Emphasis on fun
Some Science Festivals can be a bit stiff, not so us we hope. All of these activities are a great deal of fun and we'll sneak some scientific principles into your head and you'll hardly notice.
Marble Racing is a thing. Experience Isaac Newton's Laws Of Motion (v = u + at and all that) on our Marble Racing course. Choose your marble colour, have a quick wager on the side with your Dad, release the colourful critters and watch them jostle for pole position on our course made from sand, old plumbing bits, loo rolls and any other bits of stuff we've got laying around the shed.
The Science Tent would not be the same without Paul Granjon on his mission to explore the co-evolution of humans and machines. Indeed, in 2016 he had a year off and it wasn't the same! We welcome back a rockstar maker and the man that bought you the cybernetic parrot sausage, what will he get up to this time?
Games design wizards from Leeds City College will be joining us this year with their computers and technical magic to help you create your own Avatar Mask. Have your photograph taken then play around with some digital wizardry, and before you know it, Bob's your uncle, you've turned your face into a digital clone of yourself that you can wear whilst you stroll disguised around the festival.
Our fourth forensics offering for 2017. The crime this year, with a nod to our theme, is a elaborate robbery involving the Wilderwild gang. No murder this year as far as we know, phew! It's up to you to investigate, document and ultimately solve the crime. Highly recommended.
That's virtual reality to you and me. After 20 years of being a thing, VR is now a thing that you can have a go on and that works. Look like whatshisname out of Daft Punk whilst experiencing the terror of walking the plank 1000ft up in the air and other less brain mangling simulations :)
Manchester Girl Geeks
Manchester Girl Geeks is a not-for-profit group which organises networking events, talks and hands-on workshops for women and girls with an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The Girl Geeks team will be up to all sorts in the science tent this year with a view to inspiring your youngsters regardless of their gender.
Slime is not just something that you find at the bottom of your kitchen swingbin or in the U-bend. There are various types of slime, some are quite disgusting and contain bits of old tea bags and others are not so bad. We will be making a less gross type of slime from our special slime recipe book.
An addictive journey into the world of modular synthesis. We are hooked to be honest. An opportunity to learn a little about how different sorts of waveforms sound and how they can be manipulated in all sorts of different ways. And if you want to sound like Tangerine Dream, you can. Anyone got an oscilloscope we could borrow?
More items of very reasonably priced musical deliciousness to get addicted to and start collecting: Korg Volcas. Tiny bundles of tweakable sound that all do different things but can all be easily synced together. Electronic music making is enjoying something of a golden age at the moment with a new generation of very hands on and cheap (all Volcas cost about £120) toys to play with.
Ableton + Push
Almost twenty years ago yours truly was making terrible music with a room full of gear. Things I bought for £2000 are now worth so little that kids took them to bits in last year's Wrekshop. Sulk. Times have changed drastically, so, with the help of Ableton Live + Push discover the current state of music making.
An old favourite from last year. Take a water bottle, decorate and add fins and various bits to aid stability, or not. Then take your interstellar creation to our launch area where, with assistance from mission control, we will launch your rocket skyward. A very, very exciting thing to do!
Science of the Human Voice
Our new friend Amelia and her team from from York Uni will be providing enlightenment as to how we chat, shout, whisper and sing. Amongst other things they will be running live spectrograms so you can "see" the sounds of your own voice and even calculate the length of your vocal tract. You can even try out their build-your-own-larynx activity using paper models.
Science Busking with Newcastle Uni
We welcome the Newcastle University Street Scientists, a team of enthusiastic students who are specialists in Science Busking, bringing science to life through short, interactive demonstrations. Prepare to be amazed, baffled, inspired and entertained!
Learn how to mix on the '1s' and '2s'. That sort of thing. Of course there is more to being a good DJ than being able to work all the gadgets, which we will teach you. But how do you get a room full of baby-boomers up on their feet? Can you follow Dancing Queen with Shake Your Tail Feather? Those and many more questions answered.
Ah, the annual trip to see Dave at Thirsk recycling centre... over the years we have taken apart quite a lot of electrical bits and bobs to see how they work - just for the sheer joy of trashing stuff. It's not something kids are usually allowed to do and consequently this is a very popular activity! Just keep an eye on your electrics once you return home.
Dan is a champion of all things silicon, but mostly he is an educator on a mission to convey the power of coding. Not noodling about in M$ Excel, but bending machines to do your bidding. If you can code, properly, the digital world will fall at your feet. Dramatic but so, so true :)
Four years ago we built our PiCube out of the first generation Raspberry Pis - 4 Pis, 4 monitors, 4 keyboards, 4 mices all housed in a 4 sided steel frame and great for playing the Linux port of Quake in multiplayer. Since then we have been through loads of versions of the Pi, all more powerful or more convenient than the last one. Find out the current state of all things Pi in the science tent this year...
The BBC Microbit is seen as the successor to the famous BBC Micro from the 1980s. We've been waiting a while for it - 34 years in fact. Every Year 7 child across the UK will be given a Microbit eventually except they are not ready yet. But we will have some at Deer Shed so that you can start writing code ASAP. It's the same ethos as a Raspberry Pi but a simpler beast with more flashing lights.
Did you know that turmeric is magic? As well as tasting great you can make art and magical potions with it! The Colour Experience invite you along to investigate this fantastic stuff by creating chemistry and art that will amaze you! This hands on activity is brought to you using ingredients you can find in your own kitchen, so do try this at home...
Madlab are an innovative electronics company that manufactures electronic kits that you can put together to make your own useful gadgets. From lie detectors to electronic bagpipes they have something for all budgets and all abilities, from beginners to master solderers.
We had so much fun year before last making planes that we thought we'd do it again. Of course H&S considerations exclude the making of 'darts' with their poke your eye out noses but 'darts' are only for sad Dads anyway. Our designs, which we'll teach you, are far, far more sophisticated. We've got loads of indoor flying space and we'll bring back our launch platform to get you a bit more height.
Paul from Pimorini was the fella who designed the Raspberry Pi logo. A good claim to fame. He has been coming to Deer Shed on the bus since the science tent came into existence in 2013. We have watched his Sheffield based company Pimoroni grow quickly over the last few years and are very excited to see what Paul will bring along for you to play with this year.
Ahhh, how all the old fellas in our audience appreciate the youngsters getting into Meccano. Quite right, put your phone down. Build something really great and then nick it when no-ones looking. Replenish, replenish. Don't even get us started about space hoppers ;)
Cyclops Pedal Power
When we talk about 'people power', it's rarely intended to mean people literally generating electricity. Well, it certainly does at Deer Shed! The basic idea behind Cyclops Pedal Power is that the back wheel of a bike is connected to a motor. When someone pedals the bike, the back wheel will turn, and in doing so turn the motor, which then generates electricity.