Brighton Science Festival

Pocket Science Funfair

Pocket Science Funfair

Saturday 22 February 2020


All the fun of the fair, plus all the buzz of science!

And with special guests – see below.

Now we have some new science fun, including the Bonking Machine and Buzz Wire Challenge; and special guest scientists, in the amazing St Augustine’s Centre, itself a masterpiece of creativity and  fun, with a splendid cafe.

It looks like a funfair; it IS a funfair, but each activity has a little science snuck in. The Incredible Machine will be there of course; Splat the Rat, Guess the Weight of the Cake, Gull Poo Shooting Gallery, Amazing Shrinking Box, Upside-down Goggles, Marble Runs, Tangrams…  Created by BBC Rough Science’s Jonathan Hare and science showman Richard Robinson, director of Brighton Science Festival.

“Wonderful creative minds!”

“It was amazing and there was loads of things to do. I loved making a seagull poo on my parents”.

“Really fun and educational. I loved the static electricity and incredible machine”.

“Brilliant and lots of help from the scientists”.

“Brilliant – I loved it because I love science so so much my favourite bit was the poo”.

“It was such fun and so interesting and the helpers are so enthusiastic + patient + make it extra fab”.

“What an amazing event! Lots of fun and science facts for kids and adults. The staff and organisers was brilliant & helpful. Thank you!”

“It was brilliant! Very much fun and a lot of learning in an easy way. I wish my science classes were like this!”

“Super-enthusiastic staff. Fascinating facts hidden in oodles of fun.”


All ages. Recommended age 7+ (no unaccompanied children, sorry)

11am-5pm (Drop in any time, but allow at least an hour to see and do everything!)

£4 per person, family ticket £14, under 7s free. 


Half price after 4.00pm

For directions, see map below.

PLUS special guests:


The oceans are the biggest ecosystem in the World, inhabited by the biggest animals in the world. We just happen to have one here. A full sized orca! You can get up-close and personal, and hear all about them from whale expert Annette Coppin. 





The Saw Doctor will put us right about trees. A few factoids: a sapling absorbs more CO2 that the mighty oak next to it; up in the northern hemisphere more trees are being planted than felled. The Amazon rainforest is not the lungs of the Earth – everywhere is! Plastic isn’t taking over: think of houses, furniture, paper, cosmetics, fruit, rubber products…

Microscopes. Examine a tree in close up. Learn how they communicate.

Blow bubbles through a stick.

Build a bridge in a suitcase;




Their elegant scientific demonstration proves CO2 is the guilty gas – and exactly how the molecule warms up the atmosphere.

Another model demonstrates how, as ice  in the Arctic Circle melts, it reflects less sunlight, so the temperature rises, so more ice melts, so even less sunlight is reflected, so Greenland’s melting is accelerating.

What are Fossil Fuels? Do you really know what they are? Take our True or False challenge.

Meet the Greenhouse Gases: Carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, ozone, nitrous oxide and  chlorofluorocarbons, say hello.

Design a poster to make a better world.

Jungle Jenga! Each block represents a species in a biosphere. Remove a species, one by one; watch the biosphere reach its tipping point, then collapse.

On the left, Greenland as it used to be and Greenland as it is becoming. Which one will melt quicker?
On the right, Jungle Jenga

Where are they now?:A card game to help you decide what’s Extinct, Endangered or Safe.

The Mass Extinction Board Game: A game of which bears will survive? Can they adapt quick enough to survive the impact of human activity?

Play your cards right or complete one of the quizzes to win an Extinction Rebellion sticker!



The creative minds at Bewilder Box escape rooms have cleverly created a mini escape room in a box for this year’s science fair. Come along and test your puzzle solving skills with the Bewilder Box scientists and see if you have what it takes to crack their Box of Bewilderment!





Discover the maths and art in cycling, with geometric drawing machines made from old bicycles by Brighton artist Nick Sayers. Using familiar bike parts, these contraptions demonstrate the magic of geometry and mechanics in a fun, interactive way.

£3 to buy your picture




Ryan Bradley, experienced musician and teacher will help you improvise some music, grunts, burps, wheezes – whatever – and use simple technology to create a piece of music that you can keep forever after the session. Ryan has a selection of instruments, equipment and speakers, but it would be great if you bring your own instruments as well. The more the merrier.



Map. Parking is difficult in the area; better to walk, cycle or use public transport.