Skip to content

By Alex Urmston on

What to see and do at Manchester Science Festival 2022

Ahead of Manchester Science Festival 2022 (21–30 October), we pull out some highlights for young visitors, lovers of both tech and the arts, and for those looking to test out their STEM skills.
A young girl holding two tubes to her ears
Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Top 5 events for young visitors

Manchester Science Festival 2022 is packed full of hands-on events and activities to keep young visitors entertained, curious and inspired.

Check out our top five things for little ones to see on a visit during the festival.

1. Giant Leaps with Corey Baker Dance

Young visitors can enjoy a world premiere experience as they join acclaimed choreographer, Corey Baker, on his mission to create the first dance in space. Giant Leaps will transport you to outer space where your movements can influence the journeys of stars and space dust as you float through the cosmos. This fun, playful experience has been created in collaboration with Bright iSide Studios and will be set against an interactive backdrop of our galaxy, providing an immersive and sensory experience for little ones.

2. Musical Playground in Turn It Up: The power of music

Play, experiment and make music together in a brand-new light and sound musical playground. Designed by award-winning artists Amigo and Amigo especially for the exhibition, this hands-on, ears-open experience will support young visitors to experiment with beats, melodies and harmonies to discover the delight of creating their own unique sounds.

3. Rhythmic Robots

Look out for Festival fun at Manchester Arndale on 22–23 October, where we’ll be popping up with fun, musical moments to enjoy while you shop. Join the team from Noisy Toys to explore how technology and music can come together to create the sounds of the future, feel the bass buzzing through your fingers and encounter unusual music makers. You can even see Global Grooves’ rhythmic robots take over with their carnival of sound.

4. Everyday instruments

On Tuesday 25 October from 12.00–15.00, you can tap into the musical potential of the everyday things around you and discover the surprising sounds you can make with recycled objects. Explore how technology is transforming the future of music in this fun, hands-on workshop inspired by our new exhibition, Turn It Up: The power of music and created by Manchester Science Festival Young People’s Panel, supported by Brighter Sound.

5. Carbon supermarket Sow the City

Take a trip to Sow the City’s Carbon Supermarket in our Family Zones and see what your weekly shop could be costing the planet. Find out the carbon footprint of your foodie favourites, discover where they’ve come from and explore the unusual vegetables you could enjoy if we grow closer to home.

The front and back of a MIMU glove
Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Top 5 things to see for tech lovers

If you love cutting-edge technology, Manchester Science Festival has loads to explore.

From prosthetics to prototypes, here are our highlights for anyone who loves to get hands-on with technology.

1. Robot, Paper, Scissors: Engineering a hand

How do you use your hands every day? What would be possible if prosthetics could catch up with the capabilities of real-life limbs?

Explore these questions further by joining the HandBuild HandAssess Project at the University of Salford, supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious Award, to investigate the future of prosthetics in our Family Zones.

Challenge a prosthetic counterpart to a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, programme a robotic hand and try to even control one using your own muscles. You can also talk to the engineers and researchers making this futuristic technology a reality today.

2. Art-ificial Intelligence

Join The University of Manchester NOVARS research centre in our Family Zones to explore an exhibition of multimedia pieces created in partnership with Artificial Intelligence, listen to a soundscape of noises you might hear on planets outside our Solar System and take part in a beatbox battle against a musical AI.

3. MiMU Gloves in Turn It Up: The power of music

Marvel at this remarkable musical creation by renowned artist Imogen Heap. MiMU Gloves use simple hand gestures to control music-making software remotely, live in the studio or on stage. The pair of gloves featured in Turn It Up are first generation prototypes that Imogen distributed to a select handful of musicians to test out, including Ariana Grande. These specific gloves were owned by Kris Halpin, the first person to use them as an accessible instrument.

4. VR Dating at the Future of Sex: Late

One for the adults! Sick of going on the same old dates? At Future of Sex: Late, you can be transported to your ideal romantic destination without even leaving the room. Try on a headset and experience all the places you could end up when you go on a Virtual Reality date with Flirtual, the first VR dating app.

5. AI Robots in Turn It Up: The power of music

Designed by Georgia Institute of Technology to understand and listen to music like a human but play and improvise like a machine, Hallie the robot drummer is on display for the first time in Turn It Up. Hallie listens to human drummers then uses its processers to create and play new drum patterns of its own.

A woman in a lab coat presenting to people in front of her
Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Top 5 ways to test out your STEM skills

Manchester Science Festival aims to support the development of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills as well as inspire futures and careers in these areas.

