Thousands of visitors wowed by Lancashire Science Festival
Free event inspires youngsters to have fun with science, technology, engineering and maths
Thousands of school pupils, teachers and members of the public have been wowed by the science feats on offer at the biggest ever Lancashire Science Festival, hosted by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
The University’s Preston Campus welcomed huge crowds over three days and the visitors were treated to a wide variety of electrifying shows, fantastic workshops, exciting exhibits and fun hands-on activities which were all geared towards to inspiring young people about the real-world applications of science.
Attractions at the free award-winning event were an amazing mind controlled Dr Octavius tentacle and a ‘seeing with your ears’ daredevil mask, both created by UCLan’s Dr Matthew Dickinson.
Other highlights included Matthew Tosh’s exciting show on the Science of Fireworks where bright colours and loud bangs filled a packed out Venue 53; What’s The Matter, a slapstick comedy theatre performance about quantum physics; and Heavy Metal Marine Biology, where television personality The Blowfish used his electric guitar to discuss marine biology.
"The great thing about the Lancashire Science Festival is the hands on activities and the unbelievable real life experiences it offers to the children."
A bug eating stall, a test the power of a penalty kick, basic first aid skills, virtual reality computer games and working with robotics were among the interactive challenges on offer.
Lucas Woodford-Palmer, a Year 5 pupil at Hollins Green St Helen’s CE (Aided) Primary School, was learning all about the skills need to work in a hospital theatre. He said: “It’s been amazing because I never thought I’d actually be able to get hands on with all this theatre room equipment. There is so much to try and get involved with, it’s been such a great day.”
Sophia Pearson, from Southlands High School in Chorley, spent time at the British Aerospace stand. She commented: “I think it’s very good to bring young children to events like this because it gets them involved with things they might not want to do and they might learn more about subjects.”
Sam Heap, a Year 10 student at Millfield Science and Performing Arts College in Thornton, took part in an air demonstration with his classmate Jessica Anderson. He said: “I’ve really enjoyed learning about forensic science and the Minions session was very educational as well as being fun at the same time. It’s really been a very good event to show the variety of uses of science.”
Nicola Oatley, deputy head of St James’ CE Primary School in Haslingden, watched on as her pupils got hands-on in the paramedic training area. She added: “The great thing about the Lancashire Science Festival is the hands on activities and the unbelievable real life experiences it offers to the children. They are all being able to have a go at some wonderful tasks and they can see what fantastic facilities the University has.”
"The interest in our award-winning festival, with its wide variety of shows and workshops, highlights the appeal of free, educational events in the North West."
The award-winning festival, which is in its sixth year, also saw people pack into the Festival Lates and Festival Fringe events. Among the adult only events were a CSI murder mystery night and the return of the infamous science of cocktails entitled Why Should Kids Have All The Fun?
Dr Jo Heaton-Marriott, Lancashire Science Festival Director, said: “The Lancashire Science Festival just gets bigger and better every year. It was a joy to see our Preston City Centre Campus packed with thousands of youngsters who were all really enthusiastic about science, technology, engineering and maths. The interest in our award-winning festival, with its wide variety of shows and workshops, highlights the appeal of free, educational events in the North West. This year to have all 6,000 places for this year’s schools’ days snapped up in less than 15 minutes was mind blowing.
“Again, we are grateful to our sponsors for their help. This was a real team effort, with contributions from staff, students, volunteers, regional businesses and organisations and the result of inspiring the next generation to love science as much as we do is well worth all the hard work.”
To see images from across the three days visit the University’s Flickr gallery.