Let’s get physics-al

Sarah Garth with an electronic egg and spoon
Sarah Garth with an electronic egg and spoon
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Sam Carney looks ahead to tomorrow’s Public Day for the Lancashire Science festival – and it promises to be bonkers

The University of Central Lancashire is showcasing a number of interactive demonstrations and lectures for the sci-curious.

The festival presents scientific information in original and unorthodox ways, with the focus on this year’s edition being ‘Power Up’.

Festival director Dr Joanna Heaton-Marriott said: “The Festival is a fantastic event that aims to inspire people of all ages to investigate, explore and enjoy science.

“This year the event is even bigger, with more than 60 free attractions on Saturday alone.”

One of these attractions is Huddersfield-based Being 747.

The three-piece band started off in the rock music scene, but in 2006, decided to reinvent themselves.

Dr Heaton-Marriott describes them as a “science rock band”, using an unconventional medium to teach their audience about maths, biology, physics and technology.

The band’s first project, Amoeba to Zebra, premièred in 2007, and has been toured around the country ever since.

The Clockwork Universe followed in 2012, as well as In The Valley, a piece commissioned by both The RSPB and Environment Agency to showcase the environmental concerns of the Dearne Valley Area, in South Yorkshire.

The theory of evolution, the history of science and the environment have already been covered, so what do the band target now?

Invisible Stuff looks into the world of atoms and microscopic particles.

The band’s shows always feature a vast array of props and appeal to all the family.

Being 747 can be seen at 9.30am and 1.40pm in the Darwin Lecture Theatre.

Staying with music, Mark Lewney’s Rock Guitar in 11 Dimensions, showing at 9.30am and 12.40pm in the Mitchell and Kenyon Lecture Theatre, is a must for anyone with an interest in the six-stringed instrument.

Lewney, a guitar physicist, examines the science behind the era-defining sound of rock guitar, and how it helps us to understand our own nature. In doing so, the Rock Doctor looks at riffs by Vivaldi and AC/DC, among others.

For those looking for a more orthodox science teacher, Marty Jopson, of BBC One Show fame, will be holding two sessions in the Harrington Lecture Theatre.

The first, at 11am, is entitled Zap, Crackle and Pop and takes the audience on a “journey through the story of electricity”.

The scientist’s afternoon session, Record Breaking Science, focuses on the science behind Guinness World Record breakers. This lecture will be given at 4pm.

The day is not all about lectures however. The Science Showfloor allows the public to enjoy a more hands-on scientific experience, with “everything from remote control Daleks to Search and Rescue Drones”.

Titan, “an 8ft singing, dancing and joke-cracking robot” will perform throughout the day at the Performance Zone. There are also health-based workshops planned in the Greenbank Building.

Dr Heaton-Marriott adds: “Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we are able to offer the family and schools programme free of charge.”

The only exception to this is An Audience with Davros.

This comedic but informative show features Davros, the leader of the Daleks from the popular television show Doctor Who, weaving in and out of the audience and “letting you into many of the secrets of the Time Lord’s arch nemesis”.

An Audience with Davros takes place at 1.40pm in Foster Lecture Theatre 4.

The festivities will be open all day from 9am to 5pm and parking will be available for all attendees on UCLan’s various car parks.

Events that are held in lecture theatres, such as talks and workshops, have limited attendance and tickets will need to be pre-booked online, printed off for entrance.

Titan the Robot – 10.15am, noon, 2.30pm – The Performance Zone

‘Do you fancy meeting an 8ft singing, dancing and joke-cracking robot?

The Science Showfloor – all day: Visit the Science Showfloor for hands-on demonstrations of all aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and much, much more!

The Zoo Bus – Foster car park – all day

Get hands on with some of the world’s weirdest critters and a fascinating mini-micro-lab. Housed in a converted double decker bus.

Flash Bang Science – all day

‘Bring science to life in our fantastic mobile lab. Don your lab coat and take part in hands-on experiments such as Elephant’s Toothpaste and Mentos Volcanoes!’

Craft a Cell – The Science Showfloor – all day

‘Hands-on science themed crafty activities, especially for younger audiences. Help us build an entire cell wall!’

Joe Blows Stuff Up – 11.00am, 1.00pm, 3.00pm– The Performance Zone

‘Pretty self-explanatory. Need we say more?’

The IncrEDIBLE Science Cake-Off – entries open 08:30-noon – Foster Car Park

‘Forget the Great British Bake-Off, get your apron on and create something truly IncrEDIBLE for the first Lancscifest Cake Off. Prizes include a Meal for 2 with Champagne in Heathcotes Brasserie and a Meal for 4 with Prosecco in The Olive Press.’


Marty Jopson ‘Record Breaking Science’ – 4pm – Harrington Lecture theatre

‘Join Dr Marty Jopson, the resident BBC One Show scientist, as he takes an exciting journey through the science behind Guinness World Records!’

