BOUNCING ASTRONAUTS LAUNCH ASTRONOMY WEEK AT DYNAMIC EARTH

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By Oliver Farrimond

ONE of Edinburgh’s star tourist attractions has kicked off a week-long festival of astronomy, the universe and everything.

Exploding marshmallows, an inflatable planetarium and a host of cosmic exhibitions will all feature at Our Dynamic Earth over the Easter weekend, until April 13.

The festival, dubbed the “Astronomical Astronomy Circus”, aims to capture the imaginations of stargazers both young and old.

Visitors will get the chance to build robots out of Lego, “terra-form” Mars and enjoy an intimate planetarium experience.

Catriona Cardie, marketing director at Our Dynamic Earth, said: “We like to encourage what we call ‘family engagement’, where children can bring their mums and dads along and everyone can enjoy what’s here.

“If you give young children fun activities, they can get really into science without really realising they’re learning about science.

“Hopefully our astronomy circus can give children an engagement with science that will last them right the way through school.”

The astronomy circus coincides with the Edinburgh Science Festival, which has attracted over a million visitors since its inception in 1987.

Festival staff will be working with the popular science centre during the circus, helping to run the events and educate visitors about all things astronomical.

Ms Cardie said: “It’s Easter week, the weather’s beautiful and the school holidays are about to start.

“There are five different activities a day, as well as the Dynamic Earth centre itself, so there really is nowhere else to be in the city this weekend.”

Our Dynamic Earth, which opened in 1999, has proved to be one of Edinburgh’s most popular tourist attractions.

It has also taken a lead role in science education – the centre was awarded a £250,000 grant in July of last year to get more young people switched on to the world of physics, engineering and technology.

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