School children have a scientific Brainwave at NETPark

GIANT robots, exploding custard and coffee fuelled cars were just some of the entertainment on show at Brainwave10, a science festival designed to bring science and technology to life for school children across County Durham.

So far, more than 500 school children from across the county have taken part in the three-day festival which began yesterday (15 July 2010) at the North East Technology Park (NETPark) in Sedgefield.

Brainwave10, organised by County Durham Development Company to heighten awareness of and excitement for science and technology and some of the amazing work being undertaken in this field across the region, will culminate with a free public event taking place this Saturday 17 July 2010.

School children were treated to exciting workshops and colourful experiments from the world of science as well as lectures from the world renowned Royal Institution, bringing the science that takes place in the typical kitchen to life, with demonstrations on what happens when you freeze a balloon, and why kids are far better at experimentation than their parents.

Jacqueline Bell, Subject Leader for Science at Parkside School, Willington, Crook attended the festival with Year 8 pupils from her school.  She said: “Brainwave10 has been an excellent opportunity for our pupils to see the applications of science in the real world, and to motivate them towards considering a career within science once they leave school.”

The festival forms part of Project C, an exciting programme of activities and events planned to take place until 2012 that have been designed to communicate and interact with the North East community and heighten awareness of, and excitement for, the ground-breaking work in science and technology undertaken by companies based at NETPark.

Catherine Johns, CDDC director of innovation development said: “County Durham and the companies at NETPark are playing an important role in the development of some of the most cutting edge products in the world.

“The aim of Project C is to help inspire the next generation about the possibilities of working in high-tech industries. Events like Brainwave10 are a brilliant way to show people of all ages how much fun science and technology can be.

“The first day was a huge success and feedback was very positive so we are looking forward to welcoming hundreds of others over the next two days.  Saturday is a free public event, open to all so we hope that people from across the entire region come along.”

Dr Lorraine Coghill, NETPark Science Outreach Coordinator based at Durham University added:  “In June we were visited by NASA astronauts who were particularly impressed by the way NETPark works with the local community to inspire children to achieve the best they can.

“We are delighted that an event such as Brainwave10 allows us to invite hundreds of people at a time to take a closer look at some of the exciting things going on in the world of science and technology on our very doorstep.”

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