Day 7 Friday 23rd October

Welcome to Day Seven of our first virtual Midlothian Science Festival. Each day we’ll release a new page of links to content about the science on your doorstep, and further afield. Every day there’ll be things to read, videos to watch and of course experiments for you to do at home!

Today we have live events at 2pm and 5pm (book your free place using the links below) as well as a selection of activities to do at any time.

As ever, the Midlothian Science Festival is all about sharing science with people in Midlothian, and we need your help! Spread the news, follow the Festival on Twitter and Facebook, share our posts and most importantly. tag us on social media and add your pictures to let us know what you’re enjoying about Midlothian Science Festival 2020.

Find us on Twitter @MidlothSciFest and on Facebook @MidlothianScienceFestival and tag us using #MSFonline

2pm reserve place

fun scientist

Each year the Fun Scientists support our festival with their fun family science shows. This year we’re delighted to announce that they’re taking their shows online, with two new shows each day until Saturday!

Today’s 2pm show is all about the science of secret messages. Follow the link to book your free place, and if you want to take part at home, check out the short equipment list (all household items).



Fun Scientists -Secret Messages


5pmreserve place

fun scientist

The Fun Scientists second show is today at 5pm and is all about the science of projectiles.

Follow the link to book your free place, and check out the equipment list (all household items) if you want to take part at home.


Fun Scientists – Projectile Science


DNA The 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was recently awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna for their work on genome editors – “genetic scissors” that can cut DNA at a precise location, allowing scientists to make specific changes to specific genes.

This technique is being used by scientists at the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute – take a look at their short guide to genome engineering and its uses.


Genome Engineering


Brian Cox To finish our season of videos from the University of Manchester, join Prof Brian Cox for a Q&A on physics research. watch

Prof Brian Cox

hercules Today’s stargazing video from the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh is all about the Summer Triangle.

This is the sixth in a series of videos about the constellations in our night sky – look out for a new video each day.


Summer Triangle


bee Today’s video from Midlothian’s Newbattle Beekeepers takes us for a tour inside their bee hives, where we find out about the life cycle of the honey bee. watch

Life Cycle of a bee


climate change How does our food affect the planet?

To find out, take a look at these family-friendly videos and worksheets from an event run in June by the “Take a bite out of Climate Change” project, and play the Climate Food Challenge online game.


Climate and Food

Climate Food Game


frogs It’s Friday and what do we watch on Fridays?Frogs of course!

Join Frog Friday – a lockdown event run by Manchester Museum (you can find all ten episodes at the bottom of the linked page).


Frog Friday


Why do slugs and snails need slime? Find out for yourself with this hands-on science investigation from the Royal Society of Biology, which includes a chance to make your own slime!

Don’t forget to share your results: @MidlothSciFest @RoyalSocBio #MSFonline


Snails, slugs & slime


ink separation Our friends at STEAM Experiments have put together lots of experiments that you can try at home. They have also provided links to the science behind the experiments, to make the activities suitable for all ages.

Today’s experiments are all about chemistry, with chromatography (the separation of chemicals) and “sweet rocks”, an experiment you can eat!



Sweet Rocks


space We have partnered with our friends at the Silesian Science Festival in Poland to bring the first ever international content to our festival.

Today’s first video BIAŁE PLAMY NA MAPACH WIEDZY (WHITE SPOTS ON THE MAPS OF KNOWLEDGE) is about the history of discoveries from Columbus, through DNA, to space.

Today’s second video EKSCYTUJĄCA, PEŁNA
WYZWAŃ ERA SPACE 4.0 (SPACE 4.0 ERA – EXCITING AND FULL OF CHALLENGES) is a deep insight into the future – how the current Space 4.0 era and its technologies can shape our lives and make them better.


History of Discovery

Space 4.0

Instructions for Subtitles

You may need to adjust the subtitles on these videos




habitat Check out this family-friendly collection of activities about animal habitats from Manchester Museum.



Animal Habitats



Kissing Bug Watch Dr Hector Diaz Albiter from the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Parasitology at the University of Glasgow discussing Chagas Disease and dissecting a kissing bug – the insect vector of this deadly disease.

This video has Spanish as well as English subtitles.


Kissing Bug


moon Check out these time-lapse videos of growing seedlings and bird table visitors from the learning team at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh’s Science Centre. watch

Growing plants


Don’t forget you can see and book all of our free online live shows for the week here

Missed a day? No problem! See all of our festival content so far here

Author: Ken

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