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Wrexham Science Festival 2014 line-up revealed

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Wrexham Science Festival is back… and bigger than ever before.

Highlights of this year’s free programme include an appearance by award-winning stand-up Helen Arney, and the Science of Star Wars with author and TV presenter, Mark Brake.

Last year, organisers took the difficult decision to call-off the festival due to economic pressures and an abundance of other events taking place in the town throughout 2013.

However, Glyndŵr University in partnership with Wrexham County Borough Council, Coleg Cambria, Techniquest Glyndŵr and Careers Wales North East worked hard to bring the event back this summer, from July 17-23.

Helen Arney’s Voice of an Angle show bombards the audience with stand-up science, songs and silliness from the UK's “premier geek songstress and purveyor of the finest musical comedy”, while Mark Brake and TV science presenter and rapper Jon Chase tackle a more fun side to the iconic Star Wars franchise at the University’s Catrin Finch Centre on July 17.

“We all know that Star Wars conjures up images of spaceships, super-weapons, and all sorts of visions of the future, but the movies’ immensely popular blockbusters of life in ‘a galaxy far, far away’ anticipate real-life future science, right here on Earth,” said Welshman Mark.

“Jon and I will probe the fantastic frontier between movie magic and cutting-edge science, using madcap antics, verve, and flights of fancy from one of the most successful epics in entertainment history.”

He added: “We appeared at the festival two years ago with the Science of Dr Who, so we’re delighted to return to Glyndŵr University and Wrexham this time around with a new show.

“We want sci-fi geeks of all ages to come and pay us a visit. We like to engage the public in something they know very well – such as Star Wars – and bring a fresh twist to it.

“This will be like nothing they’ve ever seen before, bringing science and one of the greatest movies ever produced together on a very special night.”

The festival also features a presentation by graduate and Students’ Guild Coordinator Gundega Raven Skobe, entitled Do Atoms Think? A Panpsychists Perspective on Consciousness.

Senior lecturer in Computing, Nathan Roberts, will explore underwater worlds with Aquarium in a Planetarium.

The Science Futures Programme - which runs throughout June until July 18, forms an early part of the festival and features presentations, demonstrations and workshops which are aimed at engaging pupils in North Wales of all abilities with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Lynda Powell, director of campus management and commercial services for Glyndŵr University, revealed the William Aston Hall, Nick Troth lecture theatre and Techniquest Glyndŵr will be among the venues hosting the event’s much-anticipated return.

“We wanted the festival to come back with a bang, and the events we have in store will certainly deliver that,” said Lynda.

“As well as some of science’s top names, such as Mark Brake, Steve Morricone and Adam Whittaker, several of our own lecturers and graduates will make an appearance.

“They will host talks and workshops on topics including climate change, interactive TV in the 21st century, and renewable energy.”

She added: “We think there is something for everyone and know how popular the Wrexham Science Festival has been in past years.

“We hope to see plenty of people on our Wrexham campus over the seven days and look forward to welcoming these extremely special guests.”

Dawn Pavey Project Coordinator from Techniquest Glyndŵr said: “Techniquest Glyndŵr is really pleased to be part of the partnership that delivers Wrexham’s Science Festival.

“It is a great opportunity to reach out to people of all ages in the area and create real interest in science, engineering and maths topics.

“Together with our partners this year we have planned a huge programme of interesting events, ranging from hands-on science discovery through to presentations on leading edge science and technology being developed here in North East Wales. We are really looking forward to welcoming everyone to what we have on offer.

“We are confident that there will be something for everyone at this week-long festival and will help to create enthusiasm in those taking part in the week’s activities for finding out more.”

For more information, visit the website: http://www.wrexhamsf.com/
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