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Family-friendly events announced for Manchester Science Festival 2017

Family rave, scribble bots and dinosaur experience join headline exhibition Robots for 11-day science extravaganza.

The family-friendly programme for this year’s Manchester Science Festival will be announced today, 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, making it the most bold, creative and ambitious science festival in the UK.

Headlining the festival will be the blockbuster exhibition Robots, at the Museum of Science and Industry, which explores humans' 500-year quest to recreate themselves in robotic form, and smaller robot fans will also enjoy the themed activities at the Robots Playground featuring Miro the RoboDog, Nao the dancing robot and a host of other metallic friends.

Also headlining is Tape, by award-winning artists Numen/For Use, who will transform the 1830 Warehouse at the Museum of Science and Industry into a giant spider’s web made from sticky tape, where 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, we’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.

Music-lovers can hear science raps at the Hip Hop Science Stop Weekender, 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. Experiments get 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, where visitors can get up close and personal with the chemicals, reactions and elements artists use in their art. Kid coders of Manchester should test their hacking skills at HackManchester Junior, and 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 ever popular Pi: Platform for Investigation returns, powered by Siemens, with daily events at the Museum of Science and Industry featuring the real-life amazing researchers investigating subjects including flooding, dementia and killer fungi.

Antonio Benitez, Director of the Manchester Science Festival, said: “From an early-morning science rave to a science rap jukebox, this year’s programme is as bold, creative and ambitious as ever, and we can’t wait for you to join us for another city-wide celebration of science.”

The festival is produced by the Museum of Science and Industry. Museum director Sally MacDonald said: “Created with our valued partners from across Greater Manchester and beyond, this annual festival is a fantastic platform to test out new ideas in science communication and offers opportunities for audiences of all ages to explore science in the most creative, inspiring ways.”

To see the full programme, visit

Notes to editors

For more information, images, press tickets and interview requests, please contact Kat Harrison-Dibbits, Press and PR Manager, on 0161 606 0176 or email

This year’s Manchester Science Festival is supported by lead educational sponsor the University of Salford and major sponsors Waters and Electricity North West. The Pi: Platform for Investigation programme is powered by Siemens, and the festival programme sponsor is Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP). The Robots exhibition is sponsored by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), BARA, PPMA BEST and MTA and supported by the Zochonis Charitable Trust. The festival media partner is BBC Focus.

About Manchester Science Festival

Produced by the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester Science Festival (MSF) is a creative, playful and surprising science festival taking place across Greater Manchester. We are the largest science festival in England and the North’s premiere cultural celebration of all things related to science and innovation.

This year’s Festival runs throughout half-term from Thursday, 19 October to Sunday, 29 October and is supported by Lead Educational Sponsor the University of Salford.

Dubbed ‘part laboratory, part playground’, the Festival invites over 100,000 visitors to join us at more than 120 unique and extraordinary events every year, ranging from art installations and theatre to comedy, debates and workshops.

About the Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry tells the story of where science met industry and the modern world began. Manchester was one of the first global, industrial cities, and its epic rise, decline and resurrection has been echoed in countless other cities around the world. From textiles to computers, the objects and documents held in the museum’s collection tell stories of everyday life over the last 200 years, from light bulbs to locomotives.  The museum’s mission is to inspire all its visitors, including future scientists and inventors, with the story of how ideas can change the world, from the industrial revolution to today and beyond.

The Museum of Science and Industry is part of the Science Museum Group, a family of museums which also includes the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York and Shildon; and the Science and Media Museum in Bradford. The Science Museum Group is devoted to the history and contemporary practice of science, medicine, technology, industry and media. With five million visitors each year and an unrivalled collection, it is the most significant group of museums of science and innovation worldwide.

Part of the Science Museum Group