Monday, 20 December 2010

Manchester Science Festival 2011 Innovation Boardroom

Join us at this creative session led by Innovation Manchester to generate ideas and connections for the 2011 Manchester Science Festival.

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” Mary Lou Cook

Any group can have a brainstorming session, but how do you make it truly productive? Sometimes we all need a little help to think of new ideas that can really work.

On Tuesday 11 January 2011 at the Museum of Science and Industry from 10am to 2pm we will be engaging in a special creative session: the Innovation Boardroom.

The Innovation Boardroom acts as your guide to be productively creative. We combine fast and furious idea generation with collaborative working that builds partnerships to get great results.

Join us at the Manchester Science Festival's Innovation Boardroom to:
- Make new connections with others involved with the Festival
- Generate great ideas that will have life beyond the Innovation Boardroom session
- Get a freshness boost in creativity, helping you tackle the everyday in a different way
- Combine forces to make the Manchester Science Festival 2011 the best it can be

Please note this is not a funding opportunity.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Natalie Ireland, Manchester Science Festival Director: with your name and organisation, detailing your/your organisation's experience of science engagement and why you are interested in the session.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Manchester Science Festival 2010 - reflections and thank you

Manchester is an amazing place for a science festival. There’s so much rich industrial heritage and iconic scientists to draw inspiration from and so much innovation and exciting research happening in the city, it provides a unique backdrop. The fourth Manchester Science Festival has just taken place and since it began in 2007, so many people have got behind the Festival, sharing their ideas, creativity and passion for science. It’s a real thrill to be putting science at the heart of the cultural calendar in Manchester.

A huge thank you goes out to all the funders, partners, organisers, speakers, researchers, community groups and volunteers who made this year’s Festival happen. The Festival is a huge partnership effort and we’re proud to work with so many (over 75!) different partner organisations. This year’s Festival was particularly exciting and so many great projects came together to create an inspiring and innovative programme. In fact there was such an action packed programme of event, it’s hard to pick a particular highlight to shout about. However, there are a few projects we’re particularly chuffed about and thought they were worth a mention.

This year we embarked on an ambitious community programme. As well as science busking, we delivered kitchen science workshops through each of the ten Greater Manchester boroughs. We put young people at the heart of the Festival, inviting them to get involved in the development and delivery of key projects. 18 year olds with no previous interest in science got together to work with scientists, ethicists and artists to explore the topic of human enhancement and develop creative performances for the public. We also added a twist to the Dragon’s Den. As part of the Manchester Beacon Science Festival Community Awards scientists pitched their creative event ideas to a panel of ruthless dragons (teenagers), who chose which project to fund and work with to shape and deliver an event. The winning idea, the bacteria party saw students sharing their work, getting hands-on, eating bacteria shaped cake and playing games with the local community. It was such a fantastic event and exactly the kind of programming we want to encourage as part of the Festival.

We really provided some unique experiences for people this year with projects like Super K Sonic Booooum, an immersive experience where you could experience what it’s like to be in neutrino observatory. Unsuspecting members of the public donned their wellies and lab coat and jumped aboard a boat to see what it’s like to be a particle physicist in Japan. The installation explored some really serious and exciting science, as well as being fun and giving you the chance to experience an environment you would never dream of seeing.

We welcomed over 80 volunteers who assisted at events and went to venues throughout Greater Manchester, entertaining the masses with science busking – fun, hands-on science demonstrations that capture the imagination as you’re on the commute or out shopping. They were passionate, enthusiastic and committed. A huge thank you goes to our volunteers who are helping to inspire our future scientists!

This diverse and innovative programme could only be put together by the people in Manchester for the people of Manchester. Manchester is a truly original science city and I hope you enjoyed this exciting, passionate and ambitious Festival. So thank you for coming and getting involved and we'll keep you posted on the blog with plans for next year!

Natalie Ireland,
Manchester Science Festival Director

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Winter greetings from the Manchester Science Festival team!

Struggling for ideas of how to fill your holidays with science? Fear not - the festival team have been compiling brilliant ideas. Read on!

If you’ve got children to entertain over the break why not discover some fun, wintery science activities you can do in the kitchen? Check out these instructions on how to make jewellery with ice cubes or learn about how ice melts with London Science museum’s activity about coloured ice balloons. Alternatively, you could wait until Christmas dinner and demonstrate the siphoning effect at the dinner table with your napkin.

Curl up with a few books from MSF 2010’s speakers. Check out Frank Close’s latest publication, Neutrino, which charts the detection and research into the elusive particles that are emitted by the sun and ever-so-difficult to detect. Have a gander at Jim Al-Khalili’s Pathfinders, which reveals the hidden history of the Arabic scientific revolution that took place between the more celebrated Ancient Greeks and Italian Renaissance.

Have an alternative Christmas meal and bring molecular gastronomy to the table. Take a peek at Stefan Gates’ latest book, The Extraordinary Cookbook, for inspiration. This tome is packed with eccentric and fun recipes, from poaching fish in your dishwasher to making gin and tonic jelly that fluoresces under UV light. Photo - Stefan Gates at Gastronuts, Manchester Science Festival 2010.

Don’t forget to check out the Waterside Arts Centre’s current exhibition, Altered States, which explores artist’s responses to biomedical research through media including installation, sculpture, photography, film and printmaking. This exhibition runs until Saturday 8 January. Photo - Hinged Crucifix by Susan Aldworth.

Emily Wiles, Manchester Science Festival Officer