The Big Bounce 2021

A free festival of physics for the East End of Glasgow.

In-person at The Barrowland Ballroom on Wednesday 13 October, with online events running throughout the week.


The Big Bounce is back! After last year’s online festival live from the Barrowlands, this time the whole family can get hands-on with exciting and inspiring physics at our amazing venues in the Barras.

It’s a celebration of curiosity and discovery, with amazing family science shows, fun workshops, and all sorts of drop-in activities in the main hall – and it’s all completely free.

Join us and other families from across the East End to experience the physics behind robots and rainbows, timelords and pirates, and everything in between. Physics can solve problems like climate change, and make incredible discoveries from atoms to stars... but it needs you to do it!

Check out our Facebook event page!

Following government guidelines in Scotland, proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required on entry for anyone 18 and over. If you have received both vaccinations in Scotland, this can be done through the NHS Inform website. Attendees over 12 years old will also be required to wear a mask inside the venue unless they are exempt.

The Big Bounce logo 2021 with a landscape painting in the background

Events and activities

The main hall, drop-in sessions (in-person): Wednesday 13 October

Drop-in sessions throughout the day

Captain Galileo and the Quest for Gold (also online on YouTube at 12pm): A fun walkabout science show – help two pirates find their gold in their handcart-ship packed with experimental materials (plus the occasional rat).

Timelord Training: Run our track as fast as you can, and discover how you’ve slowed down time. It’s all relative!

The Power of Movement: Come and get physical by powering household appliances by running on the spot, jumping up and down, carrying shopping bags and cycling!

Conscious Crafting: Get involved in some fun physics-inspired activities using a range of recycled and ‘saved from landfill’ materials.

Could You Run the Large Hadron Collider?: Become a particle physicist and collect as much data as you can using the infamous LHC – prizes and secrets of the universe in store!

Ask a Quantum Mechanic: Decode a secret agent’s message and play with amazing liquid crystal displays to find out – what’s quantum all about?

Seeing Invisible Greenhouse Gas: Drop in and play with an amazing augmented reality app that shows how invisible greenhouse gasses can be seen using cutting-edge quantum technology.

The Magnet’s Spell: Come and play a very special treasure hunt using magnets to track down secrets!

Falling Up: Circus artist Zinnia Oberski explores the laws of physics – all while swinging from a trapeze!

Quantum Chess: This video games explores what happens when you change the rules of chess and go into the quantum realm.

Making Waves: Come along to see waves in action by vibrating guitar strings, and moving water, and discovering what they look like in super-slow motion.

An adult shows a group of children science-based activities

The Kids Who Fell to Earth (in-person/online): Wednesday 13 October

10:30am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm (and 2:30pm online)

The Kids Who Fell to Earth: a man and woman painted blue

Physics and chemistry light up the stage in this visually spectacular show.

Join your heroes, a brother and sister from the far-off planet Jaahrgon, as they uncover the mystery surrounding their 300-year journey through space and their crash landing on Earth! Help them discover the science that holds the key to saving their threatened civilisation.

Watch as they explore states of matter and materials by experimenting with some of the coldest substances around before uncovering the secrets of space travel (with some dramatic explosions) to make their way back home.

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For ages 5-12 and their families. Young people MUST be joined by a parent or other adult for the FULL duration of the sessions.

This in-person show is free but has limited capacity and must be booked in advance.

Reserve your place now (early booking recommended)

Gadget Dissections (in-person): Wednesday 13 October

11:30am and 2:30pm

A collage of gadgets laid out

We are surrounded by gadgets – toys that talk, gizmos that light up and phones that seem to know everything. Armed with a screwdriver, and accompanied by experienced tinkerers and makers, you’ll take apart these curious machines to see the intricate electronics inside. Then you’ll create incredible art as you lay out every single piece as part of a framed memento to take home.

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Ideal for ages 10+ and their families. Young people under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

This workshop and performance is free but has limited capacity and must be booked in advance.

Reserve your place now (early booking recommended)

Curious Investigators (online): Tuesday 12 October

10am, 1pm and 3pm

Curious Investigators flyer with an illustration of a woman looking through a magnifying glass

Are you curious? Do you ask a LOT of questions? TONI NEEDS YOU!

CURIOUS INVESTIGATORS is a live interactive adventure from award-winning theatre company One Tenth Human, delivered via Zoom.

Meet “Investigator Toni”, who’s stuck at home – but still determined to discover something AMAZING.

She needs your help to solve a problem with a home-made marble run. But watch out – there may be a surprising discovery when you do... .

“My little boy turned to me halfway through and whispered ‘I love this, thank you’ and as soon as the call ended he was planning things to make.”

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For ages 3-7 and their families. Young people MUST be joined by a parent or other adult for the FULL duration of the sessions.

This online show is free but has limited capacity and must be booked in advance.

Reserve your place now (early booking recommended)

Science on the Streets (in-person): Wednesday 13 October

2pm, 4pm and 6pm

A walkway with Science on the Streets written above

Our walking tour explores the amazing physics and medicine pioneered right on our doorstep in East Glasgow! In Glasgow Green a stone marks the spot where James Watt conceived the idea for the steam engine’s separate condenser, which sparked the industrial revolution.

We will discuss the measures taken to stop Glasgow’s body snatchers and how two Glasgow scientists tried to bring an executed murderer back to life using electricity.

We’ll also do some science as we explore resonance on St Andrew’s suspension bridge. Don’t miss this very special view of Glasgow like you’ve never seen it before!

