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Fun festival brings science to the masses

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The daredevil performance from Defying Gravity attracted a crowd of youngsters who were amazed by their skills.

UCLan’s Lancashire Science Festival attracts thousands to free event

‘Science is fun, fun, fun’ was the loud message from the thousands of pupils, teachers and members of the public who attended this year’s Lancashire Science Festival, hosted by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The large crowds were treated to a wide variety of interactive and entertaining shows and activities which took place across the University’s Preston Campus over three days.

The free science, technology, engineering and maths event saw visitors stunned by the daredevil performance tricks at the Defying Gravity Stunt Show, astounded by the physical skills of the Amazing Acrobalance duo and exhilarated by the homemade inventions and live science demonstrations at the Experimentrics theatre show.

The hands-on interactive elements also included handling a piece of the Moon, learning paramedic and operating department skills, using remote controlled mini robots, building model lego bridges over Preston rivers, testing reflexes on a batak machine and using jump power to fire rockets.

Chris Aspinall, a teacher from Eldon Primary School in Preston, said: “It’s great to be able to bring the children along for a fun day of activities but which are educational too. They have loved the interactive nature of the science showfloor.”

Eight-year-olds Ayaan and Ike, both from Eldon Primary, were among a group who were busy building interesting structures. Ayaan said: “It’s been really fun, I’ve been able to do lots of great things which I don’t do in school.”

It’s an absolutely brilliant event. The children loved experiencing a wide range of fun activities and they learned new things at the same time. It was also really good for children of all abilities as they could get involved and have a go at everything.

Mrs Cullen, a teaching assistant from North Road Primary School, in Carnforth, added: “It’s an absolutely brilliant event. The children loved experiencing a wide range of fun activities and they learned new things at the same time. It was also really good for children of all abilities as they could get involved and have a go at everything.”

Year 5 pupil Charlotte, from Leverhouse Primary School, near Leyland, added: “It’s really exciting to come to the Festival because there is so much to do and play with. It’s been a really fun school trip.”

The popularity of the Lancashire Science Festival continues to grow year-on-year and has expanded to include a ‘festival fringe’ including an entertaining evening of comedy and cocktails, the opportunity to learn the science behind some of our favourite foods, a fascinating cycling talk by Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman and the exploring light and dark astronomical exhibition, held at Whitehaven’s Beacon Museum. Around 17,500 people engaged with the overall festival programme.

Dr Jo Heaton-Marriott, Director of the Festival, said: “This year the Lancashire Science Festival went beyond all expectations, with the addition of a ‘festival fringe’ taking the excitement of the annual event much further afield and reaching a huge audience of 17,500 visitors.

“Festival-goers travelled from across the UK, with visitors making the trip from Aberdeen, Newcastle and Croydon, highlighting the reputation and profile of the event. Again, we are grateful to our sponsors, especially City Deal, for helping us to keep the Schools and Family programme free of charge and accessible to all. This festival was a real team effort, with contributions from staff, students, volunteers, regional businesses and organisations and even a brewery and a dairy, and the resulting celebration of scientific endeavour was something to be truly proud of.”

View images from across the three days


Ayaan and Ike, both from Eldon Primary School, who enjoyed building interesting shapes.

Rachel Atkinson | 05 July 2016