Count­down starts to Barn­aby launch

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

AF­TER al­most two long years of wait­ing, the Barn­aby Fes­ti­val is fi­nally swing­ing into or­bit, with just three months to go un­til the big event.

Barn­aby has been run­ning ev­ery year since 2009 when a group was set up with the aim to host a fes­ti­val arts and cul­ture, un­til 2014 when it was de­cided the event would run bi­en­ni­ally.

To co­in­cide with this year’s theme of ‘Space’ a se­ries of five sci­ence-spe­cific ac­tiv­i­ties, known as ‘Mis­sions’, have been or­gan­ised for vis­i­tors to ex­plore through­out the du­ra­tion of Barn­aby.

Karl Wal­lace, di­rec­tor of Barn­aby, said: “Barn­aby is de­lighted to have ex­panded its sci­ence pro­gramme this year with a grant from the Sci­ence Tech­nol­ogy Fa­cil­i­ties Coun­cil to fit with our theme of space.

“There will be a chance for bud­ding sci­en­tists of any age to get in­volved in ex­per­i­ments, see lec­tures and meet sci­en­tists. We will have so­lar gaz­ing from Macc Astro and a chance to re­quest im­ages from 17 re­mote tele­scopes around the globe that are in dark­ness while Mac­cles­field is in day­light.

“We also have three very spe­cial guests mak­ing an ap­pear­ance, yet to be re­vealed – pos­si­bly hu­man or pos­si­bly ex­tra ter­res­trial – so we are re­ally de­lighted that the peo­ple of Macc will get a chance to meet them. We are keep­ing it un­der our hat for now but keep check­ing our web­site in the run up to the fes­ti­val.”

Timed to co­in­cide with as­tro­naut Tim Peake’s re­turn from Space, ‘Mis­sion One’ will see year six pupils from Mac­cles­field pri­mary schools launch a weather bal­loon into the up­per reaches of the at­mos­phere, equipped with cap­sule con­tain­ing HD video cam­eras and GPS trans­mit­ters.

‘Mis­sion Two – Deep Space and So­lar Lab’, will be a drop-in week­end with mem­bers of Mac­cles­field As­tro­nom­i­cal So­ci­ety.

Vis­i­tors will have ac­cess to 17 re­mote tele­scopes so they can seek out their favourite con­stel­la­tions, dis­cover the Plan­eterella, and learn how the Aurora Bo­re­alis works.

‘Mis­sion Three – Space Chal­lenge’, is a com­pe­ti­tion run by Mac­cles­field Col­lege where teams are in­vited to take part in a se­ries of space-themed chal­lenges, and a gi­ant in­flat­able plan­e­tar­ium will be erected in the grounds of Christ Church to show a 360 de­gree star show for ‘Mis­sion Four’.

Christ Church Lawns will host two days of hands-on work­shops and demon­stra­tions aimed fam­i­lies for ‘Mis­sion Five’.

Ac­tiv­i­ties will in­clude ed­i­ble comet mak­ing, crater build­ing, live ex­per­i­ments and demon­stra­tions, iPad space sim­u­la­tions, games and chance to de­sign a con­stel­la­tion.

Barn­aby runs from June 17 un­til 26. All the mis­sions are free, with a small charge for the plan­e­tar­ium.

If you’d like to take part in any of the events, or vol­un­teer to help out, email mail@barn­abyfes­ti­val.org.uk, or go to barn­abyfes­ti­val.org.uk.

●● The Barn­aby Fes­ti­val is to blast off this sum­mer with space as its theme. In­set: Fes­ti­val di­rec­tor Karl Wal­lace

●● Wayne Boyd climbed to the top of a 120ft py­lon in Mac­cles­field

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