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Bradford Science Festival: full 2019 programme announced

A 12m rocket, which aims to deliver the UK’s first human space flight, will be landing in Bradford next month as one of the highlights of Bradford Science Festival 2019.

The festival, organised by the National Science and Media Museum in partnership with The Broadway Shopping Centre, Bradford Council and the University of Bradford, takes place across Bradford city centre from 18–21 July 2019. It celebrates the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong taking his historic first steps on the Moon (20 July 1969), and space travel is a key theme, alongside chemistry and recycling.

The free family weekend (Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July) features activities at the museum, The Broadway, City Park and Impressions Gallery, providing hands-on discovery, exploration and fun for people of all ages and backgrounds, as well as information about career and education opportunities in and around Bradford.

Main attractions include the 12-metre Nova 2 rocket, designed and built by Cheshire-based Starchaser Industries, which aims to launch a human into space from the UK; seven-metre planetariums displaying 360° journeys to Mars and beyond; the Actual Reality Arcade, which features physical interactive versions of classic videogames such as Space Invaders and Pac-Man; a disaster simulation of an alien plague infecting Earth; and stilt-walking astronauts.

Chemistry-based activities mark 150 years of the Periodic Table as the University of Bradford team gets experimental with slime-making and a science ‘mocktail’ bar, and a hydrogen-powered Toyota car will be on display to inspire festivalgoers to build and race their own toy hydrogen vehicles. Meanwhile, the University of Leeds will be exploring food chemistry and demonstrating ‘interstellar snowflakes’.

Bradford Council and the Impressions Gallery will be hosting activities on the theme of recycling and the effect of plastic on the oceans and marine life, including a virtual reality experience and a specially-commissioned dance routine by volunteers from Bradford.

The National Science and Media Museum’s Head of Learning and Participation, Vicky Clifton, said:

“We want the Bradford Science Festival to inspire curiosity in people of all ages while they have fun and discover that science and technology can offer amazing opportunities for everyone, often in ways that they may not realise. This year it has grown again, and our thanks, as ever, go to all our partners and contributors, as well as everyone who works so hard on the event at the museum. We look forward to seeing more people than ever coming along.”

Ian Ward, General Manager at The Broadway Bradford, said:

“This year’s calendar of activity for Bradford Science Festival is bigger and better than ever. At the Centre we’re delighted to be hosting a number of activities as part of the Festival including an area where children can design and build their own ‘Stomp Rocket’, a VR area and appearances from floating astronauts.”

Other activities taking place at the festival include driving a model Mars rover, getting an insight into the world’s largest telescope, launching miniature rockets, and discovering more about dinosaurs and archaeology.

STEM City will again be home to science demonstrations and careers advice from regional employers, such as Yorkshire Water, Specsavers, Surfachem, Teledyne, JB Springs and Siemens. Brad Lab also returns to showcase regional STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) organisations such as the West Yorkshire branch of the Institute of Physics and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE).

On Thursday 18 July the National Science and Media Museum will host a festival launch Lates event (free, 18.00–21.30, over-18s), featuring live performances from science poet and rapper Jon Chase and Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer, as well as a raft of interactive demonstrations, including exploring the science behind whisky-distilling and coffee-brewing.

On Friday 19 July a family-friendly chemistry ‘mocktail bar’ will be taking place at the University of Bradford in its STEM Centre (free tickets available online).

The full festival programme can be viewed on the Bradford Science Festival webpage.


Notes for editors

For interviews, images, and any other requests please contact: Phil Oates, National Science and Media Museum, / 01274 203 317

The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, opened in 1983, and has since become one of the most visited UK museums outside London. The museum explores the science and culture of image and sound technologies, creating special exhibitions, interactive galleries and activities for families and adults. It is home to three cinemas, including Europe’s first IMAX cinema screen and the world’s only public Cinerama screen outside the USA. Entry to the museum is free.

Bradford Science Festival sponsors