Robots, DNA technology and science fiction to feature at new science festival

The Potteries is set to host a brand new festival dedicated to inspiring young minds to fall in love with science.

Set over two days on July 3rd and 4th at different venues across the City, organisers of the Potteries Science Festival have invited NASA professors researching global warming and DNA engineers from San Diego to showcase their research alongside leading  Staffordshire and UK based scientists.

Primary and secondary school students will have an opportunity to try a host of exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Expo activities, including robot coding and 3D printing, and even to embark on trips into outer space courtesy of the Keele University inflatable Stardome planetarium.

A series of interactive evening talks hosted at the Mitchell Arts Centre will bring together CGI company Framestore, makers of the films The Martian and Gravity, who will explain how the boundaries between science and science fiction are becoming blurred, and world-renowned barrister, Michael Mansfield QC, who will delve into the reliability of DNA technology as a tool in forensic science.

Mark Parton of the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College, one of the organisers of the event, said:

“The festival will celebrate Stoke-on-Trent’s rich and dynamic technological past as well as its exciting and vibrant future.

“While the Potteries can boast two universities and a hospital where biomedical research takes place daily, the scientific culture of our city is not something we tend to shout about and we wanted to change that.

“We want to enthuse people of all ages about science, to raise the ambitions of the local community and to inspire local children to pursue STEM studies and ambitious STEM careers.

“We have scoured the planet and beyond to bring some of the best global scientists into the heart of our city to share their findings this summer.”

The festival is an area wide collaborative initiative between Staffordshire University, the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College, Keele University, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, the University of Exeter, universities network Higher Horizons, community organisation Wave-maker and SASCAL, the Stoke-on-Trent secondary headteachers’ group. With presenters from across the country travelling to Staffordshire for the festival, it promises to be a truly global experience.

The festival also features a series of school led investigations and competitions open to all students with categories including science photographer, science writer, scientist of the year and school engineer.

For more information about the Potteries Science Festival and to book your tickets for the evening event go to potteriessciencefestival.org