From dance to robotics, sustainability to music and construction to wildlife, Manchester Science Festival’s programme has been designed to encourage audiences to get hands on with science and technology of all types.

1. Get Curious

Find out more about the big ideas and innovations that are changing the world by meeting people working in STEM. Three Get Curious events will take place as part of Manchester Science Festival. Amazon, Manchester Metropolitan University and the BBC’s Research and Development team will all be encouraging guests to get involved in hands-on activities that support young visitors to delve deeper into the world of science.

2. Building the Future

Join the museum’s STEM ambassadors in our Family Zones to design a city of the future. Understand what we can we learn from the past and present to make it thrive, meet the people working to develop our urban environment and get crafty to create your own 3D model that brings your idea to life.

3. Everyday instruments

Tap into the musical potential of the everyday things around you. Discover the surprising sounds you can make with recycled objects and explore how technology is transforming the future of music in this fun, hands-on workshop inspired by our new exhibition, Turn It Up: The power of music. Investigate how sound travels through different materials by making your own ear gongs, then get creative and design your own music maker of the future. This event has been created by Manchester Science Festival Young People’s Panel, supported by Brighter Sound.

4. Future Manchester

Manchester Science Festival is popping up at Central Library for a week of family fun and hands-on activities, as part of Manchester’s Our Year celebrations. Throughout the Festival week we’ll be joined by different organisations from across the city to explore what the Manchester of the future might look like. From the materials used to construct its buildings to how we might all get around, discover the science shaping the way we’ll live our lives in the future.

5. Innovation Station

Join the team from Amazon and AWS in our Family Zones for a series of drop-in workshops and interactive experiments where you can dive into app design, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence and much more. Go head-to-head with an autonomous car in a two-pod racing arcade game to discover the challenges and opportunities of this technology, explore how machine learning could change the way we recycle and learn more about the tools and technologies you need to design your own app.

A woman in a dark room with a glow stick around her neck
Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Top 5 events for arts and performance lovers

Science and technology can be explored and understood in lots of different ways.

Manchester Science Festival includes a number of performances as well as visual and audio art to help audiences delve deeper into the future of humanity.

1. Turn It Up: Live

This adult-only event will explore our world premiere special exhibition, Turn It Up: The power of music before indulging in an electrifying evening of music, digital art and pioneering performance. Hear from headline artists Giant Swan, who use a table of drum machines, synths and guitar pedals to deliver electrifying, improvised sets that push the boundaries of live techno, as well as award-winning artists Aja and Manchester-based DJ Abena. Completing the evening of audio and visual art will be work from digital artist, Izzy Bolt.

2. Giant Leaps

Enjoy an out-of-this-world experience with a new interactive installation by acclaimed choreographer Corey Baker. Throw some shapes as you’re transported through the galaxy and see how your movements influence the journeys of stars and space dust.

This fun, playful experience has been specially commissioned for Manchester Science Festival and will support Corey’s ambition of working with the European Space Agency to understand how humans’ movements are impacted by different atmospheres, with the ultimate ambition of designing a dance for astronauts.

3. Jack Coulter in Turn It Up: The Power of Music

Hailing from Belfast, Jack Coulter is a 28-year-old artist and synaesthete who sees sound and music and translating it on to canvas in the form of stunning visuals. With the likes of Keith Richards and Anne Hathaway owning his work, Jack has now created a work of art especially for Turn It Up based on the track ‘Cornfield Chase’ by Hans Zimmer for the movie Interstellar.

4. 2122 Warehouse Interactive Live Action Role Play (LARP)

Led by climate change communications researcher, Francesca Kilpatrick, this immersive performance in our Family Zones will see visitors welcome time travellers from the year 2122 to share their knowledge and insights about science of the future. Inspired by the past, present and future of the Science and Industry Museum’s 1830 Warehouse, visitors can meet fictional scientists from the future and be taken on a journey of discovery to reveal how technology and nature will change over the next 100 years.

5. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Turn It Up: The Power Of Music

The exhibition features a never-before heard musical composition created by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in partnership with children’s mental health charity, Place2Be, to take us through a range of emotions from sorrow to hope. The immersive experience is designed to take visitors on an emotional journey with benefits for children’s emotional literacy, with online resources available to further explore this at home.

Manchester Science Festival 2022 runs from Friday 21 – Sunday 30 October 2022. Find out more here.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *