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Learning the ropes at the Science Festival

Posted: 26 March 2017

A post by Sonal Katyal and Leo Bear-McGuinness, from the Science Communication MSc at The University of Edinburgh

That’s a wrap! After eight days at Edinburgh International Science Festival over the eight weeks before the Festival we have sadly finished our internship. We’ve had an amazing time, getting to know all the dedicated staff members and learning how Europe’s biggest annual science festival comes together – not to mention getting to play with LEGO® bricks!

With advice and guidance from our colleagues, we designed, created and delivered three public workshops for the Festival Programme Launch and Opening Party. For the brochure launch we were given the arduous task of having to play every video game on a fully-kitted VR headset to test which games would be appropriate for a drop-in activity for the public! After several hours of hard work we settled on a choice few games, selecting a mix which showcased the wonder of the technology and lasted long enough to give everyone to get a chance to play. We also designed several activities using the construction toys CUBELETS, both tasks really deepened our understanding of just how much work and thought goes into making a workshop for the Festival – and how rewarding it is when you finally deliver an activity to the public!

We also lent a hand with evaluating Careers Hive an immersive education event to promote STEM careers for students in S1-S3 which took place at the National Museum Scotland. The students really seemed to enjoy all the different activities and it was heartening to see so many discussing a future in science with the staff volunteers. It was a fantastic opportunity to see another side to the Science Festival’s impact, and how it fosters science appreciation in people of all ages.

Finally, we were tasked with creating an engaging make and take workshop for the Festival launch party at the City Art Centre. Staying with this year’s Festival theme Get Connected, we came up with a fun game where participants made friendship bracelets and broaches from coloured electrical wires that match their social media networks. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the creativity the workshop provided and we were both happy that our final project was such a success.

Thanks again to the amazing and dedicated staff at Edinburgh International Science Festival. Good luck for next year!