Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Manchester Science Festival is over...until next year!

Manchester Science Festival is over for another year and we've had a blast! We promised you 9 days of action-packed geek-tastic fun and what an amazing week it was! We've pulled together a selection of highlights.

Domino Computer Challenge
For what was one of the largest attempted domino-based computers, the team created the chain, domino by domino, and then ran it to work out a simple calculation. Once the machine was set in motion, the audience could see the information travelling along the lines of dominoes, and learned how computers work in a similar way. This fantastic event at MOSI played out to a packed audience. It took 10,000 dominoes, 1 day to build, months of planning and just seconds for the dominoes to fall.

The Science of Fish and Chips
At this event at the University of Salford, visitors were served traditional fish and chips from a handy fish and chips van. Five different varieties were served and tasters were encouraged to identify which fish they were eating. Dr Stefano Mariani from Salford's School of Environment and Life Sciences explained the implications on marine eco-systems of over-fishing certain species whilst demonstrating to visitors and their children how different fish look and taste. This blogger tried the fish and chips and can tell you it was delicious!

Science Junkie LIVE
Science is the most extreme of sports. In fact, it is even more important in high adrenaline physical adventures. This live outdoor show, pitted the talents of free-runner Alex Potts against mountain bike superstars Andrei Burton, Joe Seddon and Jack Gear (presented by Greg Foot and Nick Insley and produced by Huw James) all with a heavy bass soundtrack. As the guys flipped and spun through the air confidently, Greg explained to the audience what intense forces were acting on their bodies explaining the control required to make such dare-devilry look effortless.The crowd oohed and aahed as the bikers did bunny hops and flips over the course, while the audience were encouraged to cheer for man or machine in a series of exciting gravity-defying challenges.

Turing's Sunflowers Spirals Count
Members of the public joined Jonathan Swinton and researchers from The University of Manchester to find out how Turing's Sunflower growers contributed to the mathematical story of how sunflowers grow. The results were announced alongside a screening of Turing's Sunflower Diaries, crowd-sourced from footage shot by growers and directed by BBC Outreach staff volunteers. Take a look at the video to find out more.

Shown in MOSI's 1830 warehouse, this film  directed by Duncan Jones (son of David Bowie), explores what it means to be human. Packed with film fans, it was the last in a series of screenings in the atmospheric pop-up cinema space and was also the last event on the very last night of the festival. This moving and often hilarious film was introduced by guest Duncan Wilson who went on to lead a post-film discussion about the themes. 

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for coming to our events and getting involved in what we think was the best festival yet! We loved every minute and can't wait for next year. 

If you took any photos of your experience, we'd love to see them! Please share them on our Flickr page and let us know what you thought of this year's festival by filling in a quick 2 minute survey

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