October Half Term Craft Workshops in Manchester

During October half term the Manchester Craft & Design Centre have teamed up with the Manchester Science Festival to let you get up close and personal with the chemicals, reactions and elements artists use in their art in a series of interactive craft workshops.

From Monday 23rd until Saturday 28 October 2017 the Manchester Craft & Design Centre will throw open the doors to their public workshop for a week of craft workshops and hands-on experiments.See a range of weird, wonderful and fascinating processes in action as artists create everything from jewellery to vessels sculptures and artworks.

You’ll also be invited to get stuck in yourself, getting to grips with craft workshops that’ll show you just how much science underpins everything in the art world. All the craft workshops are free of charge and there’s no booking required.

October Half Term Craft Workshops in Manchester

October Half Term Craft Workshops in Manchester

Monday 23 October, 2-5pm
Be inspired by glassmaker and jeweller Charlotte Verity and use the rare lampworking technique to melt glass to make your own bead to take away.

Tuesday 24 October, 2-5pm
Join artist Nell Smith to experiment with two methods of printmaking. Firstly using a small modern etching press to print a lino illustration and secondly using a 1950s Adana letterpress to overprint lettering.

Wednesday 25 October, 2-5pm
Give pewtersmithing a bash with Ella McIntosh of This Is Pewter. Test the boundaries of pewter by combining textures, pewter (a very soft metal), and the rolling mill to make your own keyring.

Thursday 26 October, 2-5pm
Gemma Scully specialises in water casting. This is heating different metals until they melt and then dropping them into different volumes of water. You’ll be able to try this fun process where the results are different every time.

Friday 27 October, 2-5pm
Learn about the properties of thermoplastics with Julia Roy Williams of Wonderhaus. We’ll be working with heat guns and perspex, learning how to heat and shape plastic to create wearable art jewellery.

Saturday 28 October, 2-5pm
Have a go at plique a jour enamelling with glass artist Helen Tiffany. Have a go at grinding the enamel and filling your own metal charm. Your charm will be fired for you to take away.

October Half Term Craft Workshops in Manchester

The Manchester Craft & Design Centre is located in the heart of Manchester’s creative Northern Quarter. This former Victorian fish and poultry market is home to 18 independent studio shops. Over 30 talented artists and designer-makers are based there and create and sell their handmade work direct to the public.

All of these craft workshops are free of charge and there’s no booking required.

What’s On: Manchester Science Festival 2017

The family-friendly programme for this year’s Manchester Science Festival has been unveiled. The 11 day science extravaganza is packed with events, including a robot playground, family rave and a wild dinosaur experience.  

This year’s festival runs from Thursday, 19 October to Sunday, 29 October and features more than 100 events at venues across Greater Manchester including Rochdale, Oldham, Stockport and Bolton as well as the city centre.

Headlining the Manchester Science Festival at the Museum of Science and Industry, will be the blockbuster exhibition Robots which explores the quest to recreate humans in robotic form. Smaller robot fans can also explore the themed activities at the Robots Playground featuring Miro the RoboDog, Nao the dancing robot and a host of other metallic friends.

Manchester Science Festival
Credit: Numen/For Use

Also headlining the Manchester Science Festival is Tape, by award-winning artists Numen/For Use. They are transforming the 1830 Warehouse at the Museum of Science and Industry into a giant spider’s web made from sticky tape. Visitors can climb through a translucent “stretched biomorphic skin” strung above the ground and crawl along winding networks of cocooning passageways.

Other events at the Museum of Science and Industry include Scribble Bots, Human vs Machine and Lego Space Rovers. Plus two fantastic immersive smartphone adventures featuring Ada Lovelace and Hedy Lamarr, The Lost Program and Reporting For Duty.  

Further afield, visit the #CitizenScience Showcase to find out how people just like you are helping to make world-changing discoveries or experience the AquAIRium, a “dry aquarium” that brings every sound, scent and surface of the ocean to life. Puzzles, problem-solving and PlayStations: it’s all about experimental gaming at GameLab where for good measure, they’ll also take your mutt’s mugshot portrait using the latest camera technology. All three events are held at the MediaCityUK campus of the festival’s lead educational sponsor, the University of Salford.

Sing along to the A-Z of science with the Ensonglopedia of Science or discover the weird things the human voice can do at Electrifying the Voice. Music-lovers can enjoy science raps at the Hip Hop Science Stop Weekender. Experiments get excitingly explosive at Quantum of Science, while things that rain down from the sky is the subject of Meteorites and Fireballs.

Enjoy a creepie crawly boogie woogie at Big Fish Little Fish’s family rave. Encounter some Dinosaurs in the Wild and get hands on with the archives (and some Lego robots) in Science at Central.

