Otley Science Festivals were started three years ago by Marty Jopson and two members of the Management Committee of Otley Courthouse Arts Centre, and interested people from the local community. The Festivals cater for children and adults from 5 to 95, with a wide variety of events and activities. The Festivals have proved extremely popular.
The aim is to raise the profile of scientific subjects of all kinds, to introduce new aspects of science, to increase awareness of and widen participation in science, to interest children in careers in science and to bring nationally regarded and talented speakers to Otley.
Festivals take place over a week in November, culminating in the free Family Science Fair on the Saturday. Most events take place at Otley Courthouse Arts Centre.
One of the highlights of the Family Science Fair is the opportunity to make ice cream out of liquid nitrogen. This workshop uses about 15 litres of cream, as well as disposable cups, plastic spoons, and a variety of colours and flavours. A small charge is made for the workshop, which does not cover the cost. There is always a queue of customers and usually some hopefuls have to be turned away as there are not enough hours in the day to satisfy all the keen ice-cream makers!
The Science Festivals have shown that there is considerable interest in scientific subjects locally, both from adults and children. The committee very much hopes to be able to continue with the quality and quantity of events, and that the Festival will be able to meet the demand from local schools and the wider public.
This year the Science Festival is kindly sponsored by: