Dorchester Town Council News – British Science Week comes to Dorchester

Building on the success of previous hugely popular events, the Family Science Day will be taking place again at the Dorset Museum & Art Gallery on Sunday the 17th March from 11am-1pm & 2pm-4pm. This free (but ticketed) activity is sure to bring out the Marie Curie or the Albert Einstein in you!

Aimed at children aged 4 plus, but with something for people of all ages to enjoy, Family Science Day will include over 20 different stalls from a range of scientific disciplines to allow you to get involved in some fantastic hands-on learning and experiments.

There will be a great range of activities, hosted by local scientists, allowing you to try all sorts of investigations – find out how physics plays a part in everyday life, discover the invisible world of microbes, explore the biodiversity of the natural world, discover how magnets and gravity work, test your knowledge of water systems, fossils and seaweed and even handle a 205 million year old meteorite!

Entrance is strictly by ticket only, obtainable from the Dorset Museum & Art Gallery website where you can also reserve tickets for the Critter Clan who are back with their latest captivating and immersive experience “The Critter Chronicles”. Travel through time with them, unlocking the secrets, folklore and profound beliefs surrounding some fascinating invertebrates and join them on a thrilling voyage as they venture into uncharted territories – where creatures both tiny and mighty hold mythical powers and stories just waiting to be discovered!

Emma Talbot from Dorset Museum & Art Gallery says “we are delighted to be hosting the Dorchester Family Science Day on Sunday 17th March. It’s a great opportunity to show families our incredible galleries, in particular our Natural Dorset Gallery where you’ll see 250 million years of natural history come alive.  We’re hoping families will enjoy exploring and discovering how Dorset people collected, investigated and made important discoveries about the natural world – and what we can do to protect them.  Families will also have the opportunity to get up close to the Weymouth Bay pliosaur, learn about Alfred Russel Wallace and his work with Charles Darwin and marvel at the vast collection on display”.

As well as the Family Science Day and Critter Clan talks, there will be the opportunity to buy a ticket from Dorchester Arts for a fab family performance also on the 17th March at the Corn Exchange. The Discovery Lab is a spaceship, and home to travelling aliens on an Earth exploration mission but don’t worry, they come in peace and they’re keen to make discoveries with you, the Earth experts! Improvised theatre meets interactive science by award-winning theatre company Brave Bold Drama. Suitable for ages 6+, there will be 2 performances, at noon and 2pm – so you could take in a show and a talk and visit the Family Science Day to enjoy a fully science-tastic day!

Family Science Day is being coordinated by Dorchester Town Council, Bournemouth University, the Institute of Physics and Dorset Museum & Art Gallery, with the help of local scientists.

“Prof Genoveva Esteban at Bournemouth University says: we are delighted to be co-organising and being involved again in the 2024 Family Science Day. It is fun to share our research with children and their families and our students cherish the two-way interaction with people of all ages. It’s a win-win situation.”

Family Science Day has again spread its wings to work with some amazing partners across the town to offer a jam packed activities programme as part of the Dorchester Science Festival, which will take place over 10 days from the 8th-17th March. Others hosting brilliant events as part of the week include Dorchester Library and Learning Centre, Mini Professors, Dorset Museum & Art Gallery, Cape Farewell, Dorset County Hospital and Brewery Square.

We’ve also organised 2 free star gazing sessions at Maiden Castle this year!

For full information about everything happening, check out the Dorchester Science Festival Facebook page and look up our events, or grab a programme from a number of locations around town including the Dorchester Library and Learning Centre, Waterstones, Dorset Museum & Art Gallery, and the Town Council offices.

The Dorchester Science Festival is programmed as part of the national British Science Week which is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths.

Judith Wardlaw, one of the co-organisers, says: “It is very exciting to see so many organisations coming together and offering a wide range of activities and events for the 2024 Dorchester Science Festival. The last few years have been very challenging, but have also highlighted the value of work in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). We aim to inspire, educate and entertain people of all ages, including many who might not usually be inclined to engage in science-based activities.”

Phil Cooper, Chair of the Southwest branch of the Institute of Physics said “We’re very proud to support this event and the way it brings the joys of science to people of all ages and backgrounds”

Dorchester Science Festival has been sponsored by the Institute of Physics, Bournemouth University, the Royal Society of Biology, Dorchester Town Council and the Dorset Museum & Art Gallery.

For more information, please contact Emma Scott at the Town Council, on 01305 819463.

With around 100 members any business in Dorset with less than 30 employees can join Dorchester Chamber for business for £60p/a (no VAT).