CHILDREN are invited to explore science in the world around them, as an annual festival adapts to Covid-19 restrictions.

Durham University’s free three-day Celebrate Science event is usually in a marquee on Palace Green, Durham, during the school half-term holidays.

It features science experiments, workshops and children’s activities but this year, a mass gathered event is not possible.

The Northern Echo: The Northern Echo: The Northern Echo:

This year, the university’s Science Outreach team has created and compiled ‘Celebrate Science at Home’, an activity pack children can use to explore science at home and in nature around them.

It covers kitchen science experiments, geology, astronomy, mathematics and psychology.

It includes a sky chart for 6pm on Wednesday, October 28 to help children spot constellations, a stargazing guide for all the seasons of the year, a visual illusions activity, tips on identifying rocks; instructions on making a kazoo and a Nature Detectives challenge from the Woodland Trust.

The Northern Echo:

A thousand packs will be distributed to Key Stage 2 pupils by eight primary schools in County Durham and Tees Valley; and the resources can be downloaded at

Dr Pete Edwards, Director of Science Outreach at Durham University, said: “While we’re all really sad not to be able to gather together for Celebrate Science this year, there’s loads young people can do to explore the wonders of science from home or nature areas close to home.

“We wanted to make Celebrate Science at Home accessible to as many children as possible, so we’re really pleased to be distributing hard copies, with all the resources you’ll need, through eight of our partner primary schools. Plus, everything will be available to download and print at home, too.”

If the initiative is successful, it could be scaled up for future school holidays.

The Northern Echo: The Northern Echo: The Northern Echo:

Dr Edwards said: “One of the things we’re going to miss most about not being able to do Celebrate Science on Palace Green is seeing the kids’ faces light up with curiosity and amazement as they explore brilliant and fascinating science.

“So we’d be really grateful if lots of people could fill out the feedback form that’s part of the pack. Not only will that help us work out what’s gone well, what we could change and how to improve the resources for the future, but it will also hopefully make us smile too.”

Durham University has run Celebrate Science each year since 2010. Last year, over 6,000 people visited – taking the total since 2010 to over 60,000.

The Northern Echo: The Northern Echo: The Northern Echo: