Cheltenham Science Festival Buckle up and prepare for a voyage of spectacular science at this year’s Festival. Wonder at galaxies far far away with Star Wars expert Jon Chase, reveal hidden
Cheltenham Science Festival
Buckle up and prepare for a voyage of spectacular science at this year’s Festival. Wonder at galaxies far far away with Star Wars expert Jon Chase, reveal hidden worlds with Marty Jopson, travel across the Arctic and Antarctic with UK Polar Network and make your own Marine Monster with Elizabeth Mills.
Enjoy spectacular shows, get hands-on in class-sized workshops and step into interactive zones including the Discover Zone, The Arcade and MakerShack.
Unleash imagination and invention in the MakerShack where there’s the chance to code a robot, try out a virtual reality headset, discover some curious squidgy stuff, and celebrate all things materials and making with expert makers, crafters, scientists and engineers.
The Arcade offers fun, creative and cryptic challenges exploring the worlds of cyber and security. From aeroplanes and wind turbines to MRI machines, GE experts show engineering and science, with interactive exhibits, activities and challenges.
Seek out our corridors of experience in The Discover Zone to feel first-hand the impacts of climate change, or find out about the incredible technology transforming our planet. Whether it’s learning about careers in STEM or quizzing scientists on their cutting edge-research.
Drop into Hartpury Science Hub to find out more about the science of sport, exercise, equine performance, animal welfare and agriculture. Meanwhile, The Woodland Trust’s Nature Detectives explore how the woods and trees around us benefit the environment.
Adventurer Lindsey Cole tells the true story of the Mermaid and the Cow all about plastic pollution and animal rescue (ages 5 ).
Palaeontologist Dean Lomax travels through 200 years of fossil discovery to one of the greatest finds in British palaeontological history: the 10-metre long ‘Rutland Sea Dragon’ and introduces a short film about the extraordinary life of fossil-hunter Mary Anning (ages 7 ).
Author and scientist Jon Chase probes the frontier between movie magic and cutting-edge science in The Science of Star Wars and there’s the chance to learn about the super science behind everyone’s favourite superheroes in The Science of Superheroes (ages 7 ).
Oceanographer Russell Arnott reveals the fascinating world of marine chemistry in an interactive workshop and goes head-to-head with marine biologist Claudia Allen in a fact-battle to decide who’s best in Shark vs Whale (ages 7 ).
BBC One Show’s resident scientist Marty Jopson presents his electrifying show One Million Voltz while Stefan Gates and his robot cat/dog Clank reveals the weird and wonderful science behind our favourite furry friends in Dogology vs Catology (ages 7 ).
The kitchen becomes the scientist’s playground as Jamie Gallagher explores the sights, sounds and smells of everyday chemistry with fun experiments (ages 7 ).
Netflix’s Baking Impossible judge and Bake-Off finalist Andrew Smyth will use interactive “bakineering” demos to show the engineering principles that keep us safely travelling via road, sea, and sky (ages 9 ).
Comedy and quantum mechanics combine in The Quantum Qrumpet presented by ANTS Theatre (ages 10 ).
Mathematician Katie Steckles shares Mathematical Stories of the people who spent their lives developing the maths we use today and explores how their work across centuries are all connected through numbers (ages 10 ).
Free events on the Apollo stage for all ages are:
Festival Guest Curator Alom Shaha shows how to transform and recycle household objects into homemade toys and machines in a hands-on workshop (ages 5 )
Fantastic Forensics with Diatom Dave will help catch the sticky-fingered culprit who has made off with Bob’s buns (ages 4 ); Sarah Bearchell invites families to feel, see, hear, smell and taste clouds created from dry ice; and Olaf Falafel, author of BLOBFISH! presents an afternoon packed full of jokes and drawing, whilst also gently introducing children to the issue of plastics in our oceans (ages 5 ).
There will be fun demonstrations and explosive experiments with Wonderful Water from Science Made Simple (ages 5 ) The Juggling of Science explains particle physics, covalent bonds and hydrogen fuel cells using juggling and circus skills (ages 7 ).
Biologists Phil Bell-Young and Hana Ayoob present The Things We Know We Don’t Know about the animals and plants we share our planet with presented (ages 8 ). and autism advocate and award-winning author Camilla Pang shares the science of growing up in Perfectly Weird, Perfectly You (ages 8 ).
