Lancashire Science Festival goes off with a bang
Thousands flock to UCLan’s free award-winning event
Thousands of people were once again inspired by science at the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) award-winning Lancashire Science Festival.
More than 10,000 visitors came to the Festival in Preston for the free fun-filled three-day extravaganza, featuring explosive shows, hands-on workshops and interactive exhibits.
Among the highlights this year were the Rocket Show, with large fireballs, loud explosions, a working jet engine, This is Amazing Chemistry, which featured a range of demonstrations using chemical clocks, cold light, fire, and whoosh bottles, and The Bird Man with his impressive birds of prey.
Centre-stage on the public day was an adrenaline-fueled live stunt show that uncovered the science and tech behind extreme sports with demonstrations from elite, back flipping BMX riders.
"I’ve never seen the Sun in such close detail before. I really enjoy learning about space and how gravity works."— Olivia Tyrrell, 9, from The Ferns Primary Academy in Bolton
People were also able to get hands-on with science through a variety of workshops including Playdough Surgery, Mighty Maggots, Hands on Healthcare, Touring the Solar System and Potted Prehistory.
It is the first time the Lancashire Science Festival has returned for both school and public days since 2019, bringing primary schools from all over the North West to the event before the public day on Saturday, 20 May.
Harry Burnham, 11, from Harris Primary School in Preston, practised steering in a UCLan racing car used by engineering students. He said: “I had to lie back and it’s really low so it felt a bit strange. I love learning about anything science-related and want to be a physicist when I’m older.”
Another visitor, Olivia Tyrrell, 9, from The Ferns Primary Academy in Bolton, saw the Sun at close range as part of the From the Earth to the Sun experience using real NASA footage. She said: “It’s majestic. I’ve never seen the Sun in such close detail before. I really enjoy learning about space and how gravity works.”
"The Lancashire Science Festival makes children aware of how science in involved in almost everything we do. "— Sarah Cardwell, who visited the Science Festival with son Jac
Jac Cardwell, 11, from Poulton-le-Fylde visited on the public day with his mum Sarah.
He said: “I took part in a mock NASA mission to drive a Rover on Mars, which was really cool. It’s been such an interesting day.”
Mum, Sarah, added: “The Lancashire Science Festival makes children aware of how science in involved in almost everything we do. It allows children to take part in a wide variety of activities that they wouldn’t have the chance to do in school and we’ll definitely be back next year!”
Another public day visitor, six-year-old Alexander Dixon from Tarleton, said: “Today has been awesome! I held a meteorite and tested its iron levels using a magnet. It was much smoother than I thought it would be.”
The annual event offers a wide variety of activities to inspire youngsters about the real-world applications of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine.
"It has something to offer everyone of all ages and we take pride in inspiring the next generation who leave knowing that science touches our lives in many different ways and can be far more exciting than they ever imagined."— Dr Liz Granger, Lancashire Science Festival Director
Dr Liz Granger, Lancashire Science Festival Director, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many people on campus again engaging with a wide variety of science, engineering, technology and maths (STEM) activities.
“This is the tenth year of the Lancashire Science Festival and it gets better each time. It has something to offer everyone of all ages and we take pride in inspiring the next generation who leave knowing that science touches our lives in many different ways and can be far more exciting than they ever imagined.
“We couldn’t run an event on this scale without an amazing team effort from all involved, with contributions from staff, students, volunteers, regional businesses and organisations, who made every effort to make sure our visitors left with smiles on their faces.”