There’s yet more hands-on fun at A Grand Exposition. A four-day celebration of the region’s diverse community of artists, makers and creative technologists, and The Science Studio. Visitors can get up close and personal with the chemicals, reactions and elements artists use in their art. The young coders of Manchester can test their hacking skills at HackManchester Junior; plus TV astronomer Mark Thompson will explore the magical properties of matter with exploding elephant’s toothpaste and vortex generating dustbins in Mark Thompson’s Spectacular Science Show.

The popular Pi: Platform for Investigation returns with daily events at the Museum of Science and Industry; featuring the real-life amazing researchers investigating subjects including flooding, dementia and killer fungi.

For more information and to see the full programme of events at the Manchester Science Festival, visit www.manchestersciencefestival.com

An audience with Astronaut Tim Peake in Manchester

On Saturday we set off an an out of this world adventure at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry (known locally as MSI). We were part of a small audience with astronaut Tim Peake – something the small boy was beside himself with excitement about. 

Tim was there for a very special event, a trailblazer for the Manchester Science Festival. He was there to talk about his adventures on board the International Space Station. 

Tim Peake

Aspiring astronauts hoping to follow in Tim’s footsteps were able to hear him speak about his experiences in orbit and quiz the spaceman on what life is really like on board a space station.

Tim returned from the six month long Principia mission in June this year. During the mission Tim carried out a spacewalk and ran the London Marathon in space. His mission has inspired thousands of British schoolchildren to learn more about space – the small boy and his class grew some “space seeds” at school which had been sent from the International Space Station, and for several months we keenly followed Tim’s adventures in space.

As you can imagine, the room was filled with school children excited to see their astro-hero, the interviewers did a fine job of asking him about his adventures in space, illustrated for the most part by photographs which Tim had taken.

Tim Peake

After the fascinating interview (which was live streamed if you want to watch it for yourself) the audience of children were given the chance to ask Tim questions. There were some really good questions, but the one about space toilets really stuck with me. Apparently 90% of the urine is recycled into drinking water, with the remaining 10% being bagged up and disposed of in the trash.

Tim Peake

As an adult I was incredibly excited to be in the same room as Tim Peake, but the small boy, who is just 5 years old has now met someone who is a real hero. He will remember this day for the rest of his life, and I hope he will be inspired, if not to go into space, but at least shoot for the stars. As Tim says, there’s no direct route to being an astronaut, but working hard and having fun are a big part of the journey.

The small boy had managed to bag himself a front row seat for this audience with British Astronaut Tim. You can watch a short video of our morning below –

Tim Peake’s appearance in Manchester was part of a seven-date UK tour organised by the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency and was the trailblazer event for the Manchester Science Festival 2016.

Manchester Science Festival 2016 marks the end of the city’s year-long role as European City of Science, and runs throughout half-term from Monday 20 October – Sunday 30 October.

You can read my preview of the Manchester Science Festival here.

Tim Peake

For more information and full event listings for the Manchester Science Festival 2016 visit their website.

What’s On: Manchester Science Festival 2016

With the summer holidays now a dim and distant memory, the programme of events for the Manchester Science Festival 2016 has just been revealed. For ten days in October and throughout the October Half Term they have a jam-packed programme filled with fun and (mostly) free, hands-on family activities for all ages!

Produced by the Museum of Science and Industry and supported by Siemens and the University of Salford, the Manchester Science Festival 2016 runs from Thursday 20 October to Sunday 30 October.

Manchester Science Festival 2016

There are a whole host of events for all the family. Family highlights at the Museum of Science and Industry include: the Virtual Reality Playground for gaming fans and tech loving tots and teens featuring the very latest in VR devices, offering a unique and hands on insight into what the future holds; the Manchester Megapixel which offers visitors the chance to see themselves as pixels and to take part in a giant megapixel installation to be revealed in full on the Festival’s closing day; and Robot Orchestra Live where Manchester’s exclusive robot orchestra – formed entirely from recycled instruments, electronics and junk – perform alongside human musicians at the museum for the first time. This unique musical experience will be conducted by Graphene, a life-sized robot built by Manchester Science Festival 2016 Sponsors Siemens.

Across town, family highlights include the annual Science Jam at the media city campus at the University of Salford. Pop in over the Festival’s opening weekend for a chance to experience life among living machines and venture into a “forest of curiosity” where writers, poets and actors team up with scientists, naturalists, geographers and environmentalists to embark on an interactive journey of discovery.

Harry Potter Fans are in for a rare treat with The Philospher’s Scone. Enjoy an afternoon tea with a difference at Harvey Nichols Manchester. Enjoy miniature cakes and pastries inspired by the world of Hogwart’s most famous student as author and journalist Roger Highfield explains how magic really works. There will also be a screening of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone. Fancy Dress is a must!

