Newcastle ScienceFest

Newcastle ScienceFest is a 10-day event at venues across NewcastleGateshead, with the principal aim of increasing the North East’s enthusiasm for science and encouraging young people to consider a career in this area.

Early historyEdit

The first Science Festival programme in the city ran from 2002 – 2007. In 2008 funding from One NorthEast was awarded for an additional three festivals (2009–2011). The festival is delivered in partnership with Centre for Life, Tyne and Wear Museums, Newcastle Science City, Newcastle University, Newcastle City Council and culture10 as part of NewcastleGateshead’s world-class programme of festivals and events.


In 2009, the festival was re-launched[1][2][3][4][5] with a new brand identity and website. There were three key strands of the programme catering for three different audiences; families, adults and schools. It included two family weekend events (7/8 & 14/15 March) and a series of adult events (lectures/science fiction/performances) during the week, as well as activities specifically for schools.[6] The highlight of the week was the first Maker Faire event in the UK,[7] which was held at the Centre for Life and Discovery Museum on the 14 and 15 March.[8][9][10][11]

Although there was no overarching theme for 2009, some events integrated with the national agenda. For example, to celebrate Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, the festival commissioned the Darwin Brewery in Sunderland to develop a commemorative beer called Natural Selection which was available throughout March.[12]

In 2010, ScienceFest saw the return of Maker Faire – an event for DIY technology and craft, ScienceFest After Dark – a series of late night, adult only events and events specially focussed on developing science literacy skills.

Headline makers included the world’s fastest Rubik’s cube solving robot, Power Tool Drag Racing and the UK’s most advanced musical tesla coil.

Newcastle Science Festival 2010 was attended by 51,000 people, including families, adults and children, across 120 events at 23 locations over a 10-day period. This represents an increase from 2009 where 48,500 people attended the event over a similar 10 day period.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Nicola Juncar (7 March 2009). "Newcastle Evening Chronicle on the festival launch". Newcastle Evening Chronicle. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  2. ^ Published on Friday 6 March 2009 15:38 (6 March 2009). "Hartlepool Mail on the festival launch". Hartlepool Mail. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  3. ^ "The Crack Magazine preview the festival". The Crack Magazine. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  4. ^ "BBC report on pre-festival publicity". BBC News. 16 February 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  5. ^ "Sky News report on pre-festival publicity". Sky News. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  6. ^ Nicola Juncar (10 March 2009). "Pupils make jewellery from their own DNA (on a schools workshop)". Newcastle Evening Chronicle. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  7. ^ Ward, Mark (17 March 2009). "BBC report on Maker Faire". BBC News. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  8. ^ Ward, Mark (25 March 2009). "BBC interviews with Makers attending event". BBC News. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  9. ^ "BBC wants to hear from Makers after Maker Faire". BBC News. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  10. ^ Cawley, Piers (22 March 2009). "The H visit Newcastle Maker Faire". Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  11. ^ "Discussion of Newcastle Maker Faire on slashdot". slashdot. 17 March 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  12. ^ "BBC report on Darwin beer". BBC News. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2012.

External linksEdit