It’s back with a bang! A celebration of all things scientific

Back with a bang! Brighton Science Festival
Back with a bang! Brighton Science Festival

“Make slime just after breakfast, do some computer programming through the morning, learn a magic trick over lunch, build a rocket in the afternoon and finish the day inside a giant soap-bubble. Just another day in Wonderland.”

That’s how the organisers of Brighton Science Festival describe the week-long event taking place in the city this half term.

The festival aims to spark young people's interest in science (Photograph: Francesca Moore)

The festival aims to spark young people's interest in science (Photograph: Francesca Moore)

The festival, in its 13th year, runs from February 10 to 18, and is set to welcome 10,000 young people and parents to the city during half term.

More than 100 science workshops will be dotted around the city in the back rooms of bars, theatres, university buildings and cafes.

Organisers said: “We fill half term with bright sparks, hoping they will light fires in the young minds. 150 bright, sparky workshop leaders will fill the week; 10,000 young minds will come to be illuminated and inspired.”

Brighton Science, which runs the festival, visits youth clubs and community centres throughout Sussex during the year, giving small demonstrations and talks. It also runs Pocket Science, a science funfair for up to 300 people, visiting schools with workshops and talks.

But the Brighton Science Festival is its big showcase in the city.

Here are just some of the highlights:

Bright Sparks is described as ‘a fairground of magical delights’ featuring ‘fact-based magic’ at Hove Park Upper School in Nevill Road. For seven to 11-year-olds, organisers said: “Each step around Bright Sparks takes them to another marvel: reptiles give way to automatons, and wind tunnels nudge up against earthquakes. Science poems accompany chocolate tasting while you build your own brain.”

Bright Sparks takes place on Saturday, February 10 and Sunday, February 11 from 10am to 5pm.

White Heat will see the The Sackler Centre’s famous exhibition and demonstration Being SomeBody at the Sallis Benney Theatre on Saturday, February 17, from 10.30am to 5pm. There will be debates MC’ed by the Stand-Up Philosophers and the Talkaoke Table.

Meanwhile, find out why Swearing Is Good for You, and check out your prejudices with What’s Your Bias. Enjoy the science, the crafts, the refreshments, the games, and find out what it’s like ‘to be SomeBody’.

Make models of your own at Brighton Toy and Model Museum on Trafalgar Street. On Monday, February 12, from 2pm to 4pm, a Balloon Car Racers event will allow youngsters to recycle and repurpose common household objects into zippy machines at the museum, with a race at the end to find out who is the best at combining science with creativity.

Mad Machines: The Rube Goldberg Challenge, takes place from 9.30am to 3pm every day from Monday to Friday, where makers will learn new skills with expert tuition from MakerClub – and put these skills into practice to create a wacky and original Rube Goldberg machine! Includes 3D design, electronics, mechanical engineering, programming and more, at MakerClubHQ, New England Street.

Blockbuilders will help youngsters redesign Brighton Marina through Minecaft, and explore environmental and planning issues in a collaborative workshop that lets young people grapple with the problems and devise their own solutions. This is on Tuesday, February 13 from 11am and 2pm at The Barge at Brighton Marina.

To find out more about the programme, visit: