Ten days to shape our world

7th March 1997 at 00:00
Now is the time to unravel the mysteries of the universe as National Science Week takes place from March 14-23

This is not only the Year of Engineering Success (YES) but March 14 to 23 is also National Week of Science, Engineering and Technology (or SET 97). Coordinated by the British Association for the Advancement of Science, the nation will be trying to prove that the truth really is out there. Middlesborough Football Club, for instance, will be looking looking at the science of keeping fit, and Bedford Museum is holding a competition to design and build an effective medieval siege machine. There is open house at the Department of Trade and Industry with a programme of lectures, displays and debate. Libraries and museums all over the country will also have themed events and activities. Here are a few more suggestions: * Elsecar Discovery Centre in Barnsley goes into orbit for the duration of Science Week with an inflatable planetarium from which to explore the galaxy. The seriously star-struck will find workshops on how to make, launch (but presumably not embark on) your own rocket. Budding astronauts will be further enlightened by an interactive performance from Stage Fright entitled "Journey through the cosmos with Professors Spoof and Hoodwink". For those who want to keep their feet more firmly on the ground there's a chance to make and fly your own kite. For further details contact: Sara Maltby, Elsecar Discovery Centre, Wath Road, Barnsley S74 8HJ. Tel: 01226 740203.

* Tomorrow's World, the BBC's long-running science programme, will be generating its own exhibition at the NEC Birmingham from March 19-23. In a bid to explain exactly how they did do that, there will be demonstration areas showing off the latest technological and scientific innovations, as well as a chance to see things that could change the way we live. Details: Darren Whitehead, 0181 948 1666.

* Horizon (BBC2, Thursday, March 20) examines the work of a man whose invention of the jet engine changed the nature of travel, commerce and leisure in one swoop. RAF officer Frank Whittle, was thwarted at every turn by a sceptical and indifferent British establishment. He eventually took his ideas to the USA, which was smart enough to recognise the potential of what later became the Boeing 707.

* Also on television, Seven Wonders of the World is returning for a second series (BBC2, Wednesdays, from March 19 at 7pm). Seven brilliant scientists, including Richard Dawkins, Arthur C Clarke and Alison Jolly, nominate the seven wonders that have most inspired and excited them.

* For full details of what's on where during Science Week, telephone 0345 600444 (1.00-7.00pm, Monday to Friday) or the Internet site: httpwww. britassoc.org.uk * And as if all that wasn't enough, the Edinburgh International Science Festival takes place from March 22 to April 6. It includes talks on inhospitable environments, the causes of natural catastrophes and the paranormal. It also boasts mini-festivals, hands-on family fun, books and films. Details: EISF, 149 Rose Street, Edinburgh EH2 4LS.

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