Big Bang: Edinburgh’s International Science Festival

Kid Friendly, Things to Do — By Christina Maria Paschyn on April 6, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Are your eyes often glued to the Discovery Channel? Does studying thermodynamics or quantum physics make you squeal with joy? Are you an ardent fan of Alexander Graham Bell, or is The Big Bang Theory your favorite show? Then get ready, because, just like particles in heated gas, your atoms are about to frantically collide in anticipation.

Encourage your child's love of science!

The Edinburgh International Science Festival runs from Saturday April 9 until April 22,  and promises to be a stimulating event for those in all age groups and interests, from budding science fair enthusiasts still in grammar school to undergraduate biology candidates to middle-aged geeks.

The festival’s presentations, workshops, and shows are being held in locations throughout the city. Ticket prices vary depending on the event. Here are some highlights:

Dr. Bunhead in Pyromania at Usher Hall, Saturday April 9

Described as TV’s most extreme scientist, Dr. Bunhead will put on a “pyrotechnic extravaganza” (don’t take your child if s/he has a propensity for playing with matches or blowing things up!). You can also be a part of the Doctor’s live Guinness Book of World Records attempt to create the longest glow-in-the-dark necklace.

Improbable Research: Make People Laugh, Then Think at the Jam House, April 17

Here’s your chance to learn why named cows give more milk or why swearing relieves pain. Marc Abrahams is the organizer of the “Ig Nobel Prizes,” which honor research that makes people ‘laugh, then think.’ He is also the editor of the magazine Annals of Improbable Research and a Guardian columnist, so join Abrahams and a group of fellow “Ig Nobel”-winning scientists for what will certainly prove to be a rather interesting and unique discussion.

Pretty Pretty Bang Bang: The Science of Fireworks at George Square Theatre, Tuesday April 19

Now you don’t have to wait for the end of the Edinburgh International Festival (which, by the way, is September 4) to see a dazzling display of lights, colors, and rockets! Professor Jackie Akhavan will explain how these spectacular explosions work and demonstrate how to make the perfect firework.

The Way of the Panda at Informatics Forum, Thursday April 21

Pandas will be arriving soon at Edinburgh Zoo, so impress your friends at the welcoming party with your expert knowledge of these rare and stunning animals. Author Henry Nicholls will explore the lovable creatures’ political significance and history.

Video Game Studio at Stevenson College, Monday April 11 and Wednesday April 13

Obsessed with your Xbox? At this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn all about the gaming industry and try out some of the latest technology. You’ll even get to create your own animated video game to take home with you!


Even adults will have fun (in this case, apparently exploring a cadaver in a special evening program)!

All images courtesy of the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

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