Ian B. Dunne ‘Science: The Best Bits’ – 10.55am, 3pm – Darwin Lecture Theatre

‘A whistle stop tour through the greatest hits of science, with awe-inspiring demonstrations and lots of fun along the way’.

Marty Jopson ‘Zap, Crackle and Pop’ – 11am – Harrington Lecture Theatre (Book on day)

‘Join Dr Marty Jopson, resident BBC One Show scientist, as he takes a sparky journey through the story of electricity. Zap, Crackle and Pop!’

Being 747 – ‘Invisible Stuff’ 9.30am & 1.40pm, Darwin Lecture Theatre

‘This amazing science rock band will take you on a fantastic musical journey into the micro world of matter and forces’.

Mark Lewney – ‘Rock Guitar in 11 Dimensions’ 9.30am & 12.40pm, Mitchell & Kenyon Theatre. ‘Guitar Physicist, Dr Lewney, explains the physics of rock!’

Workshop: Operation! - 9.30am, 10.55am, 12.40pm & 1.40pm - Greenbank Building Room GR111

‘The Operating Department Practice (ODP) team would like to offer you the opportunity to experience a simulated operating theatre! Are your scared of gore?’

Workshop: Be a Paramedic for a Day 9.30am, 10.55am, 12.40pm & 1.40pm - Greenbank Building Room GR109

‘Experience a day in the life of a paramedic’

Workshop: Behind the Scenes of Nursing 9.30am, 10.55am, 12.40pm & 1.40pm - Greenbank Building 102b. ‘Based in one of UCLan’s amazing Skills Labs, this hands-on workshop will offer you the chance to experience some of the real life aspects of Nursing’.

Workshop: How Healthy Am I? 9.30am, 10.55am, 12.40pm & 1.40pm - Greenbank Building 115. ‘This hands-on workshop will look at measuring the health of children and young people.’

Workshop: Mental Health and Well-Being 9.30am, 10.55am, 12.40pm & 1.40pm - Greenbank Building 177. ‘This fun workshop is designed to raise awareness of mental health issues. How can YouTube and balloons be used to help us do this? Come along and find out!’

Workshop: The Power of the Law 11am & 1.30pm - Moot Court Room, Harris Building

‘We are extremely excited to annouce the opportunity for you to see a live trial in action. This is a small scale workshop which is taking place in our very own Moot Court Room.’

In Conversation With: Prof Jim Richards 1.40pm - Darwin Building Room, DB247

‘Do you want to see how the electrical impulses of our muscles can control much more than just our bodies?!’

In Conversation With: The Science of Feeding Babies 10.55am - Darwin Building, Room DB247. ‘Given the scientific basis for the positive effects of breastfeeding for mother and infant, why do so many women choose not to breastfeed?’

An Audience with Davros 1.40pm - Foster Lecture Theatre 4. ‘Discover their evil secrets from the Lord of the Daleks himself. Davros is not only informative and intriguing but darkly comedic and surprisingly fun!’

Dr Sarita Robinson – ‘How to Power Up your Brain’ 10.55am - Foster Lecture Theatre 2

‘Find out how to improve your memory, and really get those neurons pumping!’

Book Launch: Life beneath the Northern Lights 1.30pm - Roadshow Zone, Foster Car Park. ‘UCLan Publishing will be launching it’s latest book: Life Beneath the Northern Lights at this year’s Science Festival.’

Nick Arnold’s Horrible Science Show 12.40pm - Darwin Lecture Theatre (sold out)

‘See the author of the Horrible Science books bring them to loathsome life!’

Science Dome Planetarium - Foster Car Park

‘Enter our fantastic Science Dome for a glimpse of the night sky and so much more!’

Matt Pritchard – ‘Thrilling Forces’10.55am - Mitchell & Kenyon Theatre (sold out)

‘Matt will introduce you to the thrilling forces behind theme park and fun fair rides.’

Dr Cat Tennick – ‘Behind the Scenes: Forensic Science’ 9.30am & 3.00pm - Foster Lecture Theatre 3 (sold out). ‘Dr Tennick explores some of the secrets of Forensic Science; find out how science can help in the fight against crime.’

Matt Pritchard – ‘Magical Maths’ 1.40pm - Mitchell & Kenyon Theatre (sold out)

Not only will you be amazed by the magic, but also by the maths!’

Matt Dickinson – ‘The Science of Superheroes vs Supervillains’ 9.30am - Foster Lecture Theatre 2 (sold out). ‘Discover the ‘Sci’ behind some of SciFi’s most epic battles.’

Adam Wilcox – ‘The Science of Sherlock’ 1.40pm - Foster Lecture Theatre 2 (sold out)

‘Just how does Sherlock Holmes do it? Find out how science plays a vital role.’

Matt Dickinson – ‘Mecha Man presents: The Science of Superheroes’ 3pm - Foster Lecture Theatre 2 (sold out) ‘Could we use technology to create our own Superhero?’