TechFest to return bigger, better and with robots

Alies Bartelds (Acting Managing Director of TechFest) with Wendy Slimane (Internal Communications Community Affairs & Events BP),  Maisie Gorham, Charlie Mcdonald, and Natalie Milne (External Relations Team Assistant Shell UK)
Alies Bartelds (Acting Managing Director of TechFest) with Wendy Slimane (Internal Communications Community Affairs & Events BP), Maisie Gorham, Charlie Mcdonald, and Natalie Milne (External Relations Team Assistant Shell UK)

People from across the North-east are being invited to experience a weekend like no other as Robert Gordon University prepares to welcome robots, creepy-crawlies and scientists to the action-packed TechFest 2017 Activity Weekend.

Relocated into bigger premises at the RGU Garthdee Campus, the Activity Weekend will run on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 August, and encourages children and adults to gain hands-on experience with science and technology.

Supported by joint principal funders - BP and Shell, and sponsored by Marathon Oil, the Activity Weekend will feature more than 30 interactive workshops, demonstrations and shows, costing just £1 for adults and 1p for children as part of the In For a Penny, In For a Pound initiative.

Visitors can build and program their own robot in Robot Sumo Challenge with Robert Gordon University, come face to face with minibeasts, snakes and lizards in Amazing Animals - sponsored by Chevron - and try their hand at being a scientist in Dissolving and Solubility - sponsored by CNR International.

There’s also the opportunity to discover the unique challenges of exploring the subsea world in Subsea 7-sponsored K’Nex Under the Sea with Subsea 7, construct your own mini camera obscura in the Camera Obscura making workshop - sponsored by Apache - and develop your flying skills in interactive workshop Science of Flight, which is sponsored by CHC Helicopters.

With a wide range of activities for all ages, TechFest 2017’s public programme will run from September 11 to September 25, at venues including RGU and the University of Aberdeen.

One of the aims of TechFest 2017, 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.

Alies Bartelds, acting managing director of TechFest, said: “This is our first Activity Weekend in RGU’s state of the art facilities and we’re really excited to have the resources to engage even more people in STEM activities than ever before.

“This is going to be a fun-filled weekend, with people of all ages having the opportunity to see first-hand how vital STEM subjects are in our day to day lives, not to mention how interesting they can be!

“We’re extremely grateful for the ongoing support of Marathon Oil, which helps TechFest continue to provide fun, exciting and inspiring activities for all ages.”

James Edens, Marathon Oil UK regional vice-president said: “Marathon is proud to be able to continue sponsoring TechFest in 2017 and wish them another fantastic year.”

Garry Brindley, senior lecturer at RGU’s School of Engineering, said: “The School of Engineering at RGU understands the importance of outreach work and capturing the minds of the engineers of tomorrow, and, as such, we are delighted to be taking part in such a diverse and interesting festival.

“Bringing the public into our facilities in Garthdee, strengthens the links with the community and gives us the chance to demonstrate some of the exciting work that goes on with the university."

Highlights of this year’s festival include the chance to hear wildlife presenter and cameraman Gordon Buchanan share his incredible experiences with some of the world’s most fearsome and majestic animals in opening event Animal Families and Me (September 11).

Electrical engineer Dr Trina Dinnis introduces the audience to mathematical modelling and how it relates to the real world in The Mathematics of Why I Don’t Have a Boyfriend (September 13), author Nick Arnold presents fun for all the family in The Horrible Science Show (September 23) and there’s even a social walking event using an app designed by academics at the University of Aberdeen [m]apping Aberdeen (September 24).

Alies added: “We are indebted to the assistance we receive from all our sponsors and supporters, in particular our joint principal funders Shell and BP, whose ongoing backing helps us to continue to educate and entertain.”

The TechFest Activity Weekend is pay at the door. For all other events book tickets online at www.boxofficeaberdeen.com or call Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122.