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Dive in with TechFest and explore marine science at Macduff Aquarium

By David Porter

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The annual TechFest festival of STEM is back with an online twist.

The new digital version launches at Macduff Marine Aquarium and will give the audience the chance to virtually submerge themselves in marine science and learn all about this mysterious underwater habitat.

Macduff Aquarium
Macduff Aquarium

Dive back in with Macduff Marine Aquarium, a live dive show suitable for all ages, will open the 2020 TechFest Goes Digital festival on Thursday, November 5.

During the show, which runs from 2pm-2.30pm, the audience will see divers in the main kelp reef tank, feeding the fish, sharks, and rays.

A marine master will be on hand to talk about the habitat and the creatures which live there and to answer any questions from viewers watching the underwater activity from the comfort of their own homes

Sarah Chew, managing director of TechFest, said: “The opening event at Macduff Marine Aquarium is a great example of the kind of content we can expect from this year’s online festival.

“Being able to watch a live dive by experts, without leaving home, is a fantastic opportunity for the public to experience this incredible habitat up close.

“The audience will be able to experience the underwater world while learning all about marine animals and can ask questions to specialists in this field.

“A huge benefit to the digital festival is being able to open up these events to a much wider virtual audience.

"Typically, this type of event would have limited numbers, but this format means many more people from a wide geographic area can enjoy the experience and learn about life in a marine world.”

The annual festival will be the biggest and most ambitious digital science festival in Scotland this year.

With an exciting and eclectic mix of more than 30 events taking place over a three-week period until November 25, the festival will have two main strands - the traditional public programme and a programme for schools.

Supported by joint principal sponsors bp and Shell and also sponsored by Equinor, Ithaca Energy, SBRC, The Data Lab and supported by RockRose Energy, the celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) usually runs for three weeks in September, with events taking place in venues across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

This year, rather than cancel the festival due to current events, organisers not only decided to go ahead with a 2020 event but to make it wider ranging than ever before.

The mix will include both live and pre-recorded events delivered via Zoom, Facebook, LinkedIn and through interactive activities.

Live events in the public programme of afternoon, evening and weekend sessions include talks on deep sea genetics and marine plastic pollution, human evolution according to brain size, sleep management and the development of good sleep habits.

There is even a session on STEM links to the care and training of the competition horse.

A schools programme will bring science-based activities directly into the classroom with a variety of activities, video conferences, talks, and virtual events with partners including Edinburgh Zoo, the RAF and the Red Cross in collaboration with Skills Development Scotland, TechFest’s new programme collaborator.

The highly popular family days will also return in digital format, jam packed with fun and STEM-inspired activities which the whole family can enjoy.

Booking is now open for The Dive back in with Macduff Aquarium event and all other festival events and admission to all events is free.

For more information and to book, visit the TechFest website at www.techfestsetpoint.org.uk/

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