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Full programme details for Bradford Science Festival 2018

Bradford Science Festival is once again bringing a weekend of fun, experiments and exploration to the city’s centre this month, and forms part of the UK’s Year of Engineering activities and the Great Exhibition of the North.

Taking place at the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford’s City Park and The Broadway shopping centre, the festival offers adults, children and families the opportunity to engage with science through fun events, challenges and demonstrations.

Activities launch at the National Science and Media Museum with a Lates evening event on Thursday 19 July, 18.30–21.30 (free, over-18s), followed by a two-day family extravaganza at the museum, City Park and The Broadway on Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 July.

Titan the Robot will make a special appearance at all events, including officially opening the festival at the museum’s Lates on Thursday. Lates features a host of science themed entertainment designed to let adults have as much fun as the kids, as well as talks and demos on more challenging subjects.

Family activities kick off on Saturday, as The Broadway becomes the Robot Zone—an arena for hi-tech battles between machines of all shapes and sizes in Robots Live, including some which may be recognised from Robot Wars. Other activities at The Broadway include Scalextric cars that can be controlled by mind-power alone, and live robotics demonstrations and shows for all ages.

In City Park, great British engineering will be showcased as headline attraction BLOODHOUND SSC—a supersonic car which is planning a 1,000mph world land speed record attempt—arrives in the city centre accompanied by a team of technicians to explain exactly what goes on under its bonnet.

The Royal Engineers will be in attendance, giving people an incredible opportunity to have a go at one of their large tracked vehicles, as well as building a large-scale bridge and demonstrating water purification techniques. Continuing the water-based activities, once again the Mirror Pool will be transformed into a giant Water Lab.

Also appearing is a fleet of drones, alongside demonstrations about how the technology can be used to help build a better future, and festival-goers will also be able to explore what the ‘Future Bradford’ may look like, contributing to the creation of a large model city.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Ambassadors and staff from the National Science and Media Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and a range of Yorkshire institutions will be on hand to discuss education and career opportunities, as well as demo some of the science they put to use.

In the National Science and Media Museum, visitors can take part in the Engineering a Time Lord activities, take a look at some of the science behind Doctor Who villains the Daleks, and check out a steampunk post-apocalyptic TARDIS, as well as seeing family science-themed IMAX films (Space Station and Dream Big) on the biggest screen in West Yorkshire.

Vicky Clifton, the museum’s Head of Participation and Learning, said:

“Last year’s festival exceeded all expectations, but we’re not leaving it there. This year we’ve planned an even bigger bumper celebration of science in the sun in the city. It’s a huge thank you from me to all the amazing organisations and partners who’ve come together to help deliver this event and represent Bradford. We are incredibly proud of the contribution we are making to the UK’s Year of Engineering and the Great Exhibition of the North.”

Ian Ward, General Manager at The Broadway, said:

“After the success of last year’s event, we couldn’t wait to get involved in another Bradford Science Festival. The Broadway’s transformation into the Robot Zone promises to be a uniquely exciting and intriguing event, and we know shoppers, science fans, and future engineers of all ages will love it.”


Programme details

Adult programme

Lates: Bradford Science Festival, National Science and Media Museum, 19 July 2018, 18.30–21.30

A special edition of Lates—the museum’s programme of evening openings for adults—kicks off the festival. Visitors can try a range of activities and workshops, and meet Titan the Robot who will be officially opening the Festival.

Family programme

National Science and Media Museum

Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 July, 10.00–16.00 (unless specified)

  • Engineering a Time Lord What can Doctor Who tell us about engineering? Various activities throughout the museum.
  • Science Festival Films (charges apply for cinema tickets) IMAX 3D: Space Station (U) 10.45, 20–21 July; This Is Cinerama (U), 11.00, 21 July; IMAX 3D: Dream Big (U) 10.45, 22 July

The Broadway Bradford

Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 July, 11.00–17.00 (unless specified)

  • Robots Live Experience the amazing spectacle that is robot combat! Featuring favourite robots from the BBC’s Robot Wars. Displays throughout the day, with 45-minute Robots Live shows at 11.30 and 15.30.
  • Meet NAO Come and see a fun demonstration from NAO, the world’s most popular humanoid robot. Saturday 21 July only.
  • Mind Control Scalextric What happens when you control a Scalextric car with your mind? Find out when you play your favourite racing game using only your thoughts!
  • Robotic Engineering Shows The University of Central Lancashire’s Matt Dickerson will host exciting shows about the links between robots, science and engineering. 45-minute shows at 12.30 and 14.30.
  • Leeds University Robot Demos An all-robot band, an arm that can play computer games, and robots moving around the human body using magnets... Explore weird and wonderful examples of robotic research from Leeds University.
  • Audio Assault Buggy A mobile unit loaded with strange and wonderful upcycled sonic weaponry, presented by Noisy Toys.

City Park

Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 July, 11.00–17.00 (unless specified)

  • Brad Lab An exciting outdoor laboratory packed with things to see, do and try, including:
    • Samsung Bus Climb aboard the Samsung Bus to sample life on the International Space Station! Experience astronaut training on the lower deck, then head upstairs to try out Space Descent VR with Tim Peake (age 13+ only).
    • Titan the Robot 30-minute shows at 11.30, 14.00, 16.00.
    • Plus University of Bradford, Bradford College, The University of Leeds Food Physics Group, Born in Bradford, HALE (Bradford’s healthy living charity), Specsavers, West Yorkshire Institute of Physics, PeaPodicity (award-winning Augmented Reality studio), and Indy Coffee.
  • Great British Engineering Fun and creative ways to bring the wonder of engineering to life, including:
    • BLOODHOUND SSC is a supersonic car—designed to travel faster than the speed of sound. Visit the BLOODHOUND Education Car to find out more about this amazing invention and its planned 1,000mph world land speed record attempt.
    • PI: Platform for Investigation, Powered by Siemens Come and investigate science and engineering with STEM Ambassadors and staff from the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.
    • Drones at Work How can drones help us build a better future? See a display of drones and find out about some of the surprising ways they’re being used.
  • Water Lab Hands-on science in the Mirror Pool, including:
    • Ancient Egyptian Engineering Create a Shaduf, an Ancient Egyptian device used for lifting water.
    • Science Tots Under-5s can enjoy their own dedicated Water Lab with science fun, experiments and investigations.
    • Festival Finale The Mirror Pool is powered by a huge pumping engine. This exciting sound and light show will demonstrate its amazing technical capabilities—with musical accompaniment and dancing! 30-minute show at 16.30.
  • STEM on the Green Experts from the Royal Engineers will be leading hands-on outdoor challenges and demos, including Tractor Challenge (a chance to have a go with one of the Royal Engineers’ special vehicles), Bridge Construction, Den Building and Water Testing
  • STEM City Meet real engineers, try hands-on activities, and find out about the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) organisations based in and around Bradford, including WISE (Women in Science and Engineering); Surfachem; Sweco; the British Army; Royal Academy of Engineers; Teledyne; Yorkshire Water; Go Higher Bus


For interviews, images, and any other requests please contact Phil Oates, / 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.

Part of the Science Museum Group