Past Schools Events

Here is a look back to some of the schools events we have had in earlier years.

2020: Pandemic Year

In 2020, constrained by the pandemic, we still held schools events but they went on-line only

Optical Trickery

matt-pritchardScience Magician, Matt Pritchard, shares a host of amazing optical illusions, impossibilities and peculiar objects made from simple household objects. Join him for this Otley Science Festival online session as he demonstrates the tricks and explains the science. Find how it’s done, have a go and make your own magic.



It’s high-voltage time! Watch as Marty Jopson, local TV Scientist takes a sparky journey through the story of electricity. From the Ancient Greeks, through Faraday’s genius, this show aims to put the awesome back into electricity.</p>
With a one million volt spark and the crack of a whip, you may think we have electricity tamed, but are you sure?

A show chock full of demonstrations: the astonishing floating orb, a light bulb made from a pencil lead and a plucked chicken. There will be at least one explosion.


2019 Events for Primary Schools

Maddie’s Fantastic Factory Tour!

MaddieMoate-640Maddie Moate, dynamic investigator of CBeebies’ “Maddie’s Do You Know?” fame opens the doors to her fantastic factory for the very first time!

Maddie is always busy exploring factories on telly and YouTube but now she’s inviting guests aged 4 – 7 to join her own tour and marvel at the machines inside! Come along and find out how some of her favourite things are made live on stage, with a little help from her special cameras.

Everest Lab

greg-foot-smlWhat happens to your body when you push it somewhere it’s not built to go – to the top of the world?

Join YouTuber and Blue Peter Science Guy Greg Foot for the story of his scientific adventure to the world’s highest pop-up lab at Everest Base Camp.

With summit kit, interactive experiments and stunning videos Greg will uncover how a group of scientists and medics braved the thin freezing air to perform cutting edge research that turns our ideas about medicine upside down.

School of Water Wizardry

Live Science Presenter extraordinaire Jon Wood invites you to join his watery wonderland – teachers might want to bring a towel!Jon Wood blowing bubbles under water

Why is ordinary boring tap water so special? Why does ice float? How many sides should a snowflake have? Who is ‘The Best Waterbender’? Why can’t Elsa let it go? Let’s take water apart to see what makes it tick, and where it can take us.

We dance as water molecules, forming ice and explaining density; We prove teachers wrong by taking water sub-zero; We stretch, bend and split water. When we’re ready, we’ll blow it up! Everyone graduates.

2018 Events for Primary Schools

Minibeasts: a microscopic safarischools-marty-jopson

Take a journey from everyday life down into the realm of microscopic wonders with Marty Jopson, the BBC One Show’s resident scientist. The adventure will take you to a world totally invisible to the unaided eye. Marty begins with hugely magnified insects, but soon moves to plants too small to see and even bacteria, all demonstrated live on the stage. A show full of  interactive demonstrations and samples harvested from the audience. You have been warned!

A show supported by Zeiss, global leaders in the manufacture of microscopes.

The Real Science of Fireworks


Internationally-recognised pyrotechnician Matthew Tosh introduces you to his explosive world of pyrotechnic science, revealing how firework displays create colours, sound effects and perfectly timed bursts. Matthew will bring his fascination of how things work as he demonstrates how science, technology and engineering ensure that displays are spectacular, accurate and safe for the public. The sights, sounds and smells of fireworks are all brought to life just a few metres from the audience in an experience guaranteed to thrill.

Surprising Scienceschools-matt-pritchard

In a show packed with science tricks, stunts and puzzles, Matt Pritchard challenges the audience to discover the sneaky scientific secrets behind surprising illusions. This is not just an awe and wonder show but one that encourages scientific enquiry and critical thinking skills. Along the way the audience will be taught a host of science tricks using everyday household objects that they can go away and try later; extending the learning and providing teachers with lots of follow up opportunities. During the show Matt will share his background and love of science.

2017 Events For Primary Schools


 Music To Your Ears

Science Made Simple David Price

Award winning science communicator David Price from Science Made Simple as he explained how sounds are produced and how you can control them to make music. We learned how to make a simple instrument, heard the amazing hands-free theremin and saw how CDs and MP3s can store your favourite sounds.

Find out more about the show here and find out more about David Price here


The World Of Owls And Raptors


We delved into the world of birds of prey with Head Falconer Ryan Stocks and learned all about these amazing animals. The audience were delighted to see trained owls fly around the room and sometimes land on volunteers hands and discovered how they hunt using their powerful senses and sharp talons.

Find out more about Owl Adventures here


Can You Believe Your Eyes!Schools_Believe_your_eyes_1_800x564

Using visual illusions the Colour Experience team from Bradford explored the difference between vision and perception, looking at an amazing range of cool optical effects to boggle the audiences brain. They also got to grips with the different colours in light and even made a rainbow or two.

Find out more about the Colour Experience here

2016 Events for Primary Schools


In 2016 Sarah Bearchell of Sarah’s Adventures in Science visited Otley with her Jack and the Beanstalk Science Show.

You can find Sarah’s instructions for making a Cloud in a Bottle and the fondly remembered Intestines demonstration here



The Blowfish brought Heavy Metal Marine Biology to Otley

He was working on a book to be published in November 2017. Meanwhile, why not check out his advice on how to avoid a shark attack ?





We also had the science expert from the BBC1 One Show, Dr Marty Jopson, as he showed  the peculiar things you didn’t know you could do with your own body. From the physics of breaking wood with your bare hands to illusions that mess with your brain. You may think you know what your eyes can see, and have complete control over your body, but you can be fooled.

The flyer for schools for these shows is available as a pdf file here

2015 Events for Primary Schools

space explorer

In 2015 Jon Chase showed Otley “How to be a Space Explorer”. You can find links to his videos for BBC Bitesize and a STEM rap (Whatcha know about STEM?) on his Rapscience website

Also Ian Dunne brought us his “Science Magic…Magic Science.”