The bizarre sound of home-made instruments heralded the launch of a major science festival.
Newcastle University’s Street Science Team a were at the city’s Grey’s Monument to celebrate the opening of ticket lines for the British Science Festival with their straw kazoos, Marigold glove-a-phones and shoe box guitars.
The festival, which is expected to attract international visitors in their thousands, will take place in the city from September 7 to 12.
Kate Sinclair, festival officer at the British Science Association, said: “The musical demonstration is just a taster of the many weird and wonderful ways for people of all ages and differing levels of scientific knowledge to get involved in the science spectacular which will sweep through Newcastle in September.
“The booking lines are now officially open and the programme boasts a total of over 250 interesting and intriguing events spanning everything from fun at the weekend with the family, nights out with friends and ways to explore the very latest research.”
Newcastle University is hosting the festival with Northumbria University and Newcastle City Council as partners.
The festival is one of Europe’s largest and longest-running public science events and will provide the region with the chance to showcase its scientific and technological credentials to the world.
An exciting programme is lined up for families, adults, professionals and school groups.
Newcastle University Street Scientist Ian Reeds said: “Today we are warming up to what we hope will be a world-class celebration to mark a world-class event in the city.
“We want as many people as possible to come along to join our flashmob orchestra – to create their own instrument while learning about the science of sound.”
The festival will kick-off with an entire weekend dedicated to educating and entertaining families including everything from a real night in the museum and science superheroes to freaky food of the future and walking on custard.
Famous faces lined up to appear include Michael Mosley, who is credited with popularising the 5:2 fasting diet and who will discuss the connection between food and ageing with Newcastle University’s Dean for Ageing, Professor Tom Kirkwood.
Among other big name events are fertility expert Lord Robert Winston’s talk about his latest interests in science, space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock’s reveal of the latest in space exploration and DJ Simon Mayo’s introduction of his children’s science fiction novel Itch along with some live experiments with the elements. To order tickets visit www.britishsciencefestival.org or call 0845 680 7207.
The Street Science team will join forces with Framwellgate School, Durham, for a closing celebration on September 12. For information visit www.ncl.ac.uk/streetscience