Manchester Science Festival 2018

Event Name: Slime & Crime, Manchester Science Festival 2018

Timings: 22nd, 23rd & 25th October 2018, 11am - 3.15pm

Structure: 45 minute workshops with 2 activities per slot

Key Partners: SPI Club , Manchester Science Festival , Collyhurst Big Local, Sale West Big Local

Target Audience: Children aged 5 - 12 (under 8’s accompanied) and big kids!

Admission: FREE

Funder / Sponsor: MSF and Sale West Big Local

Brief: Deliver free and accessible children’s science workshops for communities that do not have an MSF event/venue near them, ensuring maximum reach for the festival across Greater Manchester.

Attendees: 200+

This was a collaborative event series between Commonplace and SPI Club who made a partnership bid to deliver the series as part of the Manchester Science Festival 2018. SPI Club and Commonplace approached Sale West and Collyhurst Big Locals to deliver child-friendly science workshops during the festival run (which coincided with October half term). The locations and partnership with the Big Local were chosen to ensure MSF reached communities that wouldn’t normally access the festival either due to location, financial constraints or lack of awareness.

The workshops were designed and delivered by SPI Club and a team of volunteers from MSF. Commonplace managed the relationship with MSF and handled the event coordination (site visits, bus delivery & set-up, volunteer liaison, ticketing and guest relations). The content of the workshops were designed to introduce forensic science through finger print analysis; and ‘science in action’ through chemicals reactions in slime making. The playful and interactive activities included the addition of lab coats and googles for every child to make them feel like scientists for the day!

Key outcomes: fully booked for every workshop, positive feedback on content, children highly responsive to bus, location choices popular, over 200 on board across 3 days

Key learnings: on-day bookings work well for residential locations, 10 children per floor for optimum space, simple and achievable activities that last approx. 20 minutes each work well for younger attention spans, slime is always popular!


"I like how they were so nice with the children"

"Good sized event, local, friendly"

"Excellent slime and fingerprint activities. Really helpful and supportive staff"

If you like the sound of this event, or have an idea for your own event aboard the Commonplace bus, why not get in contact.

Lucy Cooke