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Fun for all the family at the Cambridge Festival



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From escape rooms, robot racing, explosive demos and interactive games, to manga workshops, future fashion shows and punk music, this year’s Cambridge Festival has something for everyone.

Punk alley at the Cambridge Festival
Punk alley at the Cambridge Festival

The full programme launched last Monday (February 28) and bookings are now open. Run by the University of Cambridge and backed by the Cambridge Independent, the Cambridge Festival runs from March 31 to April 10, returning with a programme that provides events and activities for the entire family. Almost all of the events are free.

In the lead-up to the festival, there are several community events taking place across the city. Storey’s Field Centre, for example, is hosting a University of Cambridge Museums and Gurdon Institute hands-on showcase, Seeing Closer, on March 15.

A day in the life of a research volunteer at the Cambridge Festival
A day in the life of a research volunteer at the Cambridge Festival
Britain and the Middle East in the 19th century at the Cambridge Festival
Britain and the Middle East in the 19th century at the Cambridge Festival
In with the insects trail at the Cambridge Festival
In with the insects trail at the Cambridge Festival
Into the Wild the cognitive neuroscience of spending time in nature at the Cambridge Festival
Into the Wild the cognitive neuroscience of spending time in nature at the Cambridge Festival

Visitors will be able to learn about British butterflies and their habitats, find out how our prehistoric ancestors decorated their pottery, explore life through a microscope lens, make a camera obscura, and design an ancient Greek vase.

Also ahead of the main event, Cambridge Festival favourites Crash, Bang, Squelch serve up some weird and wonderful science along with a series of robotic workshops at the Department of Zoology on March 19, while on the same day, the Department of Engineering opens its doors for a packed day of talks, demos, workshops, exhibitions, and lots of audience participation. Events include kite workshops and robot displays.

On March 22, the Cambridge Science Centre and the Whipple Museum team up to present a series of exciting STEM activities at the Church of the Good Shepherd. Once the Cambridge Festival kicks off, things get even busier with lots of events for children under 12.

These include the daily garden egg hunt at the Botanic Garden, the online science story Maya’s Marvellous Medicine, which runs throughout the festival with immunologist Professor Adrian Liston, mini manga workshops with artist Irina Richards (April 5), and fast-paced laser-guided robot racing (April 9).

Mini Manga workshop at the Cambridge Festival
Mini Manga workshop at the Cambridge Festival
Martin Rees on the future prospects for humanity at the Cambridge Festival
Martin Rees on the future prospects for humanity at the Cambridge Festival
Pregnant in a Pandemic in conversation with Generation Covid at the Cambridge Festival
Pregnant in a Pandemic in conversation with Generation Covid at the Cambridge Festival
Science Spotlight at the Cambridge Festival
Science Spotlight at the Cambridge Festival

There is plenty for older children and teenagers too including The Imaginarium (April 2-3) – a creative space where imaginations can fully unleash to come up with what a better future might look like. This will be hosted by Cambridge Carbon Footprint and artist Hilary Cox Condron.

Other in-person events that promise to get teens creatively buzzing include Punk alley on April 10, a loud, wild, and unapologetic joyride of live original punk music and high energy dance – not for the faint hearted!

Meanwhile, Irina Richards returns to provide another Manga skills workshop on April 7, this time for teens. There will also be several University of Cambridge online classes. The Department of Pathology returns with its hugely popular Medical Masterclasses (April 1-8, except 3), aimed at Year 12 students who are thinking of applying for medicine in the 2022/23 UCAS round.

Jennifer Williams, schools and families co-ordinator, said: “It’s vital to inspire children and young people to learn more about the world we live in, so we’re thrilled to be hosting such an eclectic range of in person and online events that hopefully do just that.

The Norsemen and the natives mutual discovery in Vinland at the Cambridge Festival
The Norsemen and the natives mutual discovery in Vinland at the Cambridge Festival
Wonders of the human body with Dr Jo Science at the Cambridge Festival
Wonders of the human body with Dr Jo Science at the Cambridge Festival

“And, of course, not forgetting the Festival Zine, which was such a huge success last year. The Zine is packed full of fun, practical activities everyone can do at home. A lot of work goes into all these events, which are designed to challenge, inspire, and engage. Added to that is a hefty dose of fun – which definitely helps me to learn and remember things!”

For more information, visit festival.cam.ac.uk.

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