Manchester Science Festival 2016

Little explorers and crafty kids can partake in Artist Sundays and Big Draw at the Whitworth to create take home colourful art works inspired by the gallery’s collection; uncover the mysteries of space in the Big Science Telescope Show at Jodrell Bank; go Hunting for Infections at Quarry Bank Mill; Play with oversized orgami, twisted vines and massive paper sculptures at Nightshade at the Gallery Oldham; join in Messy Science at the University of Bolton and in the Science Spectacular at Manchester Museum; have a go at 3D modelling at Z-Arts or silver ring soldering at Manchester Craft and Design Centre – a mere handful of the many drop in and largely free activities taking place throughout the Festival.

Manchester Science Festival 2016

Manchester Science Festival 2016 marks the end of the city’s year-long role as European City of Science, and runs throughout half-term from Monday 20 October – Sunday 30 October.

For more information and full event listings for the Manchester Science Festival 2016 visit their website.

Manchester Science Festival at MOSI

Manchester is no stranger to festivals; we have an inherent party streak and a reason to celebrate most things. This week (24th October to 3rd November 2013) is the Manchester Science Festival produced by The Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI).

Manchester has a proud scientific history and even today our scientists are making groundbreaking discoveries, there is much to shout about. Being Mum to a curious and industrious nearly 3 year old, we thought we’d take him for his first visit to MOSI.

We arrived and straight away we hit the cafe for refreshment. We all had a drink and some cake. I had an enormous and still warm Eccles cake which is basically my idea of heaven. Hodge had an excellent Danish pastry and Splodge a blueberry muffin.

Suitably refreshed, we toddled over to the Power Hall to have a go at making our own Graphene. We were given a bag of bits and some instructions on how to assemble it. Graphene being the most exciting thing to come out of Manchester since The Stone Roses meant that this workshop was incredibly popular. Our little family enjoyed a bit of scientific team building and made our small sheet of Graphene.

Making our own Graphene. Toddler Team-Building
Making our own Graphene.
Toddler Team-Building

Throughout the day the individual sheets are connected and added to a huge molecular model of Graphene outside. By lunchtime it was already impressively huge.

While we were in the Power Hall it seemed rude not to take the train mad toddler to look at the train exhibits, then he spotted the working steam train outside, so we had to have a go. For £2 per adult and £1 per child for a 10 minute round trip we thought it was good value. We sat with the guard and he let Splodge wave his flag to signal to the driver. This was quite possibly the highlight of his little life to date.

While we were by the trains we popped into the Station Building and took part in the Rube Goldberg Machine Workshop. This was really simple, accessible for virtually all ages and fun. Because we’d figured it out (because we’re geniuses obviously) Splodge was given a bag of sweets. This was definitely turning into the best day of his life!

Impressive sourcing of local foods from the MOSI Restaurant

Bellies rumbling, lunch beckoned. We’d already been to the lovely cafe so we decided to head to the restaurant. I was so impressed. There was a brilliant selection of healthy, local, fresh food. Hodge went for the individual cottage pie with roasted new potatoes and beautiful veg. Splodge had a sausage with potatoes and veg, and I, sniffing the air like the Bisto Kid, smelt pizza and just had to have one. I went for the margarita.

The pizzas are freshly made in front of you and cooked to order in a pizza oven. I’m not usually mad keen on pizza as they can be stodgy and dull, but the base was crispy, the tomato sauce tangy and plentiful and the cheese was tasty and wasn’t greasy, it was pretty much up there for me, and I’m a fussy so and so.

A good lunch for the three of us came to around £20, which we felt was exceptional value given the quality and the quantity on our plates. Hodge said he was impressed there were no chips and that the options were on the healthy side. We’re having a light tea as we had a big dinner. I’d certainly go back again.

After lunch we were beginning to flag, so we explored the “Experimental” area where there are hands-on things for kids to try and make and do. This was brilliant, it wasn’t part of the festival but it would easily keep a nipper entertained for a while. There was a small soft play type area where we went for a little sit down. Splodge charged around building towers out of soft bricks and generally have a great time. He was tiring though so we had to choose one last thing and head off home.

We chose to have a mooch around the Air & Space Hall. Being keen on pretty much all forms of transport he raced around shouting “airplane”, loving every minute and pretty much guaranteeing a return visit fairly sharp-ish.

I was a bit disappointed I didn’t get to see the exhibits I wanted to see. If I’d had my clever head on, I would have broken away from the boys and left them to their trains and gone and enjoyed the Ice Lab exhibition by myself. The exhibition apparently gave a sense of what it’s like to live and work in Antarctica. Fascinating.

There were lots more I wanted to see and do and I’m sorely tempted to go back by myself later in the week and spend a bit more time there. Everything we saw and did was really accessible. All the staff and volunteers were so lovely and helpful, especially towards young Splodge.

As it is Science Festival week the place is teeming with guides, keep an eye out for friendly types in bright green t-shirts. It’s also half-term week in Manchester and there is so much going on at the festival. Something for all interests and ages. Have a look at the festival website and see what’s on.