Brighton Science Festival


Bright Sparks
Hove Park School
Nevill Road
Hove, BN3 7BN
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Disabled Access
Sunday 12 February 2017, 10:00am-5:00pm

Online ticket sales have closed now, but there will be tickets on the door

The festival’s flagship event lands in Hove for a whole weekend of hands-on science fun, with an exciting array of activities for children and their parents.

There will be over 50 stalls, stands and shows across the two days, with presenters and science communicators on hand to help you get involved and explain the hard bits.

Even if you’ve been in the past it’s definitely worth coming back this year as there’s more new stuff than ever before. We’ve got ultrasound objects made of thin air, robots that react to light and telescopes that let you look at the sun. You’ll see earthworms and snakes, handle kitchen chemicals and hear scientific poetry. You’ll build brains, train snails and make Minecraft mods. You’ll have so much fun you won’t even realise you’re learning.

Online ticket sales have closed now, but there will be tickets on the door

    • Tickets: £6 per person
    • Special family deal: 2 adults, 2 children for £21
    • FREE for under 7s
    • FREE for Compass or Carers’ Card holders (card required)
    • Available online or on the door, but advanced booking recommended
    • Online ticket sales have closed now, but there will be tickets on the door

Recommended age 7-14. Refreshments available to buy onsite.
Listings vary between Saturday & Sunday and are subject to change.

