Brighton Science Festival


Friday 21 February 2020

11.00am - 4.00pm

A full day of discovery and planning to either improve Planet ‘A’ or search for an alternative. The list below is long – over twenty events!

The climate crisis has concentrated our minds wonderfully, and there are many things that can be done to cope with it – big-scale technological fixes, like solar power and wind turbines; and small-scale enterprises and hacks which we can do at home and in our neighbourhood. Join us for talks, games and other activities relating to this beautiful planet we call home. We will find out problems and issues that the Earth is facing and ways to help protect it.

Our mission is to make all science entertaining, including climate change.


The Creative Space Planetarium reveals the variety and the enormity of the cosmos. 

(extra charge: £3.50 see separate listing)

Surely there must be another planet out there – Planet ‘B’ – which we can move to when we’ve done with this one. What would it be like? You choose, helped by our experts.

Design Planet ‘B’  How would you like it? Would the mountains be soft and bouncy; could the snow be flakes of sugar; might gravity be a little gentler?


…Or perhaps we can make Planet ‘A’ better.



Nick Rouse of OVESCO presents a history of energy in two tables, from coal and oil to bike power, wind power, thermo-electric power (as used on the Mars Rover), The mighty Wimshurst Machine and the Stirling engine, powered by a cup of warm tea. So many ways to do it, apart from fossil fuels.

Wind Turbine Workshop:  you can design the next generation of turbines, like the school children HERE


What about simply using less energy? How can we cut down?

Make an energy plan: how to cut down on energy use around your house, and school.

How many lights do you need on in a room? Which is better, shower or bath? How often does the school shut the curtains in the hall and put all the lights on?


Ice Cube Challenge – wrap an ice cube at the start of your visit, then see how it is at the end. Find out how to keep cold things cold and how to keep hot things hot.

Heat conductors and heat insulators… Why does metal furniture feel colder than wooden furniture, when they’re both in the same room? Why is it the other way round in a sauna?

How to find draughts and what to do about them.



The Saw Doctor will put us right about trees. A few factoids: a sapling absorbs more CO2 that the mighty oak next to it; up in the northern hemisphere more trees are being planted than felled. The Amazon rainforest is not the lungs of the Earth – everywhere is! Plastic isn’t taking over: think of houses, furniture, paper, cosmetics, fruit, rubber products… all wood!  Trees were here way before us, and will be here way after us. They aren’t part of the problem, and  can be part of the solution.

Microscopes. Examine a tree in close up. Learn how they communicate.

Blow bubbles through a stick. Surely a twig shouldn’t act lie a straw? but it does!

Build a bridge in a suitcase. It’s a 3 metre wooden bridge that fold away into a case, created by the maestro Gervais Sawyer




The oceans are our back yard – it’s where all our rubbish ends up – clothes, plastic bags, fishing line, sewage, poisons, acids…

Litter Pick Panic. Look at where pollution starts and trace litter back to its source.

Marine Litter Timeline. Match up litter with its breaking down age.

Seashore Safari: test your knowledge. Do you know your whelks from your winkles?




Their elegant scientific demonstration proves CO2 is the guilty gas – and exactly how the molecule warms up the atmosphere.

Another model demonstrates how, as ice  in the Arctic Circle melts, it reflects less sunlight, so the temperature rises, so more ice melts, so even less sunlight is reflected, so Greenland’s melting is accelerating.

What are Fossil Fuels? Do you really know what they are? Take our True or False challenge.

Meet the Greenhouse Gases: Carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, ozone, nitrous oxide and  chlorofluorocarbons, say hello.

Design a poster to make a better world.

Jungle Jenga! Each block represents a species in a biosphere. Remove a species, one by one; watch the biosphere reach its tipping point, then collapse.

On the left, Greenland as it used to be and Greenland as it is becoming. Which one will melt quicker?
On the right, Jungle Jenga

Where are they now?: A card game to help you decide what’s Extinct, Endangered or Safe.

The Mass Extinction Board Game: A game of which bears will survive? Can they adapt quick enough to survive the impact of human activity?

Play your cards right or complete one of the quizzes to win an Extinction Rebellion sticker!



Bug Hunt. In every square metre of garden there are thousands of tiny organisms, visible to a microscope… or at least there should be. See how many you can find. SWT are dedicated to protecting them as well as the bigger stuff.


At St. Augustine’s Arts and Events Centre (see map below for buses and trains)

Friday Feb 21

Suitable for all ages

11.00am – 4.00pm all day drop in.

£3 (free for under 5s). 


Some tickets will be available on the door (cash only)




Vicky Bharj will entertain you with Animal Adaptations (10.00-11.00am), Float and Bloat (11.30am-12.30pm), and Motion In the Ocean, (2.00pm-3.00pm) 

£12 per child (adults free)

For Vicky Bharj and the Planetarium, click on their names, above


Map – (Parking is difficult in the area – better to walk, cycle or use public transport)