Blog Listings

Christmas Tree Workshop at FACT

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

This past weekend has been quite a festive and creative one! Three of our staff were invited to FACT in Liverpool to run a workshop throughout the day to make some Christmas Trees using basic electric components and soldering. Lots of people came along eager to get their hands on making one, both kids and adults alike! Even with the need to use soldering irons, a lot of younger builders were up to the challenge and learned how to use one for the first time.

The results were fantastic, with everyone having success building their trees and some amazement when they first lit up. The trees run off a single ordinary 9V battery so they can keep running for days and days, and can easily be replaced to last the whole Christmas period! Here’s a photo of one of the young constructors from the weekend:

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This workshop and a previous workshop creating Rudolph ornaments with light-up noses was designed to give children and young people an easy, fun introduction to electronics. They were based on ideas used in previous workshops such as Mitch Altman’s soldering workshops and the BUGS! workshop we did as part of Blackburn is Open. The workshops were designed around two simple LED circuits with the first Rudolph workshop using a 3V battery to power a flashing red LED connected using copper tape, while the second workshop explained in this post involved a more complicated circuit involving 7 LEDs in parallel powered by a 9V battery.

Both workshops gave us an opportunity to introduce people to basic soldering skills (don’t touch the hot end) and the principles of diodes (such as the orientation of LED legs for correct positive/negative polarity) Although these workshops were focussed on electronics we decided to use unexpected materials including laser-cut wood and copper tape to demonstrate how easy it is to make circuits that will function and that electronics need not look like traditional circuits nor use printed circuit boards to achieve the same results.

You can purchase your very own Christmas Tree to make over on Etsy, and watch a video below of how the event went with a look at the trees in action!

Written by Jake Causier, a graduate intern from Manchester Metropolitan University and Tamarisk Kay, Director at MadLab.

MegaMenger – lend us your hands!

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

In October, Manchester Science Festival is taking part in the MegaMenger distributed fractal building project. For more information about the project, please visit We’re building a huge fractal using over 1,000,000 business cards, using a simple folding method that doesn’t involve tape or glue.

Do you have a small army (or even 2-3 people) of folders that would like to be part of this build? We’re looking for people willing to come along and help on the day, as well as schools, offices and community groups prepared to build cube parts and bring them to be joined into the main build. We’ll have a list on the website of all the teams that have helped us build, and you’ll become part of a huge international project. Please contact us if you’re interested!

Katie Steckles
Manchester Organiser



An update from Bokeh Yeah!

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Hi All,

Thanks again to those who attended the last session on investigative journalism.

Here are the links that we promised to share:

Peter’s controversial film, Dead in the Water, is particularly relevant to those of you partaking in the Pararchive Challenge as it makes excellent use of bbc archive footage:

Also, the TED talk that was highlighted as a fine example of how you don’t necessarily need to use sophisticated film techniques in order to produce engaging content for the web

For those of you who couldn’t make it to the session, we shall be releasing a video of the talk at some point soon.

Coming up during our next Bokeh Yeah! session: Fiona Philips from Leeds University will be hosting a seminar on the ins and outs of copyright clearance.

The Bokeh Yeah! Team

MadLab in Salford

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Yep. It’s true. We’re opening up ANOTHER MADLAB! This time, in Salford, where we’ll be putting on lots of new events and projects, opening our doors to Salford-based community groups and offering out some beautiful hotdesking space.

We’re moving into an old bank on Chapel Street.

More precisely, this big white building below:

salford (more…)

Bokeh Yeah have moved!

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Bokeh Yeah have permanently moved to Castefield Gallery! Check out the message from the group’s organiser below:

Bokeh Yeah are excited to announce that we have moved into our new project space at Federation House, thanks to the support of the New Arts Spaces Scheme hosted by Castlefield Gallery.

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We have been busy sprucing the place up and will be for the next couple of weeks, after which time we shall be hosting an official launch do!! So we will let everyone know when that will be as soon as the sprucing is complete.

If you’ve some free time to come and assist us in this that would be great. We still need to paint the walls and clean up the floor a little so we will be there all of this coming weekend. You can get in touch here on email of Facebook or just drop by in your overalls! We will be there from 10am on Saturday and Sunday

The address is Federation House, Danzic Street.  Manchester M60 0AF. Our entrance is through the large black door on Danzic Street and throughout the door to the left of the court yard.

We will be working on lots of exciting DSLR video projects and training sessions for you to participate in at the space so do keep an eye on on our twitter @bokeh.yeah and Facebook page

This coming Thursday 4th September is our regular session of course, where will are continuing on the theme of documentary film making. Our Pararchive Challenge is under way and we will be hosting a practical camera session. How to set up for interviews camera, lighting and sound recording to get the best results. As well as how to capture an interview on location whether it be  to gather ‘vox pops’ sound bites or record a full interview on location to make your documentary lively and interesting and highlight some aspect of your story

This session is open to all and it will be a great opportunity to see the new space. The session will start at 7pm as usual so bring your camera and we’ll see you there.

Your Bokeh Yeah! team