Bridgwater Science Festival
29th May 2015
We are delighted to say that the attendance at the Town Hall on Saturday 23rd was well above our expectations. The ‘Family Fun Day’ was busy from start to finish, with an estimated 800 visitors throughout the day. That is a massive increase on 2014, where approximately 300 people attended across the whole week.
Also on Saturday 23rd, the two children’s shows – Fizz Pop Bubbles, and a Fossil Puppet Show – both totally packed out the Charter Hall. The three adult talks – Extreme Weather (Met. Office), Butterflies (Butterfly Conservation), and Spectroscopy (Wells & Mendip Astronomers) – each had respectable audiences of between 20 and 35 watching.
Events also took place during May half term, with attendances well over 1000 people across all events. A wide range of science topics were covered during the week from approximately 20 organisations, including space / astronomy, microbiology, archaeology, composting, future transport, reptile handling, water tests, psychology, food waste, robotics, chemistry (making goo / slime), butterflies, extreme weather, a bubble show and a puppet show, and fossils.
This has been made possible by grant funding from Bridgwater Town Council, and sponsorship from Institute of Physics (South West), and the free and voluntary attendance by the groups who provided the activities, talks and shows. The University of the West of England provided volunteers from a number of areas of research including Robotics, Psychology, and Microbiology (from the Science Communication Unit), and UWE’s Centre for Transport and Society had details on the Venturer project (self-driving vehicles). The University also ran workshops at EDF Visitor Centre in Angel Place during the week – the Science Communication Unit team returned with results from some of the experiments they ran on Saturday, as well as new activities on Water Filtration, Electrical Conduction, and the Avalon Marshes.
Founder Tom Payne said “It was incredible to see the amount of people at the Town Hall. The number of children and adults who were entertained and engaged by the science on show was amazing, and to see even more people come to the EDF Visitor Centre in Angel Place during the week for even more great science was the icing on the cake”.
Bridgwater Science Festival will return in 2016 – we have so many ideas and thoughts on how to expand and improve, and get more children and adults engaging with science. Look out for more events from Bridgwater Science Festival in the future.
Comments from evaluation sheet (Saturday 23rd May @ Bridgwater Town Hall).
What did you enjoy about the day?
“It was amazing. We loved it, so did the kids!”
“The children really enjoyed the day. They found it fun and interesting.”
“Good variety of subjects.”
“We enjoyed all of the displays. People were very informative and friendly.”
“We need more days like this in Bridgwater.”
What could be improved?
“Involve local schools.”
“Very good. Do this more often!”
About Bridgwater Science Festival
The Bridgwater Science Festival is organised as a non-profit community group, ran by volunteers. Founder Tom Payne wanted to bring entertaining, engaging and inspiring science activities to Bridgwater. He launched Bridgwater Science Festival in 2014 on a minimal budget, largely self-funded and entirely non-profit and vountary. Following the success of the first year, he gained additional sponsorship from Bridgwater Town Council and the Institute of Physics which allowed the Bridgwater Science Festival to move to the Town Hall in Bridgwater town centre. It remains free to attend, free to exhibit and entirely volunteer run and non-profit.
For more details, please visit:
To contact Tom Payne, please: