Science and Technology Facilities Council
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A family festival of science fun will celebrate Daresbury Laboratory's 50th birthday

An extravaganza of science for all the family will be taking place at Daresbury Laboratory on Sunday 30th September, as it celebrates its 50th birthday.

From tasting space food, to exploding custard, and from a very extraordinary giant robot, to a walk through the Large Hadron Collider, whether you are 3 or 53, there will be something to fascinate you at Daresbury’s Mini Festival of science.  There will be loads of opportunities to get your hands on some amazing science fun, as well as learn about some of the cutting edge science that takes place here at Daresbury.

For the younger ones, there are loads of fun things to do, such as making UV bracelets that change colour in the sun, making key rings from ‘smart materials’ and singing to mini robots to make them dance as well as getting closer to nature, learning about moths and bees.

Regardless of your age, one of the highlights of the day will no doubt be the Exploding Custard show, which will take the audience through do-it-yourself kitchen table science.  Be careful, you might find yourself in a bubble.  And custard really will explode!

If you’re interested in the solar system, then an out-of-this-world journey through space in our STARlab will definitely appeal, followed by a look at some real moon rocks and meteorites.

If robots are more your thing, then Titan, the most extraordinary robot, will entertain you.  At eight feet tall he’s a star himself, having performed with Rihanna, toured with JLS, and has even appeared on Big Brother! You will then get the opportunity to programme a mini robot yourself.

No-one could miss the recent discovery of the elusive Higgs Boson at the Large Hadron Collider.  You’ll have the rare opportunity to walk through an interactive life-size model of part of the LHC tunnel yourself and see part of the largest science experiment in the world.

Did you know that Daresbury Laboratory is home to the UK’s most powerful supercomputer? You might be interested to find out what stunning experiments can be done with it, and also a bit more about the history of computing and take a look at some really old ones.

Jane Binks, Head of Communications and Outreach for Daresbury Laboratory, which is part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, said: “Our Mini Festival will be a day of inspiration and explanation.  There will be a multitude of fun things to do, but behind each one is a common theme, and that is that science is both fascinating and fun, touching every aspect of our lives, from food, to laptops to nature. We are looking forward to doing something really exciting for families in celebration of our 50th birthday, and at the same time, capturing the imaginations of our mini scientists of the future.”


Wendy Ellison
Press Officer
Tel: 01925 603232

Images available:

Image 1: Titan, the extraordinary robot
Image 2: Aerial view of Daresbury


The Science and Technology Facilities Council is keeping the UK at the forefront of international science and tackling some of the most significant challenges facing society such as meeting our future energy needs, monitoring and understanding climate change, and global security.

The Council has a broad science portfolio and works with the academic and industrial communities to share its expertise in materials science, space and ground-based astronomy technologies, laser science, microelectronics, wafer scale manufacturing, particle and nuclear physics, alternative energy production, radio communications and radar.

STFC operates or hosts world class experimental facilities including:

  • in the UK; ISIS pulsed neutron source, the Central Laser Facility, and LOFAR. STFC is also the majority shareholder in Diamond Light Source Ltd
  • overseas; telescopes on La Palma and Hawaii

It enables UK researchers to access leading international science facilities by funding membership of international bodies including European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL), European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

STFC is one of seven publicly-funded research councils. It is an independent, non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

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