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13 November 2014

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You are in: Manchester > Science > Science features > Manchester Science Festival 2008

Girl scientist looking at fire tornado

Fire tornado: but what is it? See below

Manchester Science Festival 2008

It seems only fitting that Manchester, the world's first industrial city, celebrates its contributions to science and engineering with its own Science Festival. Back for a second year, we find out what's on:

In 2007, the inaugural Manchester Science Festival featured 100 events at 31 venues across Greater Manchester and attracted an audience of over 50,000 people.

Manchester Science Festival 2008 logo

It even coined a new word - Manchesticity (n): defined as 'the endeavours, achievements and unique ideas of the people of Manchester.'

Now, it's back in 2008 with double the number of events and a greater emphasis on interactive demonstrations aimed at appealing to youngsters.

Kitchen science - downloads

Organisers of the festival say their aim is to inspire everyone to learn about science and encourage more people to consider careers in science and technology.

Girl balancing cork on her nose (c) MOSI

Balance a cork on your nose (c) MOSI

Laura Drane, festival director said: "The idea is to show that science affects all our lives. You can meet scientists face-to-face, find out what goes on inside laboratories, and even have a go at doing some of your own experiments."

There will be dramatic chemistry and physics demonstrations - including walking on custard! Download these experiments to try at home:


The Festival is the culmination of a programme of one-day science events held in 10 secondary schools throughout Greater Manchester. Students had the chance to meet leading experts in fields such as climate change, jet engines, imagery for X-rays and CAT scans and clinical biochemistry.

Among those scientists and speakers taking part are Trevor Baylis, inventor of the clockwork radio, cartoonist Martin Rowson and science fiction writer Stephen Baxter.

2008 Festival: themes

This year's festival is divided into four themes:

  • Mind & Body: activities about our brains and brawn
  • Manchesticity: the city's achievements, ideas, people & places
  • Planet: looking at our impact on the Earth and space
  • The Elements: atoms; earth, wind water, fire; and weather!

NB. A fire tornado is created when a rotating cylinder causes air molecules to spin and they collide with hot air rising from a flame. This creates a vortex as the flame whirls up to make a tornado effect.

last updated: 24/10/2008 at 09:08
created: 23/10/2008

You are in: Manchester > Science > Science features > Manchester Science Festival 2008

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