Day out at Edinburgh International Science Festival will blow tiny minds away

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The brochure for the Edinburgh International Science festival transports me back in time, to my school science lab in the 1980s. Visions of bad hair, exam terror, raging teen hormones and the eggy whiff of Bunsen burners are conjured up in an instant. Thankfully, these days science is much more appealing.

This year there are a bumper 27 venues, offering something for every member of the family. The event aims to celebrate the Olympics, mix arts and science, examine the Earth and its environment, dissect the science of food and drink and take a closer look at discovery, innovation and creativity. Phew.

As usual, the City Art Centre supplies the focus, with six floors of free scientific mayhem including The World of Bubbles, which will delight all ages, while the Rampaging Robot Chariot Race is a surefire winner for over-fives. Splat-Tastic oozes viscosity and slime, but pre-booking is advisable. Over-sevens can have an eye-boggling time examining sight at Visual-Eyes, while over-eights can enjoy the chance to build and programme robots, and outsmart temple gods and snakes in the search for treasure with Adventure-Bots and the Temple Gods.

Tall tales will be told at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. Taff in the WAAF & Bletchley Park caught my eye while Eureka! Ancient Greece and its Brilliant Scientific Discoveries might also appeal. Both events are on Thursday 5 April, £4.

At the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh you can indulge at the Chocolate Tree Workshop at various times on Sunday 8 April, £5, or test your palate at the free drop-in Junior Chef Challenge.

Catalytic Clothing: Field of Jeans and Kilts will provide a breath of fresh air in St Andrew Square, as part of a public experiment uniting fashion and science. Eco jeans and 21st Century Kilts will cleverly reduce harmful air pollutants. Free.

At the grand gallery of the National Museum of Scotland, Human Limits allows you to compare your own puny muscles against elite athletes. Alternatively, boogie along to How Do You Dance? Get down, and find out whether your genetic make-up shapes the way you move. Kick your teenage game addict out of bed, and book them a place on the Bafta Game Designers Workshop, to find out how games are designed on Sunday 1 April. Suitable for 11-plus, it’s free, but a ticket is required.

Don’t forget to keep a look out for street science being conducted around Edinburgh. There will be mind-boggling experiments and demonstrations as scientists get on their bikes and bring the festival outdoors. Follow them at Twitter@EdSciFest for real-time science updates.

• 30 March-15 April, for more details see