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Start and end at Barrowland Ballroom.

All under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.

This in-person tour is free but has limited capacity and must be booked in advance.

Reserve your place now (early booking recommended)

Small Stories (in-person): Wednesday 13 October

11:30am and 1:30pm

Small Stories: women giving a presentation to children

Small Stories is a collection of tales for little ones and their grown-ups. Come along and sing, make sounds and have fun together as we learn all about the wonderful world around us.

Explore why things fall down, what sound is, why things float and what makes a rainbow with these interactive sessions in our cosy story tent.

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Ideal for ages 3-6 and their families.

These in-person sessions are free but have limited capacity and must be booked in advance.

Reserve your place now (early booking recommended)

The Wee Satellite Challenge (online): Thursday 14 October and Wednesday 20 October

Session one: 1pm, 14 Oct
Session two: 4:30pm, 20 Oct

A satellite above earth alongside the Wee Satellite Challenge logo

What’s small, cube-shaped and hangs 60 miles above your house?

CubeSats are tiny wee satellites that do amazing things. Bring the whole family along to help pals Muza and Mikey as they try to get some off the ground!

Join them in session one as they meet characters from all around the world who all want to send stuff up into space – inside wee cubes made right here in Scotland. Then you and your family will make your very own satellite at home using our posted CubeSat Kit, to show the group in session two.

We’ll do a draw for an awesome prize, judged by a real satellite maker from AAC Clyde Space. Who knows, they might even hang around for a blether after. These may just be the most unusual Zoom calls you’ve had all year. Maybe even out of this world!

For ages 8-12 and their families. Young people MUST be joined by a parent or other adult for the full duration of the sessions.

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This workshop is free but has limited capacity and must be booked in advance.

Reserve your place now (early booking recommended)

Your postal address is needed in advance so we can send you your CubeSat Kit.

Session one – 40 minutes
Session two – 30 minutes

The Wee Satellite Challenge is produced by the Institute of Physics in Scotland, in partnership with AAC Clyde Space.

Mars Rover coding workshop (in-person): Wednesday 13 October

11:30am and 1:30pm

Mars Rover coding workshop: a computer animation

Bring the whole family to build your own miniature Mars rovers! But there’s more – how will it know what to do? Coding for absolute beginners of course. You’ll teach your rover how to explore its surrounding and gather data, all from scratch!

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Ideal for ages 10 and up and their families. Young people MUST be joined by a parent or other adult for the FULL duration of the sessions.

This in-person workshop is free but has limited capacity and must be booked in advance.

Reserve your place now (early booking recommended)

Navigating with the Stars (online): Tuesday 12 October

4pm

A small boat on the sea underneath a starry sky

Join us for a virtual journey around the world and into the past, to discover the secrets of navigation used by ancient travellers.

The Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Vikings and the Polynesians will teach you how to use the stars, sun and moon to find your way across the sea. This workshop is for absolute beginners, with no prior knowledge of astronomy required. If you think the night sky is amazing, or you like a bit of history, then sign up, this is for you!

Led by Vassilios Spathopoulos of Glasgow International College.

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For ages 14+ and their families. Young people MUST be joined by a parent or other adult for the FULL duration of the sessions.

This Zoom workshop is free but has limited capacity and must be booked in advance.

Reserve your place now (early booking recommended)

Gravity Synth (in-person): Wednesday 13 October

11am, 1pm and 3pm

The Big Bounce 2021: Gravity Synth logo

Calling all budding music producers! You’ve never seen anything like this before. Join Leon Trimble as he performs with his amazing synthesiser that uses the same device used to detect Einstein’s gravitational waves in space.

What are gravitational waves? Good question – you can ask it beforehand in a chat with Graeme Eddolls, who works in the Glasgow team that first detected them in 2015.

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For ages 14+ and their families. Young people under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

This workshop and performance is free but has limited capacity and must be booked in advance.

Reserve your place now (early booking recommended)

Weather Folklore workshop (in-person): Wednesday 13 October

12pm

Weather Folklore: the weather stone

What weather-prediction sayings are we familiar with? And is there any truth to them?

Join the Community Learning and Development Team at Glasgow Science Centre to discuss weather folklore, check out some familiar and maybe unfamiliar home weather predictors and discover how meteorologists actually develop science-based weather forecasts.

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Perfect for 12-to-120-year-olds!

This in-person workshop is free but has limited capacity and must be booked in advance.

Reserve your place now (early booking recommended)

Mind and Draw: make a climate change poster (in-person): Tuesday 12 October

12pm

A person using a stencil to write 'ready' on card

Come along with the family to try your hand at drawing in this creative session where we will be doing a range of fun activities on the theme of climate science!

We will be creating artwork and posters all about solutions to tackle climate change. It’s open to everyone, all ages and abilities: it’s just for fun.

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Ideal for anyone aged 1 to 100! This session is free but has limited capacity and must be booked in advance.

Reserve your place now (early booking recommended)

Close Up Magic (online): Tuesday 12 October

11am and 2pm

Close Up Magic: Rowena performing a trick with a drink can

Is physics magic? Is magic really physics? Hop on Zoom to see Rowena perform some amazing close-up tricks using the power of physics.

Come along to check out impossible balancing, flotation tricks and much more, and see if you can work out how she does it all!

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For ages 7-12 and their families. Young people MUST be joined by a parent or other adult for the FULL duration of the sessions.

This online show is free but has limited capacity and must be booked in advance.

Reserve your place now (early booking recommended)