Let's Experiment: Edinburgh Science Festival 2023

Ed Sci Fest23 1900x500

It's the Vernal Equinox today, which marks the astronomical start of spring here in the northern hemisphere. And spring in Edinburgh means, it's the return of Edinburgh Science Festival (1-16 April)! This years theme is Let's Experiment, which celebrates a wholehearted and very welcome return to hands-on science. We've hunted through the programme, and picked out some of our maths highlights for you.

City Art Centre

At the City Art Centre, your entry pass lets you book up to three hands-on workshops. Energy Makers (age 5+), which looks at the wonderful world of wind turbines, and Speedy Sails (age 7+), you build and test your own model land yacht, both fit particularly well with this year's Maths Week Scotland theme Maths in Motion. And in Creative Coding (age 7+), budding engineers can program a robot to navigate around an obstacle course. The City Art Centre is open 1 - 15 April, except Sundays.

National Museum of Scotland

At the National Museum of Scotland, FutureFest (1-2 April) is a mini festival within the festival, which celebrates technology, robotics, artificial intelligence, coding, computers and space! Visit the museums Grand Gallery for some fun drop-in activities, or secure your tickets for the FutureFest Activity Zone or one of the family shows. Suitable for families.

Also at the National Museum of Scotland, Discover Our Science (4-7 & 10-13 April) gives you the chance to meet some real life scientists - including researchers in biology, physics, computing, maths, geosciences and medicine, discover what they have been working on, and have a go at being a scientist yourself. Suitable for age 5+.

And on Thursday 13 April, drop in to the museum to play a game of noughts and crosses against MENACE - a computer built entirely from matchboxes! - and and learn from Matthew Scroggs, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University College London, how it works. Suitable for age 5+.

Discover Edinburgh's Mathematical History

For anyone who wants to find out more about the mathematical history of Edinburgh, there's a chance on 15 & 16 April to join a tour of some of the mathematical delights hidden in the city centre, and to try your hand at some intriguing games and puzzles along the way. Suitable for families and adults, mathematicians and non-mathematicians alike. There's also a self-guided version of this tour linked on our website.

Operation Sabotage

A bit further afield, at the National Museum of Flight in East Lothian, you can put your maths skills to the test on 14 & 15 April in Operation Sabotage - an escape room experience that will require your best problem solving and team working skills to save North Berwick from destruction. Suitable for ages 14+.

Discussions for Adults

For adults, there some great maths themed discussions to choose from.

On 3 April, there a Mathematics Showdown at the Bayes Centres, where five young mathematicians pitch their ideas to change the world against local stand-up comedian Susan Morrison. Whose proof will change the world? You decide!

On 5 April, join mathematician Katie Steckles at the National Museum of Scotland for The N Most Important Symbols in Mathematics, as she takes you on a journey through the huge array of beautiful symbols and notation used to communicate mathematical ideas. Bring a pen and paper if you want to join in!

And on 12 April, visit Knitting with Data at the Bayes Centre, and find out from three different artists and makers how they combine data science with art - including mathematical knitter Madeleine Shepherd, who some of you may remember from last year's Maths Week Scotland.

Head to the Science Festival website to see the full programme and book your tickets.

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