Manchester Science Festival 2014

This week sees the launch of Manchester Science Festival. For anyone who loves science, learning, or just finds the world we live in fascinating, it’s the perfect blend of science, art, music, theatre and comedy.

Kicking off this Thursday (23rd October) and running until 2nd November, it promises to be 11 days of inspiring activities for all the family.

At the heart of the 40 venues hosting events, is Museum of Science & Industry, who kick things off with  two exhibitions. 3D: Printing the Future looks at how everyone is using this new technology to turn data into physical objects. Amongst a host of 3D printed objects, artworks and related tech, for the first time ever, we will see a bike with a completely 3D printed metal frame, created by Empire Cycles and industrial innovators Renishaw. 3D printing has created a bike that is stronger and lighter than possible through standard manufacturing.

The second incredible installation at MOSI is the World Premiere of Cape Farewells Lovelock Art Commission – internationally acclaimed artist Marcus Coates brand new audio-visual installation – The Sounds of Others, a Biophonic Line will be on display. Inspired by the works of James Lovelock, Marcus explores the sounds of many different species to reveal incredible connections between their vocalisations.

It’s also a chance to see the work done by Marcus at the launch event, using the guests to create a sound installation – including yours truly – working alongside renowned sound-recordist Geoff Sample.

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For something a little more political, fracking will be the subject of a one off debate hosted by Discuss. Former Happy Monday’s band member, Bez will be taking part in what looks to be a lively discussion, from his anti-fracking standpoint. This is something a little more serious than his debut at the event launch, in 3D printed form.

 

It you took part in the Hooked on Music research, you may fancy a little boogie on 1 November.

Not only will Manchester’s music scene go head-to-head in a debate against scientists who have analysed data from the online game, there will also be a DJ set from Dave Haslam and a Silent Disco.

Oh and this event, though ticketed, is another freebie.

For something a little more kid friendly, The MegaMenger is something a little more hands on. Potentially the largest fractal ever built, it will be made out of over a million business cards (including mine) Up to 20 other locations around the world are taking part to create a planet-spanning fractal.

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Something more techy? Then LEGO Mindstorm NXT are going to be at Manchester Museum, with their robotic programming challenges.

And I have to mention the day job.

The University of Manchester will hold a Science Spectacular at Manchester Museum and Manchester Metropolitan University will hold a Science Extravaganza, both on Saturday, 25 October.

And if you like something a little more flashy, the School of Chemistry will host an explosive event of their own, with colour changing experiments, chemical clocks, fizzes, whizzes, flashes, welding, melding, crashes and bangs, showing us the science behind the firework. Given there’ll be a little graphene on display, you might find me there…

I’ll definitely be heading to Hack Manchester all being well, to see a 24 hour coding event in action – and have managed to snaffle a ticket to the awards party to see who comes out on top.

11 days of science? I can’t wait.

 

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