Last Saturday Wrexham’s streets came alive again with another of the monthly street festivals organised by the town centre partnership. Supporting the event was Techniquest Glyndŵr who opened the doors again to the building which they hope will eventually be their future home between Henblas Square and Chester Street.
A steady stream of visitors came through the doors all day to take part in a lively variety of science themed activities that took advantage of the generous space offered by the whole of the ground floor of the former TJ Hughes building in the town centre.
One of the more popular activities for visitors was to take part in the continuous programme of StarDome shows presented in the science centre’s very own portable planetarium which was set up for the day. Through most of the day there was an excited queue of both young and not-so-young people to take part in a guided journey through space.
Staff from Techniquest Glyndŵr also provided a selection of other science activities for visitors to take part in, including basic computer programming, demonstrations of a humanoid robot programmed to dance ‘gangnam style’, various science busking and circus tricks and a small selection of the 65+ science exhibits brought from the main centre on Wrexham Glyndŵr University Campus especially for the event.
“Diddy Car Races” for three age groups of children were held throughout the day on a specially cordoned off course taking advantage of the smooth surfaced walkways around the ground floor of the building – with a leaderboard showing the fastest times for the children taking part, it provided a fun prizewinning competition for children to take part in.
Demonstrating his expert juggling skills, volunteer Robert Parkinson who works for a multinational science based
manufacturing company located in Wrexham was able to tutor many of the younger visitors in the finer points of juggling . Robert recently joined the volunteer team at the science centre and with the support of his employer, Solvay, he hopes to assist at future STEM related events that are planned from time to time taking place at the main science centre at Plas Coch.
Amongst the stalls and exhibits was a magnificent and very colourful menagerie of steel animals that was provided for the day by the British Iron Works based just down the road in Oswestry.
Other stalls at the event included local craft orientated small businesses, a local guiding group who provided a hands-on activity for people to make their own scented bath salts complete with young guiders on hand to assist and the very popular local fudge makers, Little Fudge Box were selling their hand made high quality confectionery.
The cardboard construction zone was set up to make use of quantities of large cardboard boxes that had previously been used to contain goods ordered for the science centre. It attracted lots of budding young architects to design and build small person-sized dens and various other imaginative structures which you could climb into.
One of the main purposes of opening the building for the day was to engage with the public and raise awareness of the bid for major funding that the science centre had submitted to the UK wide ‘Inspiring Science Fund’ offered by the Wellcome Foundation and the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Senior Exhibition and Events Officer Mandy Jones commented :
“Opening up here today is just one of our programme of monthly pop up science eventsheld on the last Saturday of the month in the middle of town. Through these events we are hoping to engage with a much wider audience, simply because we are in the town centre rather than on the University Campus.
In our funding bid we have stated that a town centre location will significantly improve our ability to make contact with new customers and today’s activities are helping to demonstrate this and so far we have had great support from the public who have come through our doors today.
We have also presented our funding bid as an opportunity to contribute to a wider effort from a number of businesses and organisations in and around Wrexham to help re-vitalise the town centre with an increased variety in the “offer” of the town centre. It is hoped to encourage more visitors to explore what the town has to offer and helping to make the various businesses operating there have a more secure future.”