Rochdale Science Extravaganza

In conjunction with British Science Week and supported by British Science Association, our theme for this year is Women in Science. From Mary Anning and her Ichtyosaurs, to Marie Curie’s two Nobel Awards for her research into radioactivity, they all brought revolutionary ideas to the field of science. Their discoveries are considered fundamental, yet we still fail to recognise women in science as we do to their male counterparts such as; Einstein, Newton, Hawking. This event is designed to enlighten our audience of how women are taking great strides in science, how they made breakthrough discoveries in the past and look to shape the future.


Rochdale Science Extravaganza event returned on Sunday March 15th 2020. The free event was held at Castlemere Community Centre on Tweedale Street, Rochdale, from midday till 4pm.

The event was sponsored by the British Science Association, Rochdale Borough Council and Wardleworth Community Centre’s Learning Club, and held in conjunction with British Science Week.

In light of all media reports on Covid-19, and after assessing all Governmental and Rochdale Borough Councils advice, Rochdale Science Initiative C.I.C with good intentions decided to go ahead with the event.

The day promised to be fun and inquisitive.

Families were welcomed with speeches from the founding ambassador of Rochdale science Extravaganza; Labib Rahman, Acoustic engineer; Hasina Begum, Dr Musharraf Husain and the education officer for Dippy in Rochdale; Helen Seymour.

Everyone’s favourite animal workshop Zoo2U returned with their exotic animal’s, the African royal python was a hit. Immersive Experiences planetarium had visitors fixated on the night sky. Zeerak, Geophysics student at The University of Leeds, and Wasibur Rahman, student at Rochdale 6th Form had young people engaged with their array of D.I.Y experiments.

Hasina Begum, final year PhD student at The University of Sheffield used an acoustic device to demonstrate how ultra sound frequencies can emit images of the heart. Dippy in Rochdale education officers made ‘dino poo’ and Rochdale science Initiative’s volunteers showcased a variety of gadgets, magentics being the favourite.

FunScience colourful potion lab and theatrical science show went well with the audience. Living well were kept busy by parents asking questions in relation to health and wellbeing.

The event engaged with 300 families. The positive energy demonstrated by volunteers and participants is an inspiration for Rochdale Science Initiative C.I.C to work harder and deliver more exciting science Initiative’s in 2021.


The Rochdale Science Extravaganza returned for a third year and was bigger and better than ever on Sunday (10 March).

The day was packed with fun science-related shows, including a full theatrical science show, the exotic Zoo2U animal exhibition, Flash Bang mobile science lab, and the planetarium to gaze upon the night sky.

Dippy on the road roared into the community centre, revealing what to expect in Rochdale when he officially arrives in 2020.

This year’s theme was women in science, with a very inspirational Women in Science Q and A stall hosted by team member Jahira Islam, who has a background in audiology.

PhD student Hasina Begum, part of the CDT Polymer Centre at the University of Sheffield completing her doctoral studies in acoustics and mechanical engineering, designed the Rochdale Science Extravaganza’s biggest project to date – a walking on water experiment.

Miss Begum also had many other experimental activities such as polymer slime and making bath bombs.

Jacqueline Boylan – aka Wacky Jacky – of Fun-Science presented a very tongue-in-cheek show dubbed ‘Princess Science’, looking at stereotypes of what women like and how to appeal to them.

Women working within the field of science, from clinical biochemists, audiologists, science teachers to research fellow in bio-mechanics, occupational therapists were all quizzed by the audience.

Presentations were also given by event founder, Labib Rahman, 12, Hajrah Matlub, a nuclear medicine technologist, and Habiba Begum, a bioscientist working for Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute.

The event was opened by Centre Manager of Wardleworth Community Centre, Mohammed Miah, who said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with Rochdale Science Association and the team of volunteers to offer a unique platform for our community in the heart of Rochdale.”

He continued: “It’s a great honour to be a part of this event and speak here today at the third annual science extravaganza. The community has come together to put together a unique show which no doubt will inspire and spark our young generation of the future.

“Scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important in the 21st century as we face the benefits and challenges of globalisation and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, our young generation need to develop their capabilities in STEM [Science, Technology, English and Maths] to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.”

Rochdale Science Extravaganza is made possible through Rochdale Science Association in partnership with Wardleworth Community Centre, in conjunction with British Science Week and supported by the British Science Association.

The first fun-filled family Rochdale Science Extravaganza took place in 2017, thanks to Labib’s love of science.

Photos used with kind permission from Doliz Miah.

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People from across Rochdale attended the Rochdale Science Extravaganza, including the Mayor and Mayoress, Ian and Christine Duckworth, Rochdale MP Tony Lloyd and local ward councillors Ali Ahmed, Sultan Ali and Iftikhar Ahmed.

The day was packed with fun science-related shows, including ‘whoops we blew the science lab’, ‘flash bang science experiment stand’, ‘zoo 2 you animal exhibition’, ‘aqua-lease rockpool experience’, and outdoor ‘Mentos geyser explosions’, plus a science experiment stand including slime making and a Van de Graff generator.

Labib Rahman, 11, who organised the event said: “People still showed up all across Rochdale, coming down to celebrate science, and it was great seeing everybody having fun and learning a couple things too. The weather tried getting in the way, hindering it by snow and bitter cold, but with the community’s support, and loyal friends and family, the event pushed through and it was amazing.

“Thank you everybody for making this event happen.

“Hopefully 2019, will be even bigger and better, and free of weather problems.”

Labib’s father, Mohammed, said: “The show had to go on. I am truly humbled by the eventual turn out. I think we’ve established something that could potentially turn in to something big for Rochdale.”

Shaukat Ali , Wardleworth Community Centre chairman, said: “I want to thank our centre manager Doulot Miah for presenting and co-ordinating the event, Labib and his dad, our partner organisations, sponsors, stall providers, Tony Lloyd MP, the Mayor and Mayoress, the leader of council, ward councillors and all the residents from all backgrounds for attending today and making it a successful event.”

Mr Miah, the centre manager, said: “Absolutely fantastic event at Wardleworth Community Centre, I am very pleased to see many people turning up in the freezing cold weather to take part in this annual celebration.”

Last year Labib organised the first fun-filled family ‘science fair’ at the community centre, which was attended by hundreds of excited adults and children.

The extravaganza came about because of the enthusiastic child’s love of everything science. Labib wanted to hold a science related event because “it is miles to travel to Manchester or Birmingham, so why not do something in my town?”

Labib and his father are planning a third event in 2019, but due to the unpredictable British weather, they are considering departing from British Science Week in April and holding the event during the summer.

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Wardleworth Community Centre hosted a fun-filled family ‘Science Fair’ on Sunday (12 March), organised by young science enthusiast, ten-year-old Labib Rhman.

Labib was supported by his father and a donation from the British Science Association.

Hundreds of children and adults from Wardleworth and beyond attended and the day was packed with science related activities – science shows and experiments – plus live wild life mini zoo, bouncy castles, food stalls and a presentation by Labib about fossils.

The Vice Chairman of Wardleworth Community Centre, Shaukat Ali, presented the event, which was also attended by the Mayor of Rochdale Council Ray Dutton, Councillor Syed Ali Ahmed and Councillor Sultan Ali.

Shaukat Ali said: “We thank the Mayor and the councillors for their attendance and all the volunteers, organisers and participants, without them the event would not have been successful.

“This event proves that the Community Centre plays a vital part in bringing in people together and the community is benefiting from having a local centre right in the heart of the community. The Community Centre is a focal point for the residents in Wardleworth and we very much hope that the Council will continue to fund it in the years to come.”

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