We’re lucky to live in a region that offers a huge variety of things to do for the family throughout the year (and often for free), though the standout event for me and my own family, is the Lancashire Science Festival hosted by the University of Central Lancashire.Advertisement
This year was no exception: the scale and the ambition of the festival was enormous with shows, workshops and drop-in sessions happening at multiple locations through the day. Each year, the festival adopts a new theme – last year was ‘Evolves’ (and featured some astounding dinosaurs) and this year, the theme was ‘Goes Beyond.’ It’s not just the fact that all this is available for free that makes it such a fantastic event – it’s the inspiration and ideas it gives kids, young and old, who attend.
The enthusiasm of performers, staff, ambassadors and volunteers really make this event such a success, opening our eyes into how science, maths and technologies can be used to solve our modern day problems. They do for science what Horrible Histories do for history – they make it fun and they make it accessible.
Really excited to see the @experimentrics show at @53degrees #LancSciFest @tomstables @ThatFacepainter pic.twitter.com/PxaCW5jfOL
— Nicky Danino (@NickyDanino) July 2, 2016
This year, my family and I were lucky enough to catch The Experimentics stage show at 53 Degrees; a mixture of physical theatre, multimedia, music, science tricks and demonstrations. Full of mischief and jokes, the kids loved every bit of it and were asking questions and thinking of answers to ‘how did they do that?’ as we exited.
A quick walk across campus and we found the drop-in sessions, where our children scrubbed up and got a tour of the operating theatre, with insights into procedures (as well as having a go themselves on a prosthetic stomach). We flitted from biology to art when getting involved with a giant floor artwork at the PR1 Gallery, steered by artist Bonnie Craig, whose ‘When is a Star a Star’ exhibition explores the graphic aesthetic of star formation.
A photo posted by Tom Stables (@tomstables) on Jul 3, 2016 at 2:41pm PDT
A spot of lunch later and we were in the thick of things, where children had been designing and then constructing their own city, building cardboard prototypes in the Construction Zone. Such simplicity yet such a spectacle – the opportunities to discover at the festival are everywhere.
Outside we caught the Extreme Sports Battle, with Greg Foot explaining the physics behind the crowd pleasing stunts that free runners and BMX trials riders performed. The weather held out, but even if it didn’t, we still had the enormous Science Showfloor to explore, where exhibitors
Defying Gravity at #LancSciFest at @UCLan hosted by @gregfoot pic.twitter.com/C55oVniqUa
— Lancashire Sci Fest (@lancscifest) July 2, 2016
In fact, there was so, so much more we didn’t get to do that we would loved to have done – the floor itself had numerous activities; last year for example, the kids were able to fly a drone, experience full immersive VR and control Scalextric cars using their brain waves! And therein lies my only gripe about the festival – I wish it could have been on all weekend!
Lancashire Science Festival 2017 is already being planned and I wholeheartedly urge and implore you to get involved – events like this deserved recognition and championing!
Did you go along to the science festival? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below