Winchester Science Festival 2017

Winchester Discovery Centre hosted Winchester Science Festival over the weekend, the working project of the not-for-profit organisation Winchester Science Foundation. Over three days people of all ages interacted with fun science demonstrations, information stands and a varied programme of science talks. Our libraries’ fine selections of scientific books e-books and e-magazines had never been more popular!

Now in its sixth year, Winchester Science Festival seeks to inform, engage and entertain the general public with fun and cutting edge science communication and education. A big focus of the festival is to inspire young minds so Friday is Families Day, where this focus takes priority, while throughout the weekend under-19s have free entry to all talks. Winchester Discovery Centre staff enjoyed the science and technology choices for young summer reads!

The festival is also a site for Hampshire-based scientific and technological services and institutions to promote themselves and the world-leading ingenuity right on our doorstep. Representatives provided a range of fun demonstrations and interactive exhibits, including chemical science experiments, dry ice, and electrical demonstrations as well as a volcano-shaped pinball feature demonstrating the potential of stem cells in healthcare. Mini Professors, who run classes in Winchester and Basingstoke Discovery Centres, also promoted the fun science offers even at preschool age.

The weekend opened with 3 sold-out events on Friday. Dr Ben Littlefield’s Festival Opener demonstrations of the explosive chemical processes of life – with audience participation, but not to be tried at home! Science presenter and rapper Jon Chase continued the high energy performance, the audience joined in with his fun and fact-filled raps to explore some of the norms and extremes of the solar system.

On Saturday the wet weather arrived, but the Discovery Centre provided the perfect option to see the festival and continue with Summer Reading Challenge 2017! And there’s still time to sign up at your local library and get started.

The Animal Agents theme was extended to science with Dr Seshadri Nadathur’s ‘A Cosmic Detective Story’, looking to the night sky to be a cosmic detective yourself. Dr Lucie Green, the first female presenter of the BBC’s Sky At Night series and leading solar scientist, described ‘Our Brilliant Sun’ as we know it and as we may come to know it with future space missions. On Sunday Carrie Anne Philbin from the Raspberry Pi Foundation spoke about Digital Making: Creativity and project-based learning with Raspberry Pi, which related heavily to Hampshire Libraries’ upcoming projects and courses in two branch Makery studios.

This was the perfect reminder that the Hampshire library-based science and technology fun continues throughout the summer and beyond. Follow Fleet and Fareham’s Makery pages and sign up at to find out more.


Featured image credit: Dave Hughes, Hampshire Skeptics.

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