THOUSANDS of people have been learning about the human body, virtual reality and outer space at a science festival.

Durham University held the event during half-term to give people of all ages the chance to have a go at experiments and find out more about the world we live in.

More than 6,000 people took part in the event, which took place on Palace Green.

The Northern Echo:

Children took part in a range of experiments and activities to help people get to grips with science, from finding out more about space in a planetarium to how to make slime.

There was also the opportunity to to things like identify skulls, let people test their own strength and use virtual reality goggles, as well as learning about fusion energy in the university's sun dome.

Dr Pete Edwards, director of science outreach, said: “Celebrate Science is an opportunity for kids to see first-hand the inspiring science we do at Durham University and realise that science is not just about being a teacher or a dentist – there are many careers that scientists have and one of those could be for them.

“This year’s event has been a huge success. We’re grateful to everyone who visited or helped make the festival possible and we look forward to seeing many of the visitors at some of our other science outreach events and programmes throughout the year ahead.”

The Northern Echo:

Paul Bowe, from East Rainton, between Durham and Sunderland, visited with his four daughters: Marley, ten; Macey, seven; Molly, six; and Milly, four.

He said: “I’m interested in science and it’s fantastic to be able to bring the kids to something like this.

“They’re naturally inquisitive and the way the stalls are set up really gets them engaged. It’s a great event.”

Marley added: “Science is my favourite subject at school. Celebrate Science is really fun – to do experiments with lots of different things.

“I really like the planetarium.”

The Northern Echo:

Celebrate Science has now been running for ten years, attracting almost 60,000 visitors.

It is part of the university’s science outreach programme, which also includes a schools’ science festivals, which takes place each spring, a programme which gets undergraduate students to help teach science in local schools and a professional development programme for teachers.