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Area's biggest technology festival launches programme

By Kyle Ritchie

The north-east’s annual festival of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths has launched its 2019 event.

TechFest’s new programme of workshops, shows and presentations offers audiences the chance to explore how STEM subjects can be applied in a range of sectors, disciplines and in day-to-day lives.

With a wide range of activities for all ages, TechFest 2019 will run from August 24 to September 28 at venues including Robert Gordon University and the University of Aberdeen.

TechFest involves children from across the north-east getting involved with activities.
TechFest involves children from across the north-east getting involved with activities.

It will also involve local schools, with pupils taking on various challenges.

Festival-goers can learn about the north-east scientists responsible for world-changing discoveries including the cure to diabetes and the equation behind mobile phones in Scot Free Tours: Science and the City Tour on September 21 and explore the world’s first whole body MRI scanner which was developed and built in Aberdeen at the Mark-1 MRI Scanner Exhibition, which is accessible 24 hours a day.

Other highlights include the opportunity to view dolphins at Dolphins at the Battery: Aberdeen’s Circular Showcase on September 26 and experience one of the most ambitious marine engineering projects in Scotland for decades at the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project Visitor Centre Tour on September 28.

TechFest 2019 will host some of the most influential and prolific STEM speakers in the UK in a range of engaging and informative events, suitable for audiences of all ages.

They include zoologist and author Dr Michael Leach who will share his experiences of living with mountain gorillas in Central Africa in How to Speak Gorilla on September 14 and biologist and TV presenter Simon Watt who will explore some of the strangest sea animals in the world in The Ugly Animal Show: Weird Life Underwater on September 27.

One of the aims of TechFest 2019, which is supported by joint principal funders BP and Shell, is to engage young people in the four main STEM subjects and encourage them to go on to follow a career which utilises these skills by demonstrating that they are both fun and relevant in day to day life.

Sarah Chew, managing director of TechFest, said: “We are excited to launch another action-packed programme for TechFest 2019 and we are particularly proud to feature so many local organisations this year."

This year’s festival will be opened by IT comedy duo Foxdog Sudios who will share their latest inventions with the audience encouraged to interact using their phones in Foxdog Studios: Tomorrow’s Office on September 16, while pyrotechnician and broadcaster Matthew Tosh will ensure the festival finishes with a bang as he creates colours, sound effects and perfectly timed explosions to music in closing event Fireworks: Real Science or Just Bangs? on September 28.

The 2019 Early Years and Primary Programme is expected to attract thousands of pupils and staff from primary schools and nurseries from across the north-east from August 26 to August 30 and the Activity Weekend will run at RGU’s Garthdee campus on August 24 and August 25.

Tickets can be purchased online at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk

For more information on TechFest 2019, visit www.techfest.org.ukor follow TechFest on Facebook and Twitter.

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