FREE festival of science and technology heads to Peterborough this weekend

Peterborough's first STEM festival takes place in October. Photo: DPiP

Peterborough's first STEM festival takes place in October. Photo: DPiP

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Peterborough’s first ever free Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Festival is set to take place this Saturday (October 1).

The festival promises to inspire and engage younger people, families, as well as girls that are thinking of taking up a career in STEM-related subjects. Over 500 people have already signed up.

Peterborough's first STEM festival takes place in October. Photo: Leah Barfield

Peterborough's first STEM festival takes place in October. Photo: Leah Barfield

It is being organised by Digital People in Peterborough (DPiP), a non-profit community group, with support from Peterborough City Council and Allia Future Business Centre. Sponsors include City Fibre, Heart Internet, PJ Care, Peterborough Regional College and Perkins Engines.

The main event will take place at the Allia Future Business Centre, located behind the ABAX Stadium, in London Road, from 10am – 4pm.

Tia Lush, a festival organiser, said: “We have an amazing line-up of speakers, workshops and other activities, covering subjects as diverse as missions into space, robotics and computer coding. This is about inspiring younger people to get involved in science, technology, engineering, and maths, and to become tomorrow’s innovators.

“This festival gives participants the opportunity to obtain hands-on experience, and to meet some fantastic role models. If it’s STEM and new, unusual or surprising, then you can expect to find it here at the main event this Saturday. It promises to be a fantastic event for both young people and families.”

Festival workshops include solving environmental problems, based on Raspberry Pi technology; an interactive and inspirational workshop with women in STEM; building your own hand-held games controller; interactive science and engineering experiments; and challenges based on Minecraft

Some of the workshops need to be booked in advance so it is advisable to visit the website and to review relevant information before the event.

Exhibitions and other activities include laser-cutting to make racing cars; computer coding; DNA and genetics; cognitive assessment; science experiments from the Oxbridge Academy; and interacting with a humanoid robot. Marc Scott., author of A Beginner’s Guide to Coding, will also be available for book signings.

Confirmed inspirational talks and presentations from STEM enthusiasts and professionals, include:

• Katie Hassell, Senior Spacecraft Thermal Engineer at Airbus Defence & Space: “Find out what it takes to keep the spacecraft Solar Orbiter cool”

• Dr Katie Steckles, Mathematician: “Mathematics of board games”

• Paul Curry, Editorial Developer at BuzzFeed UK: “A Beginner’s Guide To Shipping Fun Things Quickly”

• Sarah Elmore, Edge Diagnostic Physicist: “Making a Star on Earth”

• Marc Scott, Astro Pi: ‘Marc will give you the behind the scenes on what it actually took to send Rasberry Pi computers into space!’

• Steve Warburton, Principal at Greater Peterborough UTC: “Help – there’s a Robot in my Classroom!”

• Melissa Gartside, Caterpillar: “Materials Engineering – CSI for Engineers”

• Jen Gupta, Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, University of Portsmouth: “The Invisible Universe”

• Sue Nelson, Science Producer and Broadcaster: “Reporting the Rosetta mission”

There will also be a special appearance from Suw Charman-Anderson, Founder of Ada Lovelace Day, at a fringe event on 5th October. The debate night will take place at Bewiched Café in Bridge Street at 7pm and will be a chance to discuss the achievements of women in STEM and how we can engage and encourage more girls to take up a STEM career.

For full details on the Peterborough STEM Festival visit: www.peterboroughstemfestival.co.uk