Stirling Science Festival ignites the imagination

Stirling Science Festival transformed the city into a hub of curiosity and exploration during the school October break, boosting brainpower, wellbeing and the local economy.

Three adults and two kids look on, against a backdrop banner that reads 'Stirling Science Festival' as a metal ring appears to float in midair, surrounded by smoke.
Cllr Gerry McGarvey, centre, joined with Holly (11), Ross (9) and members of the Glasgow Science Centre team to revel in the magical wonders of the natural world.

Returning for a fourth year, the festival fostered the thrill of scientific discovery from 11-14 October with a host of fun educational activities for families and grown ups alike.

From interactive workshops to mesmerising live science shows, the festival delved into the science of play, space and sport as well as revealing the wonders of the human body and the natural world.

Families were once again at the forefront of festivities, with over fifty free or low-cost events to choose from; helping parents keep their kids entertained without breaking the bank.

This year’s festival was delivered by Stirling Council alongside a host of local and national partners, with funding from EventScotland and the Scottish Government.


Convener of Community Wellbeing and Housing, Councillor Gerry McGarvey, said:

“Stirling Science Festival goes from strength to strength and families really appreciated the fact that many events were, again, free to attend.

 “There’s a hunger to find out how things work – from adults, not just children – and visitors enjoyed the mix of fun, hands on events, as well as talks and lectures on more serious topics for older audiences.”

This year's festival drew in thousands of visitors from both near and far during the four-day event, where they delved into the mysteries of the cosmos and challenged their grey matter with code-breaking workshops.


Councillor McGarvey added: “It was great to see so many people coming to Stirling Science Festival from all across Scotland, as well as tourists from as far afield as Venezuela, South Africa and the United States.

 “Stirling works hard to be recognised as a major events destination and we are committed to developing a thriving local economy for the benefits it brings across our communities.

 “The Science Festival, and the visitors it attracts, is playing an increasingly important role in showcasing everything our ambitious city wants to do best.”

A child looks through the eye of a large telescope lens, which faces the night sky through an opening in a wood panelled observatory roof.
The star gazing event at the Stirling Observatory was a such a sell out success another date has now been added.

Events at The Thistles covered a wide spectrum of topics, from frogs and butterflies to robots and microbiology, all of which proved immensely popular; while The Albert Halls Family Day on Saturday was also a hit, from teaching kids how to build wind turbines to even dabbling in dissection. The Smith's nature trail and fossil handling sessions were also well-received by youngsters.

Many of this year’s events were sold out, including the SmartSTEM Space workshops at the Tolbooth and creative cyanotype printing session at St Ninian’s Library.


Such was the popularity of the star gazing event at the Stirling Highland Hotel observatory, that a second event by Stirling Astronomical Society has been arranged for the 25th of October which is already fully booked.

Keen festival goer, 8-year-old Riley Fyfe from Stirling said: “Of all the events I attended, I loved the Money Matters workshop at the Tolbooth the most.

“I enjoyed exploring all the old coins and notes. Getting to examine a Roman coin and imagining someone holding it over one thousand years ago was pretty cool!”

The scientific fun continues throughout October, with a host of online activities at and ongoing exhibitions at the Tolbooth and Made in Stirling.