MadLab at the Manchester Science Festival

It’s that time of year again, when science devotees and newbies alike can find out more about the latest issues and cutting edge developments in science. The Manchester Science Festival returns from 27th October to 4th November, where the Mancunian public will have the opportunity to attend a plethora of talks and activities given by top researchers in their respective fields.

Unsurprisingly, MadLab is getting in on the action by hosting five workshops for people of all levels of expertise to get their hands dirty for the sake of Science.


The first of these will be the Robot Hackday on the 27th October from 10am-4pm where you’ll learn how to assemble pinnacles of robotic wizardry from  your old electronic junk and toys.  You can work on your own or make a team to try out for the prize at the end of the day. Book your place for the workshop here.

On Saturday 3rd November, the day will start at 10am with the Home-made Agar Dishes Workshop where people of all ages can combine delicious and perhaps unexpected ingredients to create the perfect environment for bacterial colonies. Come along to mash up a fish and chip dinner or perhaps a hint of cake to the traditional agar plate? If you enjoy eating it, there’s a good chance the bacteria will too! The event will finish at 1pm in the afternoon and you can book your place in advance from Eventbrite.

However, you can stay for the next event which will take place in the afternoon from 2-4pm during which you’ll get the opportunity to release the inner artist with our Bacterial Painting session. Armed with a variety of bacteria and fungi, you can create your own masterpiece of ‘living’ art, using the various natural pigments of certain bacteria species to create your own spectra of shape colour. Places are limited so don’t forget to save your space by booking your ticket here.

Ever wondered if there was a good use to put all those old webcams? Well wonder no more and come along to our USB Microscope Workshop on the 4th November starting at 10am and ending at 1pm. You’ll learn how to turn your old USB webcam into a working microscope, and get to try it out on our pet tardigrades and daphnia. A kit will be provided so if you want to make sure you have a place on the workshop, do book your ticket in advance.

The carnival of science will come to a close with our final workshop on Sunday 4th November, where you’ll be able to cultivate Bioluminescent Bacteria from squid and other fish fresh from the market. The event will start at 2pm and you won’t need to come along with any equipment or expertise! Just come along, have a go and learn some new facts about an amazing naturally occurring phenomena. As ever, places go quickly so don’t forget to book your ticket!

So if you’re stuck for what to do this Science Festival, get yourself down to the Northern Quarter where you’ll find yourself at home amongst the hackers and mad scientists of the Manchester Digital Laboratory.