Leeds Festival of Science returns for its eighth year

By Claire Schofield

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Scientist demonstrating an experiment to school pupils at Leeds Festival of Science

Mini mad scientists head to Leeds for a 3 week long science extravaganza.

The University of Leeds’s eighth Festival of Science promises to be bigger and better than ever with more than 3, 500 school pupils set to take part in the educational event.

The event, running from the March 14 until the April 4, will feature science workshops, hands on activities, demonstrations and debates.

The festival is targeted mainly at school pupils aged between 9 and 19, although there are events that are available to the public giving everybody an opportunity to get involved in the celebration of science.

The event kicks off with the Ig Nobel Prizes Show on Thursday March 20, where prizes are awarded to honour the most peculiar and extraordinary achievements in scientific research, medicine and technology that will make people LAUGH, and then THINK.

Dr Ruth Holland, one of the Leeds Festival of Science’s organisers, said: “This year we’re very happy to welcome Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony.  He will be revealing the stories behind the new Ig Nobel winners.”

Festival activities also include an Engineering Experience and Zombie Science, a spoof tutorial on the science behind working of the Zombie brain, at the University of Leeds Parkinson Building on Saturday March 29, and a gold panning activity specifically for primary school children.

The festival is renowned for presenting science, technology, engineering and mathematics to young people in innovative and entertaining ways.

Previous years have featured mathematical comedy, celebrity cleaner Aggie Mackenzie from Channel 4’s How Clean Is Your House? and maths buskers entertaining people in Leeds Trinity shopping centre.

Dr Holland added: “Schools come back year on year as they find their pupils really benefit.  Some teachers have told me about their pupils talking to them about particular experiments or activities months and even years later – it really has a lasting impact.”

Events will be held at the University of Leeds campus and other locations around the city, including the Thackray Medical Museum and Leeds City Museum.

The festival coincides with National Science and Engineering Week, a ten day national programme of science from the 14th to the 23rd March, featuring technology, engineering and mathematics activities for people of all ages across the UK.

For further details about the event, visit http://www.stem.leeds.ac.uk/news-events/lfos/lfos-public-programme/

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