We all know teenagers: moody, only talk in emojis and never off their phones? Yep.
But anyone who spends any time with them knows that they’re also some of the most open-minded, radical and future-thinking people around.
Get young minds blossoming with our top ten picks for teens at Manchester Science Festival this October… It’s going to be v lit.
1. Man on the Moon programme
Show: Tuesday 16 October – Saturday 20 October
Workshops: Friday 19 October and Monday 22 October
Using maths, music and emotion, Keisha Thompson’s one woman show explores what it’s like to grow up and our relationship with our parents. Take a step beyond the show with her three workshops where you can fuse loop pedalling with Pythagoras’ Theorem, make poetry from Fibonacci sequences and discover more about Afrofuturism – the influence behind everything from Black Panther to Janelle Monae.
2. You Have Been Upgraded
Thursday 18 October
Welcome to Unlimited Enhancement Technologies where your dreams of being half man/half machine can come true. Forget Iron Man, this is where things get real with high-tech prosthetics, electrical implants and bio-hacking. You might even meet some cyborgs partying the night away.
3. Depths of my Mind
Friday 19 October
The teenage mind is beautiful. Don’t believe us? Join Scarabeus Aerial Theatre for a stunning visual feast and high-wire exploits that explore how the human brain changes, grows and solidifies when we’re young adults. Combining breath-taking digital images, high octane acrobatics and a pulsing soundtrack, be prepared to see teens’ minds in a whole different way.
4. Big Screen Bootcamp
Saturday 20 October – Sunday 21 October
Are you the next Steven Spielberg, Kathryn Bigelow or Christopher Nolan? Find out at this hands-on masterclass from University of Salford. Guided by pros from tech giants Barclays, Google, Microsoft and BBC, you’ll be in with a chance of winning a shiny award. Next stop: Hollywood.
Saturday 20 October – Sunday 21 October
Screens, screens, screens – we all know how much teens love them, so indulge their gaming passions with a trip to University of Salford’s GameLab. Journey into VR worlds, code flying drones and become an e-sports champion all under one roof plus see how cutting-edge gaming tech is changing our world.
6. Build Your Own Internet of Things
Sundays 20 October and 27 October
Make a better Alexa (maybe without the creepy laugh) in this workshop linking our lives with our things. Toilets that tell you when they’re dirty? Toasters that know exactly how you like your breakfast? Plug in, code out and get connected.
7. Storytelling and Secret Tunnels
Sunday 20 October
What’s going on beneath our feet? Is it a topsy-turvy dark mirror of the world where deranged clowns roam free? Or is it a cotton candy landscape populated by pink unicorns farting rainbows and cartoon princesses singing about letting it all go? You decide in this underground adventure through real tunnels powered by your imagination. Grab your glowsticks and follow the yellow brick road…
8. Question Climb
Wednesday 24 October
Get to the top of your game with the physics of mountaineering in this part-conversation part-climbing workout. Special guest Dr Suzie Imber, star adventurer on BBC2 series Astronauts and conquer of Everest, talks tips with physicist Joe Fennell, plus there’s free climbing for everyone. Talk about upwardly mobile!
9. Electricycle Avenue
Thursday 25 October
Get on your bike at this event powered by the people for the people. Pedal for the power to get this party started, go head to head with gold medal Olympic cyclists and enjoy all sorts of science shows, quizzes, live music and more.
10. Human Stories of Homelessness
Saturday 27 October
Homelessness is one of the biggest challenges we face in our city. This powerful, moving performance/workshop tackles it head on. The Museum of Homelessness will explore how the act of storytelling can change attitudes and prejudices towards homelessness, weaving in social neuroscience research that questions how we can see some people as less than human, yet develop emotional connections with non-human objects.
Manchester Science Festival (MSF) is a creative, playful and surprising science festival taking place across Greater Manchester. It’s the largest science festival in England and the North’s premiere cultural celebration of all things related to science and innovation.
This year’s Festival runs throughout half-term from Thursday, 18 October to Sunday, 28 October – dubbed ‘part laboratory, part playground’, the Festival invites over 100,000 visitors to join them at more than 120 unique and extraordinary events every year, ranging from art installations and theatre to comedy, debates and workshops.