or be part of a family membership) to qualify for free Curious Kids sessions.

When can I have my sleepover?2018-02-10T08:42:10+10:00

Discovery hosts birthday parties on Mondays – Sundays. There is a minimum of 20 during the week and 25 during the weekends. Discovery is closed on Public Holidays, so we cannot arrange a sleepover night of, or the day before, a Public Holiday.

What time can I have my sleepover?2018-02-10T08:41:17+10:00

Sleepovers begin at 5pm and go until 8:30am the following morning so as not to conflict with Discovery’s daytime operations. In the event that a sleepover requires additional staff time outside these hours there may be additional charges.

Where will my sleepover be held?2018-02-10T08:35:19+10:00

Your sleeping mats will be set up in the Auditorium. You will have dinner and breakfast in the Lab.

What happens during a sleepover?2018-02-10T08:34:26+10:00

When you arrive, you will be directed into the auditorium to pick out a mat and set up your bed.

Your Visit Coordinator will introduce themselves once your group has arrived, they will give you the run -down of the evening. You will have:

  • A drop down the vertical slide
  • Dinner – PIZZA!
  • A tour through the Solar System in the Planetarium
  • Movie on the big screen
  • Sleep time!

In the morning, you will:

  • Get up and pack your gear
  • Have breakfast
  • Play on the exhibits one last time
  • Finish up and go home
Is it dark?2018-02-10T08:33:17+10:00

Yes, we do turn the lights off in the Centre when it is sleep time. However there are lights in the foyer and toilets should you need them during the night. There is ambient light in the Auditorium.

What food will we have for dinner?2021-01-23T11:40:50+10:00

We order pizza from Dominos, which cater for gluten and lactose intolerances, but should you have any specific dietary requirements let us know and we will seek a suitable alternative. There will be icy poles afterwards.

What about breakfast?2018-02-13T11:46:45+10:00

There is a range of cereals (including gluten free) and toast for breakfast. Juice is also available. Milk-alternatives such as soy or almond can be provided.

Can we arrive early / stay late?2018-02-13T11:59:28+10:00

We only have our staff for your sleepover for a limited time – and they are super busy! Unfortunately we can only allow you in once the Centre is ready for your visit (5pm) and you will need to depart by 8:30 am so we can prepare for the next day. If a staff member is required to be at Discovery outside of the hours that are covered by the sleepover or regular opening hours there will be a staff call out fee of $50.

How much is a sleepover and how do I pay?2018-02-10T08:29:14+10:00

At only $45 per person, per night, you can’t beat Discovery for your next group sleepover.

A sleepover at Discovery requires a minimum booking of 20 people per night (25 people on a Saturday or Sunday night), and includes one free of charge adult at a ratio of 1 adult per every 10 children. Discovery can host a maximum of 70 people for a sleepover.

Discovery requires a $350 non-refundable deposit to confirm a sleepover booking, with the remainder to be paid via invoice after your visit, or on the day of departure.

How do I book?2018-02-09T16:25:43+10:00

You can fill in a booking enquiry form below! Or you can call in to the centre and speak to our staff, call us on 5444 4400, or email [email protected].

What about food allergies?2018-02-10T08:17:11+10:00

Our Premium Party Package includes snacks and mains to suit a variety of individuals, with options that are dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, and vegetarian, as well as standard party favourites. Have a look at our menu to see if this would suit your guests. All Discovery party food is nut-free.

What about really young ones and adults?2018-05-23T15:08:36+10:00

Discovery caters birthday parties for 4 years and older, with a free adult or parent allowed per party guest. Our bookings team are happy to discuss younger siblings and additional adults.

What do I need to bring?2018-05-23T15:56:08+10:00

With a Premium Party all you need to bring is the birthday cake! With a Basic and Classic Party you can bring food or nibbles, plus the birthday cake.

For all parties we supply plates, cups, napkins, a colourful party space, party bags, water, and a sharp knife for cutting the cake. There’s also access to a small fridge and microwave in the party space.

If you are keen to bring decorations (like balloons) then you are welcome to do so, we just ask that you take them home with you at the end of the party.

Do you supply the cake?2018-02-09T16:26:20+10:00

No, Discovery does not supply cakes however we can recommend some good places!

Can I bring extra food?2018-02-10T08:13:07+10:00

Yes, you can bring food, just be aware that we can’t store it, so make sure you can cover it or eat it straight away. In our experience, with our Premium Party Package there isn’t much need for extra food and it will go home with you again!

Can we stay longer?2018-02-07T05:30:38+10:00

Yes. You can stay in the Centre as long as you like after your party until we close at 4pm. However, you will have to remove your belongings from the Lab, as we will need to clean and prepare this space.

What happens during the party?2018-03-02T14:46:06+10:00

When you arrive, your party will be set up and ready to go in the Lab.

Your guests will be sent into the Lab as they arrive, where they can leave their belongings and then proceed into the centre to play.

If you have chosen our Basic Party Package you can ask the staff at the front desk to call the children back to the Lab for cake and photos.

If you have chosen a Standard or Premium Party Package you will be introduced to your very own Partyologist, who will be looking after you for your visit.

Fifteen minutes after the start time (to ensure everyone has time to arrive) a loudspeaker announcement will call all the party guests back to the Lab. This is the time Discovery serves food for catered birthdays and the recommended eating time for parties bringing in food.

After this, your chosen science show will begin! A fun interactive time with all the little kids…and the big kids too.

Time for cake! Sing happy birthday and blow out the candles, we will cut the cake and distribute it for you so you can focus on the precious moment photos.

Head on out to the Vertical Slide and exhibits, time to work off that cake!

Did you order party bags? They can be picked up on the way out.

Where will the party be held?2018-02-07T05:19:19+10:00

The Discovery Lab will be your own private party space! Party guests also get time in the exhibits and access to the slide (strictly ages 5 and over).

How long does a birthday party last?2018-02-07T05:16:03+10:00

A Discovery birthday party lasts for 90 minutes, after which Discovery staff need to empty and clean the private party room. Guests are still welcome to remain in the centre for as long as they like until Discovery’s closing time of 4pm.

When can I have my party?2018-03-02T14:30:23+10:00

Discovery hosts birthday parties on Saturdays and Sundays during Victorian school terms.

We have three time slots to choose from:

  • 10am
  • 12pm
  • 2pm

Email [email protected] to reach us at the office during business hours.

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