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“Explosive” Science Festival Launches Next Month

“Explosive” Science Festival Launches Next Month

A week-long extravaganza of science events and activities begins in Nelson next month with the start of the ‘Celebrate Science with Cawthron’ festival from 12 to 17 October.

Now in its second year, the free event is bigger than ever. The festival starts with a family fun day at Victory Community Centre, and continues during the week with lectures, workshops, and fun activities around the region.

“Celebrate Science with Cawthron is designed to share the excitement of science with people of all ages and abilities - it’s a fantastic event for the whole family,” Cawthron Institute Community Development Manager Jo Thompson says.

“This year we’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from regional organisations - it’s already grown beyond our expectations.”

The event is organised by Cawthron Institute in partnership with Victory Community Centre and ‘Mr Science’ (aka Sterling Cathman), and coincides with the Science Roadshow’s visit to Nelson. A range of organisations from throughout the region are supporting the festival including NIWA, the Ministry for Primary Industries, Nelson City Council and Sealord.

This year’s event also welcomes gold sponsors Mediaworks and the Science Roadshow, and bronze sponsors Plant & Food. Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, Nelson Mail and communications agency UpShift have provided in-kind support.

Organisers are seeking volunteers to support the festival. Anyone with a science background or an interest in science able to help at one of the events planned during the week can contact Victory Community Centre Programme and Facilities Manager Gareth Cashin.

“Whether it’s being a rocket launching assistant or helping us direct over 200 school kids to their next science activity – we need your help,” Gareth says.

Celebrate Science with Cawthron starts on Sunday 12th October with a family fun-day from 10am to 5pm at Victory Community Centre. The event includes activities such as rocket launching, interactive exhibits and spectacular shows provided by the Science Roadshow, explosive demonstrations and talks by local scientists, an augmented reality digital experience game from Sealord, and a huge range of activities by local educators and scientists.

“It’s all about having fun with science – and if you learn something along the way even better,” Gareth says.

A range of events are planned for rest of the week, including ‘lightening talks’ by local students, evening lectures by regional experts, and activity days for schools in Motueka and Nelson.

“We’re expecting the evening lectures to be popular as they’re on topics that matter to locals like: the restoration of the Maitai, what’s in our food?, how clean is our air?, coastal ecology, and how are our fisheries managed?,” Jo says.

Anyone interested in attending the community lectures should book in advance through the Victory Community Centre or online at (search keyword ‘Cawthron’).


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