Hoops, bubbles, chimps, robots and gin: Newcastle Science Fest returns for 2010

By Culture24 Staff | 02 February 2010
A photo of young men wearing colourful glasses

Festival: Newcastle Science Fest '10, various venues, Newcastle, March 12-21 2010

Newcastle Science Fest was unmistakably a product of the Tyneside city last year.

Launched with fountains of fizz fuelled by pop and sweets, it spawned a premium India Pale Ale in celebration of Darwin's 200th birthday and based an entire research project on whether Geordie oblivity to freezing temperatures was an evolutionary development or simply the result of their commitment to skimpy fashion on nights out.

A photo of a silver robot solving a cube puzzle

RuBot II annihilates a Rubik's Cube

The 2010 version doesn't pull any punches either, introducing an After Dark strand for adults featuring The Secret of Good Sex at Life Science Centre and a cocktail evening to tickle the tastebuds, sponsored by a gin company.

It's not all shot glasses and smut, though – launched with a mass hoola hoopla in the city centre, families can learn the language of chimps, race power tools, meet kinetic freaks and step inside walkthrough bubbles at venues across Newcastle.

A photo of a spider-like metal robot

Animated beauty the iC Hexapod

Maker Faire is back for the opening weekend. Ambitiously (and possibly accurately) described as "the world's premier event" for DIY technology and craft, the show has toured the US and Japan in recent years with a mix of gadgets, garden shed wonders, knitted frivolities and fire.

RuBot II, the robot who has broken the world record for solving the Rubik's cube, is likely to be the star of the show.

A photo of two people lying on a canvas making art with robotic implements

Use Drawbots to make art through robotic spirals

"We are really excited about this year's festival," says Linda Conlon, Chief Executive of the Centre for Life and Director of the Newcastle ScienceFest steering group.

"It really does offer something for everyone, whether you're a science buff or just want to take part in a range of very different, fun but informative activities."

Accompanying events for schools run alongside the 10-day programme, aiming to reach 5,000 pupils.

Visit the Fest online for full listings.

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