Bright Sparks Programme for Sunday

Space Pianos and Invisible Shapes
Researchers at the University of Sussex are bringing … nothing … or what looks like nothing, just empty air. But although you can’t see anything, you can feel objects, created by focusing ultrasound beams to make patches of air seem solid. This is cutting-edge research. More info.
Blast Science Extravaganza at Brighton Science Festival Blast Science: The Materials Show
Stuff is made of stuff. And that stuff is made of different stuff. But THAT stuff is made of the same stuff. It’s true! Join Blast Science as they delve into what the universe and all the stuff in it is made of. Get involved as we concoct strange potions and examine the nature of solids, liquids and gases. The world needs more young people to get fired up about chemistry and we are here to help. With live experiments, interactive science, mild humiliation and explosive entertainment. 50 minutes running time. 11:00am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm, 3:30pm. No booking required.
Brighton Science Festival Bright Sparks Sunday, Hove Park School, Sun 14 February, 10:00am-5:00pm Critters & Cockroaches
Interact with intriguing insects with some of the many-legged residents of Drusilla’s Park – and their keepers. Meet a giant millipede, and get up close and personal with a (surprisingly friendly) Madagascan hissing cockroach.
insect feeders Make a Minibeast Feeder
Although they’re most well known for the protection of birds, the RSPB also look out for all sorts of other animals – butterflies, bees, bears, axolotls, and everything in between. Create an appealing insect feeder and keep your minibeasts well fed this winter.
earth worm Earthworm Watch
Civilisation would never have been possible without the earthworm. Victoria Burton shows you some of the 29 different kinds in our soil, and describes how important they are. Meet some friendly earthworms, and perhaps join in the nationwide worm survey. More info.
Kitchen Cupboard Chemistry
Masterchef meets molecules as we throw open the kitchen cupboard and reveal the secret science within. Use washing powder to create oxygen, get the CO2 out of your cake mix, and stock up on hydrogen using nothing but lemon juice and vinegar. Put chemistry back in the kitchen! 1 hour sessions. 11:00am, 1:30pm and 3.30pm start. No booking required.
Marble Run Making
Feel the gravity of the situation – armed with nothing but recycled takeaway containers and a handful of marbles, you can construct your very own marble run and harness the forces of gravity.
Live Sentences!
Grappling with grammar? Perplexed by punctuation? Bursting to break the rules of the English language? We invite you to shatter the rules of the English language. Become an adverb or a preposition and make the silliest sentences you can.
Sun Spotting!
ESAS show off their solar telescope, which shows sun-spots and solar flares without damaging your eyes, or if it’s cloudy, looking for some interesting, edible astronomical objects around the sports field – Milky Way, Galaxy, Mars Bar… Plus bottle rockets.
From the Lab to your Chemist
Find out what happens inside GalxoSmithKline, one of the biggest pharmaceutical laboratories in the world – and see how medicines make their way from an experiment in a lab to being stocked on the shelves of chemists and pharmacies. More info.
Wonderful Wood
Remarkable things can be created by understanding the amazing properties of wood. Discover its beauty and strength and learn how to build hardy yet lightweight structures… including a 16ft bridge-in-a-suitcase. Sessions take place every half an hour. No booking required.
Sci-ku Haiku Poetry Lab
Human trials are now being conducted to determine the effects of fusing science and poetry. Previous experiments show this results in enormous leaps in technology and creativity, and has led to innovations that have both improved and endangered the human condition worldwide.Dare you take part?
Living Architecture
Who needs Lego? Discover how buildings stand up by using your body to explore the forces that are at work in structures. Start body building and may the forces be with you. Workshop times are as follows: 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 3:00pm. No booking required.
swimming with plankton Swimming with Plankton
Phytoplankton are the base of the food chain in aquatic systems and generate about half of the oxygen on the planet. Iona Scott’s ethereal underwater projection will plunge you into an hypnotic submarine world, revealing the beauty of this microscopic landscape on a human scale.
South Downs Stargazing Activities
Take a look into the cosmos with the South Downs National Park – now awarded international Dark Skies Reserve Status. Take part in hands-on stargazing activities and find out more about the dark side of the National Park.
Ensemble Automata Workshop
Creativity combines with science and engineering in an attempt to build the world’s longest automaton. Delve into a junk box of curious objects and levers, pulleys and spinning wheels – fitting them together to build a giant kinetic artwork. More info.
Brighton Science Festival Bright Sparks Sunday, Hove Park School, Sun 14 February, 10:00am-5:00pm Reptiles & Amphibians
What’s the largest snake in the world? How long is a chameleon’s tongue? How many legs does a millipede have? Learn the answers to these questions and handle some of these amazing creatures in a safe, fun and educational way with enthusiastic experts.
Giant Drawing Machines
In a fusion of maths and mechanics, these giant drawing machines can create complex Lissajous patterns, giant-sized hands, or whip up a portrait of your friend in minature. Deceptively simple and gloriously complex at the same time – get drawing!
Building Bridges
Put your engineering skills to the test in this bridge-building challenge. Armed only with paper and sticky tape, your mission is to build a bridge strong enough to withstand a weighty cargo of chocolate. Are you up for the challenge?
Lifting the Lid on Software
Ever wondered what it’s like to be a computer programmer? Come and have a go at “coding” at one of our programming workshops where you can try making “mods” in Minecraft on the Raspberry Pi computer. We’ll also show you how we use programming in the real world to control industrial automation processes. From Eurotherm by Schneider Electric. More info.
Behavioural Science with LSE
Take part in a live behavioural science game show! Answer questions, play games, win tokens, earn prizes, and gain insights about behavioural science along the way! Covering everything from altruism to moral dilemmas. More info.
What is Amateur Radio?
There’s more to radio than listening to The Archers, amateur radio operators can tune into signals that are out of this world – the International Space Station and other passing satellites. Scan the skies to try and reach even further into space.
Cancer is not simple
Cancer is not a simple disease – and discussion of it is often riddled with misconceptions. Share some of the science that will make tomorrow’s cancer journey less frightening and more survivable. Each person’s cancer is slightly different.
What can robots teach us about biology?
Like animals, robots have to try to make their way through a complex and ever-changing world. We’re interested in how robots can help us answer questions about biology. To show you what we mean, we’ve brought along some biologically inspired light-sensitive robots. Come and have a go at some of our robot games if you think you’ve got what it takes.
Science Toy Shop
Come and be inspired by games, models and machines from Herstmonceux Observatory Science Centre. Some are simple, some are sophisticated – all are informative and fun. Plus special festival shop offers and some spectacular science busking.
University of Southampton Research Roadshow
Get a glimpse of the latest research in engineering and medicine, with activities to help explain new ideas in biodiversity, transport management and superbugs. Play games, quizzes and go on an iPad tour through your future in an ageing society.
Sussex Wildlife Trust Sussex Wildlife Trust
Conservationists mastermind vast biodiversity projects, while the public increasingly inhabit cities with hardly a scrap of wildlife left. The paradigm is shifting. What’s to be done? From saving a few birds to protecting species, to protecting their habitats, to encouraging biodiversity. Today most people are urban and increasingly disconnected with nature. Where to next?
Science Bookshop
City Books join us with their magnificent pop-up bookshop featuring a huge range of educational and creative books.