Skip to main content

National Science and Media Museum

Programme announced for Bradford Science Festival

City Park, The Broadway and the National Science and Media Museum will host a three-day extravaganza celebrating science in the Bradford district, 14–16 July 2017.

Bradford Science Festival is bringing a weekend of fun, experiments and exploration to the city’s centre next month.

The festival, taking place at the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford’s City Park and The Broadway from 14–16 July 2017, offers adults, children and families the opportunity to engage with science through fun events, challenges and demonstrations. It has been produced by the National Science and Media Museum in partnership with Bradford Council and The Broadway.

Activities launch at the National Science and Media Museum with a Lates evening event on Friday 14 July 2017, 18.30–21.30 (free, over-18s), followed by a two-day family extravaganza at the Museum, City Park and The Broadway. On Saturday and Sunday The Broadway will step back in time to become the Jurassic Zone, with incredible lifelike dinosaurs and reptiles roaming among the festival-goers and shoppers, with opportunities to meet baby dinosaurs and take part in fossil digs.

In City Park a range of Science Zones will feature, including Water Lab where the Gurgle Splosher—an interactive sound sculpture representing the science of the water cycle (evaporation, condensation, precipitation)—will take centre stage in the Mirror Pool. The sensational family favourite Titan the Robot makes special appearances throughout the weekend in the Robot Zone, along with driverless model cars, drones and Cybermen, and a special Survival Zone challenges visitors to ‘escape the volcano’ and discover what happens when meteorites hit planet Earth. In addition, the Future Zone and Brad Lab bring together key organisations from the district to give advice to budding scientists about education and careers, as well as providing fun activities.

At the National Science and Media Museum, science-themed family activities will be showcased throughout the venue, including a CSI-style forensic investigation for young detectives, live coding and science videogaming. In addition, the museum’s brand-new summer exhibition Supersenses, where visitors can unlock the power of their senses, will be joining in the fun, and the popular science gallery Wonderlab launches its new live show Enchanted Wood.

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

“There is an amazing amount of scientific activity and history here in Bradford that people may not know about. This festival will be drawing on all that talent and creativity for three days of fun and learning that adults, children and families can enjoy, and hopefully be inspired to explore more for themselves. It’s a huge thank you from me to all the organisations who’ve come together to help deliver this event.”

Bobsie Robinson, Bradford Council’s Culture, Policy and Events Manager, said:

“We are delighted that yet another family event is taking place in our wonderful City Park. This is another opportunity for families to learn together, and we are looking forward to many people enjoying this weekend of fun, experiments and active learning in the city next month.”

Ian Ward, General Manager at The Broadway, said:

“We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get involved in Bradford Science Festival, which is sure to capture the imaginations and curious minds of families from across the city and beyond. The Broadway’s transformation into the Jurassic Zone promises to be a uniquely exciting and intriguing event, and we know shoppers, science fans, and dinosaur-lovers of all ages will love it.”

Adult programme

Friday 14 July 2017, 18.30–21.30

National Science and Media Museum

Lates: Senses

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 designed to unlock and extend their senses and powers of perception, with a little help from science and technology. This event launches the Bradford Science Festival and includes a preview of the museum’s summer exhibition, Supersenses.

Family programme

Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July 2017, 11.00–17.00

National Science and Media Museum

Most events are free

Super Science Family activities celebrating Bradford Science Festival and launching the new summer exhibition Supersenses will be taking place throughout the weekend, including:

Impact Gamers Live (15 July only, 13.30–15.00, free, online booking recommended) A free and fun game-playing showcase of science-themed games. Win prizes in big-screen challenges, learn how coding works, and have a go at making a game yourself! (Activity delivered by Bradford-based Impact Gamers)

Crime Scene Investigation (Free drop-in activity) A dastardly crime has been committed and the museum is inviting super science sleuths to solve puzzles and challenges around the building. (Activity delivered by Huddersfield-based Think Forensic)

Mini Science Film Festival (charge applies for film screenings—see website for times) Screenings of The Incredibles (U), The Lego Movie (U), Big Hero 6 (PG), IMAX 3D: Mysteries of the Unseen World (U), IMAX 3D: Space Station (U), and IMAX 3D: A Beautiful Planet (U) in the Museum's cinemas and IMAX theatre

City Park

All events are free, 11.00–17.00: includes Brad Lab, Future Zone, Robot Zone, Water Lab and Survival Zone

The Future Zone is the place to find out how to get involved in science right here in Bradford. A host of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) businesses and organisations are based in the district and they will be meeting and greeting visitors in City Park. Contributors include Bradford Pathways, Bradford College, the University of Bradford, Connextions, Aspire IGN, Omega (Saturday only), Specsavers and the STEM Ambassador Project.

The Robot Zone introduces young scientists to the exciting world of robotics, showing how robots work and how humans can control them through coding:

Titan, the world-famous interactive robot, will be delivering the ultimate family entertainment show, packed with comedy, dancing and lots of fun. (Activity delivered by Titan the Robot/Cyberstein)

Festival-goers can get up close and personal with special robot guests, learn more about drones (provided by Yorkshire aerial imaging company Sky Captain), drive a Mars Rover (from the Keighley Star Centre), and see NAOROBI, a small but fun-packed robot who answers questions and might even dance (provided by Pudsey Computers).

Other Robot Zone activities include testing driverless model cars and signing up for next year’s Robot Rally driverless car challenge (activity delivered by Digital Catapult Centre Yorkshire), plus a character walkabout by the Doctor Who fan group Cyber Legion.

In the Water Lab visitors should bring a towel to enjoy hands-on science in the Mirror Pool, including experimenting with the Gurgle Splosher—created by Hebden Bridge-based Noisy Toys—an incredible interactive sculpture which asks the question ‘How does water make music?’

If there was a natural disaster in Bradford, who would survive? The Survival Zone, with volcanoes, meteorites and den-building activities, will test families’ mettle:

Cryo-explosion! Once a day there will be a volcano explosion right in the heart of City Park. Can families complete the challenges in the Survival Village and survive the volcano explosion? Other activities include ‘lava’ slime-making and learning about the impact of meteorites on earth. (Activity delivered by

Escape the Volcano Take on the volcano assault course, answer the questions—can you make it out alive...? (Activity delivered by

Brad Lab brings hand-on science of all shapes and sizes to the City Centre, as well as celebrating innovation in the district. Contributors include Bradford College, the Colour Experience, Born in Bradford, Specsavers, Bradford STEM ambassadors, Handmade Parade and WISE (Women in Science and Engineering).

Pedal Power Challenge The Kids Invent Stuff YouTube Channel has laid down the challenge for 7–11-year-olds to create their very own pedal-powered contraptions, and the winner will see their design tested as part of the weekend’s events. (Activity delivered by Kids Invent Stuff)

The Broadway

Free activity, 11.00–17.00: Jurassic Zone

The Broadway will become the landscape for amazing prehistoric creatures, as lifelike dinosaurs and reptiles roam the shopping centre. Festival-goers can also meet baby dinosaurs and try their hand at digging for fossils in this journey back in time, and are encouraged to bring their cameras to record the ‘historic’ activity.


Notes for editors

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.