SCIENCE buskers, a pop-up planetarium and space-themed sensory pods are just some of the exciting activities aiming to ignite the imagination of young people in Nottingham.

Returning for its second year, the Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity will help people to discover more about science and technology over the half-term week (Friday 12 to Friday 19 February 2016).

The festival features a range of free engagement activities at three city centre venues and in city neighbourhoods. The activities are aimed at people of all ages but especially children, young people and their families. These include:

  • Nottingham Central Library will host activities such as a Code Club open day
  • National Videogame Arcade in Hockley features Minecraft, robotics and games design
  • Intu Broadmarsh will have a space-themed sensory pod and a pop-up planetarium in the atrium and a programme of activities taking place every day throughout the school holidays.

Things are happening across the neighbourhoods too including demonstrations by “Science Buskers”, who will gives people in the street hands-on experience of simple experimental science. Central College will be showcasing automotive innovation at their EMTEC facility in Ruddington. As a climax to the festival, young people from schools and colleges will be taking part in a special two-day Youth Parliament event called ‘Debate Science!’ at the Council House on the theme of ‘the Future of the Human Being’.

Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Jobs and Skills at Nottingham City Council, said: “I am delighted to see the festival return to Nottingham for its second year. Nottingham has rich history of contributing to science and technology in food and drink, health care, sporting achievements, and creative arts.

“By providing exciting hands-on experience StemCity partners are demonstrating that Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics subjects are everywhere and are for everyone, regardless of their age or background and continue to work towards making Nottingham an international centre for scientific, research and teaching excellence.”

Stemcity (previously StemWorks) is a partner initiative that aims to make the culture of science and technology accessible to people in Nottingham, especially families, and make Nottingham a city where everyone can feel confident about science and technology as well as having the opportunity to explore their curiosity about it.

The group also aims to raise aspirations in young people and hopefully inspire them to think about a career in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects, particularly at Level 3 and beyond.

A total of 21 partner organisations are represented by Stemcity and key partners, including Nottingham City Council, One Nottingham, Futures and Aspire, Nottingham Trent University, The University of Nottingham, Central College, Nottingham City schools, The National Videogame Arcade, STEMNET, Ignite! and intu Broadmarsh.

Hasmita Chavda, Project Development Manager for festival organisers Ignite!, said: “We are thrilled to be curating this year’s festival. There’s a fantastic range of free activities taking place across the city and our website has a calendar so you can plan where you want to go and make the most out of the programme. We’re really hoping that people will let their curiosity lead to a whole load of science fun.”

Last year the Festival welcomed over 5,000 visitors to over 50 events delivered by partner organisations. This year’s festival promises to be even bigger and better.

For details of events and a the full festival calendar go to