Science Festival’s fun learning for all ages

Reporter:

Rob Bellis

AMOEBA to Zebra: a natural history rock musical? Zombie Science 1z: the real science of the undead?

It must be science festival time. There are plenty of fun-filled, fact-packed events happening over the next week as this exciting and educational annual event returns to Glyndwr University in Wrexham.

There’s a great mix of free events lined up and this year’s programme has been divided into family friendly events – Family Fun – and events for adults and older children – Grown-Up Gatherings.

This year’s science festival competition will see pupils from schools in North Wales design and build their own solar car on a budget – and then race them in an exciting finale at Glyndwr University.

The solar car challenge is designed to get children thinking about engineering and solar energy as the world looks to a future which is sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Using a kit of materials worth £200, the pupils have been given the freedom to create any solar car they want, with guidance about design principles from staff and students at Glyndwr University. 

Members of the university’s own solar car team, Tân y Wawr (Fire of the Dawn), have been visiting schools to provide expert support.

The competition finale takes place today when the cars will be put through a series of tests to challenge the build and design quality. Pupils aged 13-14 from Darland High School, Alun School, Mold, Ysgol Maes Garmon and Ysgol Glan Clwyd have taken part in the competition.

Many of the Family Fun events are being held during the day and early evening.
There’s a dedicated programme for children of primary school age and a dedicated programme for secondary school pupils, to suit all abilities

The quest to unravel the mysteries of the universe, the science behind extreme sports and the ancient history of human life in North Wales will come under the spotlight.

Running from tomorrow until Friday, July 22, the festival will feature events including a talk on the work being done at the Large Hadron Collider, which scientists hope will answer some of the most fundamental questions in physics.

The mix of talks, workshops and demonstrations will also include an update on research and production under way in pioneering composites technology at major regional employer Airbus.

The 2011 festival will be based around four themes: Earth and the Universe, The Animal World, Human Mind and Body, and Bright Sparks.

There will also be a focus on the international years of chemistry and forests.

Dr Helen James, chairman of Wrexham Science Festival and Pro Vice-Chancellor of hosts Glyndwr University, said the festival would kick off a summer of major events in the Wrexham area.

Dr James added: “With Wrexham hosting the National Eisteddfod later in July and August to showcase the cultural heritage of Wales, we are delighted to have such an exciting line-up of events to reflect advances being made in science and technology in North Wales, the UK and across the world.

“We hope the festival will capture the imagination of visitors of all ages and inspire us all to explore the world of science through fresh eyes.”

The full festival programme can be viewed on the festival website, www.wrexhamsf.com

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