REVIEW – Child visit to City Art Centre/Science Festival


We are absolutely loving this year’s Science Festival.  After the amazing day of fun we had last year at the City Art Centre, our younger reviewers couldn’t wait to get back to experience all that this venue has to offer.

By the McNaughtons

Science Festival fun

Edinburgh’s City Art Centre is the main venue for the Edinburgh International Science Festival, which runs from 9 – 22 April 2011.  It’s a convenient location, in the centre of the city, with easy access from Waverley Station too for visitors coming from out of town.
We’d heard that it was likely to be busy, and that an early start was recommended, but hadn’t quite prepared for arriving when the building was deemed to be ‘at capacity’ and queues were forming to wait until it was safe to let additional visitors in. The board with all the workshop times on it looked to be filling up rapidly, but there are plenty of non-scheduled drop-in activities to get involved in, so we headed up to the World of Bubbles to see what was going on.

This was a lovely activity area – truly suitable for all ages, and with a bubble recipe prominently displayed so that enterprising parents could jot it down and save this for a summer’s day activity in the garden too.  Our young reviewers were soon busy with various different shaped wands trying their hand at making sausage shaped bubbles, and the intriguing cube-shaped bubbles as well as trying their bubble blowing skills at the light tables where the sport was to create a bubble-within-a-bubble.

Bubble fun

Our younger reviewer writes: “One of the workshops that I did was the Adventure-Bot (Using Lego Mindstorms pieces).There were three challenges to do.The first one was to put a ball launcher on the bot then direct it through a computer. The next challenge was to collect the pieces of gold. The last challenge was to put the fake gold where you put the real gold. Then after we had a little free play :-). 
Our older junior review writes: “I really liked the Blood Bar. I wasn’t too sure about it at the beginning but when we got in to the swing of it I had a lot of fun. I learnt a lot about blood. Like the colours of it and it is lighter when more oxygen is in it and it is darker when there is less. I also learnt that they use ultrasound to see the arteries which are deeper in your body. And if you are brave enough then you can even touch a real heart (don’t worry its a sheep’s heart not human).

Not gory at all

I also did a picture developing drop-in workshop were you can make your own black and white picture. You design on a board using lots of little bits and pieces, then you go in this black and white room and you put the picture paper under it and switch the light on for six seconds. Then you put the paper into different trays of liquid. These are the chemicals that help develop the picture. When you’ve done that you will have a really cool picture!

A great day out

We also did “Rampaging Chariots”, which you may is think not for girls but actually they are way better than the boys!. If you like robots and remote control cars, then why don’t you try a combination of the two?  Great fun and for all ages.”

The City Art Centre has so much going on that we only managed a fraction of the activities during our day there.  The only complaint was that the building did get a bit hot, but there is a cloakroom to leave your outdoor clothes and it’s a good idea to make use of it.

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