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Dorchester Family Science Fair

Friday, February 25th, 2022 Dorchester Science Fair

Building on the success of the last event in 2019, the Dorchester Family Science Fair will be taking place at the Dorset Museum on the 13 March from 11am-1pm & 2pm-4pm. This free (but ticketed) activity is sure to bring out the Marie Curie or the Isaac Newton in you!

Entrance this year is strictly by ticket only, obtainable from the Dorset Museum website.

Aimed at children aged 4 plus, but with something for people of all ages to enjoy, the Fair this year will include over 15 different stalls from a range of scientific disciplines to allow you to get involved in some fantastic hands-on learning and experiments.

There will be a great range of activities, hosted by local scientists, allowing you to try all sorts of investigations – find out how physics plays a part in everyday life, discover the invisible world of microbes, explore the biodiversity of the natural world, discover how magnets and gravity work, test your knowledge of water systems, fossils and seaweed and even handle a 205 million year old meteorite!

Science for all the family

Emma Talbot from the Dorset Museum says “we are delighted to be hosting the Dorchester Family Science Fair on Sunday 13th March. It’s a great opportunity to show families our incredible new galleries, in particular our Natural Dorset Gallery where you’ll see 250 million years of natural history come alive.  We’re hoping families will enjoy exploring and discovering how Dorset people collected, investigated and made important discoveries about the natural world – and what we can do to protect them.  Families will also have the opportunity to get up close to the Weymouth Bay pliosaur, learn about Alfred Russel Wallace and his work with Charles Darwin and marvel at the vast collection on display”.

Exotic Animals Workshop

As well as the Family Science Fair at the Museum, there will be the opportunity on the 13th to attend a free workshop at the Town Hall with Worldlife, where you can learn about a range of exotic animals – imagine watching ‘Horrible Histories’ but with weird and wonderful creatures from all over the globe! Sessions are free but again booking is essential – also via the Dorset Museum website. And if you want to have a whole science day out, you can also go to Mars!

The Family Science Fair is being coordinated by Dorchester Town Council, Bournemouth University, the Thomas Hardye School, the Dorset Museum and the Institute of Physics.

“Prof Genoveva Esteban at Bournemouth University says: we are delighted to be involved again in co-organising the 2020 Family Science Fair.  It is a unique opportunity to explain our research to the general public, and students cherish the two-way interaction with people of all ages.  It’s a win-win situation.”

Dorchester Science Fair

This year the Family Science Fair has spread its wings to work with partners across the town to create the first Dorchester Science Festival, which will take place over 10 days from the 6th-15th March. Others offering events as part of the week include Dorchester Arts, Waterstones, Dorchester Library and Learning Centre, the Thomas Hardye School, Cape Farewell and Brewery Square.

Charlotte Spracklen, Centre Manager at Brewery Square, says: “We are delighted to be taking part in the Dorchester Science Festival this year, and can’t wait to host our Slimy Science Day on 12th March. We have a great selection of events taking place throughout the day for kids to learn about reptiles, other exotic animals and even make slime and rockets. We love being able to host events like this at Brewery Square, keeping the town centre thriving and getting families involved in fun activities. We hope local children will be able to take home some valuable skills and fun facts they can impress their friends at school with.”

Some of the Dorchester Science Festival activities are ticketed – for full information about everything happening, check out the Dorchester Science Festival Facebook page or pick up a programme from a number of locations around town including the Library, the Post Office, the Dorset Museum – and more!

Luke Jerram’s Mars exhibition in the Corn Exchange

Mars exhibition at the Corn Exchange - image credit Bob Pitchford

Dorchester Arts are not only hosting a show called ‘The Magic of Science’ but they have a whole series of activities taking place under an installation of Luke Jerram’s Mars – a seven-metre diameter, stunningly accurate recreation of our nearest planetary neighbour! For details of the full Mars programme, including public access times and ticketed events, head to the Mars page of the Dorchester Arts website.

And the timing of Mars in Dorchester could not be better – as the official UK Mars Day is on Monday 14 March – hosted by the UK Space Agency! For more information about this event, go to


The Dorchester Science Festival is programmed as part of the national British Science Week which is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths.

Judith Wardlaw, one of the co-organisers, says: “It is very exciting to see so many organisations coming together and offering a wide range of activities and events for the 2022 Dorchester Science Festival. The Covid pandemic has been very challenging over the past two years but has also highlighted the value of work in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). We aim to inspire, educate and entertain people of all ages, including many who might not usually be inclined to engage in science based activities.”

For more information, please contact Emma Scott at or call her, at the Town Council, on 01305 819463

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