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2018 Festival of Science and Curiosity Review

The Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity is over for another year and it's time to reflect on all the great work that happened during the biggest and busiest festival yet!

The Real Science in Schools Symposium kicked the festival off in the best way, with teachers, researchers, pupils and civic dignitaries (including the Lord Mayor, the Sheriff and the MP for Nottingham North) all coming together to discuss how we can provide more opportunities for young people across Nottingham to be involved in authentic scientific research. Speakers Becky Parker and Hephzi Tagoe were brilliant, and there was a real sense of excitement, passion and optimism in the Council House Ballroom!

The major day of the festival was Saturday 17th and this year the scale and profile of the festival across the city centre was unmissable. We took over two floors of Central Library with chemistry demos, a poetry coding workshop, engineering activities run by school pupils and much more. We were all over Broadmarsh shopping centre - there was a disease detective trail around Listergate Square, an installation of the Orion constellation along one of the walkways and loads of pathology activities outside Poundland. Braving the cold on Smithy Row were volunteers with loads of Science Busking activities, the National Videogame Arcade was packed full of microscopes, gravitational lensing and chromatography and up at Broadway the Near Now Explorers Fair was full of budding technologists and engineers.

The library events in Bilborough, Bulwell and Dales Centre during half term were a great success; with over 150 participants at each event, the decision to run fewer, but all-day, library events proved to be right. The physics activity, which involved children sending postcards from 'space', clocked up 90 postcards sent around the UK, and also to Poland, India and St Lucia!

And finally, Nottingham's first ever Schrodinger's Caffe went down a storm at THiNK, where there was a full house and lots of delicious crittery treats on offer. The talks were engaging and everyone got involved in the discussions and interactive activities. We can't wait to organise more of them in Nottingham with Hasmita Chavda!

Thanks to everyone who delivered activities, volunteered their time, participated so enthusiastically and funded the events. Dates for next year's festival are 13th-20th February 2019 and, once we've had a bit of a rest, we can't wait to get started on it!

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