Other family-friendly events aged 10 are A Day at Cotswold Wildlife Park, Victorian Magic, We Make Tomorrow, Evie Meg meets Daze Aghaji, Beach, Please!, Young Minds Under Pressure, Famelab: A Celebration, Games Dev Live: How to Make a Game, Watch and Wonder: A Bird-spotting Walk, The Secret Lives of Elements, Dinosaurs: New Visions of a Lost World, Mind the Gap: Inequality in Mental Health
Science of Star Wars
Saturday 11 June, 10-11am
From spaceships and lasers, to robots and forcefields, Star Wars offers a glimpse into both the present and future of incredible science and engineering. Join author and scientist Jon Chase in a galaxy not so far away, to probe the fantastic frontier between movie magic and cutting-edge science. It will be out of this world! Suitable for ages 7
Bakineering: From A to B
Saturday 11 June, 11.15am-12.15pm
In this brand-new family show, join creator, aerospace engineer, and judge of Netflix’s Baking Impossible Andrew Smyth on an edible exploration of the engineering that helps us travel around the world. The Bake-Off finalist will use interactive “bakineering” demos to show the engineering principles that keep us safely travelling via road, sea, and sky. From the secrets of edible boats, to the key to a deliciously survivable crash test, this tasty show is sure to whisk up your curiosity. Suitable for ages 9
The Things We Know We Don’t Know
Saturday 11 June, 12.45-1.30pm
There are so many things we don’t know about the animals and plants we share our planet with. And many things we may never ever know about them. So, how do scientists work with the information they have to make educated guesses about what they don’t know? Join biologists Phil Bell-Young and Hana Ayoob on an adventure into the unknown! Suitable for ages 8
The Cloud Factory
Saturday 11 June, 10.15-11am
Have you ever touched a cloud? Can we make a cloud that tastes of strawberries?! Join Sarah Bearchell to feel, see, hear, smell and taste clouds created from dry ice. Make predictions and marvel at the results in this deliciously delightful hands-on show. This event is suitable for people with special educational needs and disabilities. Suitable for all ages
Saturday 11 June, 11.30am-12.15pm
Water can do all sorts of wonderful things; from dissolving and squashing, to freezing and evaporating. Our friends at Science Made Simple will be your guides as you dive into the amazing properties of this lifegiving liquid. With fun demonstrations and explosive experiments, you’ll never look at water in the same way again! Suitable for ages 5
The Mermaid and The Cow
Saturday 11 June, 12.45-1.45pm
Have you heard the story of the Mermaid and the Cow? After cutting her hand on plastic while freediving in Indonesia, adventurer and author Lindsey Cole wanted to do something to raise awareness about the problem. While swimming the length of the River Thames as a mermaid, she found herself facing a different problem – how to rescue a drowning cow. Join Lindsey as she shares her story in this interactive show all about plastic pollution and animal rescue. Suitable for ages 5-11 years old
Workshop: The Incredible Ocean Chemistry Lab
Saturday 11 June, 11-12pm and 12.30-1.30pm
Oceanographer Russell Arnott is bringing his water lab to Cheltenham to reveal the fascinating world of marine chemistry. Build a saltwater battery, create exotic gases, repurpose unrecyclable plastics, find secrets in seaweed, and see how climate change is impacting the acidity of our oceans in this interactive workshop. You’ll be amazed at how much chemistry is happening beneath the waves! Suitable for ages 7
The Science of Superheroes
Saturday 11 June, 3.15-4.15pm
How does spiderman’s webbing work? Can we use the weather like Thor does? Why is Hawkeye’s vision so good? How does Groot re-grow into a big tree from a twig? Why do superheroes wear capes? From Hulk and Black Widow, to Aquaman and Batman, learn all about the super science behind everyone’s favourite superheroes. Suitable for ages 7-13
The Quantum Qrumpet
Saturday 11 June, 12-1pm
You’ve heard of quantum tunnelling, right? The theory that if you continuously throw a crumpet at a wall it’ll eventually go through? ANTS Theatre will stop at nothing to send the special delicious snack through to the other side – the Quantum Qrumpet. This funny-yetpoignant show brings repetition, clowning, hope and quantum mechanics together for an hour of hilarity and fun. Bready or not, here we come! Suitable for ages 10
One Million Volts
Saturday 11 June, 2-3pm
Expect a hair-raising performance in this electrifying show from BBC One Show’s resident scientist, Marty Jopson, including plucked chickens, explosions, huge sparks and more. From the Ancient Greeks to Faraday’s genius, journey through the exciting history of electricity and spark your imagination. Suitable for ages 7
Perfectly Weird, Perfectly You
Saturday 11 June, 4-4.45pm
Peer pressure and Isaac Newton have a lot more in common that you first might think. Scientist, autism advocate and award-winning author Camilla Pang returns to Cheltenham to share the science of growing up in Perfectly Weird, Perfectly You. Discover how your confidence is a lot like programming a computer and enjoy practical experiments from Keith Rose. Suitable for ages 8
June 7 (Tuesday) - 12 (Sunday)