REVIEW – Child visit to the City Art Centre / Science Festival

For young scientists, the centrepiece of the Edinburgh International Science Festival is to be found at the City Art Centre in Market Street where throughout the Festival, a series of workshops and activities is held.

A top tip for visitors to the City Art Centre events is to book your chosen activity in advance. We had taken a look at the Twitter page for the Edinburgh Science Festival before setting off this morning and saw that pre-booked workshops were full today, although days later in the week had some availability.

Our junior reporter, Alex, was booked to attend two workshops:
Rampaging Chariots and CSI – Crime Scene Investigation.

We had time to enjoy some of the “no booking required” activities before the first workshop started, and had great fun in the bubble area, making bubbles by many different means. Although it’s an activity aimed at younger children, our 11-year old enjoyed playing with the soapy water and lifting the guillotine-like contraption to make a giant bubble screen.

A quick wander through the 4th floor was enough for our squeamish reporter as the focus was on medical science and there was definitely a whiff of blood in the air. The workshop participants who were gowned and masked held no such fears and looked very excited at the gory prospects!

Rampaging chariots

The challenge at Rampaging Chariots was to follow instructions and build a vehicle capable of making circuits round a track, through a gate and over a see-saw. Although the chariot constructed by our reporter was retired due to a dodgy receiver, he was happy to have achieved a creditable 5-lap round and a certificate celebrating his achievement.

CSI involved finding evidence of a murderrrrrr – participants used evidence, i.e. blood samples, fingerprints and footprints to find out who murdered the victim. One team examined blood samples, but our reporter was luckily put in the team looking at footprints (otherwise there might have been a fainting as well as a murderrrrrr).

With teamwork, the teams found the murderer and solved the crime (no spoilers for you).

Compared to previous years and visits, there seemed to be more pre-booked activities and less option for haphazard parents who hope to turn up and go. So, heed the advice which the Science Festival programme advises and select carefully before you go.

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