Rock the Lab

National Museums Scotland hits the road this summer to bring science to the music festival circuit – including the Hebridean Celtic Festival this week.

In partnership with Edinburgh International Science Festival, it will tour its ‘Rock the Lab’ science roadshow to festivals and local communities around the country, with hands-on science experiments and fun drop-in events.

Supported by a Scottish Government Talking Science grant, ‘Rock the Lab’ takes free and interactive science experiments to new audiences across the country.

At each festival, people will be able to flag down roving scientists and their busking bike to see astounding experiments, or drop into a pop-up laboratory where ‘Rock the Lab’ will fire the imagination and show the fun side of scientific research and innovation, with experiments, demos and surprises inspired by the wondrous collections on display at the National Museum of Scotland.

In addition ‘Rock the Lab’ will go out into local communities around each festival site with its offering of free, fun and bizarre science.

Stephen Allen, Head of Learning and Programmes at National Museums Scotland, said: “We hope everyone who comes to try out these experiments is entertained by the fantastic scientists and inspired by our fascinating collections of science and technology, which cover life, the universe and everything in it: from science and engineering to nature and outer space.

“We’re really excited to team up with Edinburgh International Science Festival to bring Rock the Lab’s fun science roadshow to some of Scotland’s best-loved music festivals and into communities.”

‘Rock the Lab’ will offer people the chance to delve into the body’s inner workings and uncover the science behind the “seven deadly sins”. T

he secrets of greed and gluttony will be revealed with a hands-on journey through the human digestion system; while pride and beauty will be put to the test with scientists examining people to see if they have “the golden ratio” and challenging their sense of smell.

Alongside this, at the music festivals there will also be a secret silent disco where the music and the dance moves are inspired by the animal kingdom’s best movers and shakers.

These are just a few examples of the entertaining science experiments that will be taking place.’Rock the Lab’is suitable for all ages.

Amanda Tyndall, Deputy Director of Edinburgh International Science Festival said: “Rock The Lab is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase the entertaining and bizarre side of science innovation in new and unexpected environments.

“We’re delighted to be working with National Museums Scotland to present this fresh approach to science communication at some of Scotland’s best music festivals and their surrounding communities.

“Our specially developed activities will challenge your senses and puzzle your perception as our science buskers extract real DNA, demonstrate what happens when you’re sick and allow you to experience what a difference two stone makes.”

As well as appearing at the HebCelt Festival, ‘Rock the Lab’ will also visit Tarbert Community Centre, Harris, today (Monday, July 15th); Bernera Community Centre on July 16th; Uig Community Centre, July 16th and An Lanntair arts centre, Stornoway, July 17th.