Pop-Up Science at Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo are running pop-up science events on a variety of topics every day from 1-16 April aimed at families.

Pop-Up Science at Edinburgh Zoo

About Pop-Up Science at Edinburgh Zoo

As part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, we will be running pop-up science events every day from 1-16 April on a variety of topics. They are all aimed at families and are free to attend with Zoo entry, no booking required.

All take place 11am - 3pm in Budongo, unless stated otherwise.

1st & 2nd April

Wee Science, by: University of Edinburgh
Dogs bark, meerkats call, and chimps hoot, but only humans say words. Human language is remarkably different from all other animal communication systems, and yet we learn it very quickly: most children will know more than 10,000 words by the time they begin school. At Wee Science, we study how children learn language so quickly. You and your family can join us for a series of interactive and fun iPad games and demos, that explore how we learn to understand language.

MPYD: The Bionics Lab: Let's play with Nature, by: Heriot Watt University
MPYD: The BionicsLab is a workshop where children can learn about basic phenomena from Nature can be reproduced using our kit. Such phenomena have been translated in industry and manufacture and can now be found in everyday's products. Through this workshop, we hope to show children the wonders of nature and how, by interacting with her, we can ensure a more sustainable future.


3rd & 4th April

What makes us Human?, by: Living Links to Human Evolution Research Centre
The Living Links to Human Evolution Research Centre, which hosts primate researchers from across Scotland, is teaming up with the St Andrews Baby and Child Lab to create a family friendly event in which children can play games designed to study the origins of cognition – both from an evolutionary and developmental perspective. These are games that both children and non-human-primates have played in studies to reveal ways in which our thinking is similar to other primates, and ways in which it is different. Children can collect stickers and parents can read about the science behind the fun!


5th, 6th & 7th April

Seeing the Heat - Using Thermography For Animal Health and Welfare, by: SRUC
All objects including animal and humans emit infra-red radiation in proportion to their temperature. Thermography or thermal imaging utilises cameras that allow us to “see”, measure and record the surface temperature of objects. In the case of animals and humans we can identify changes in surface temperature associated with injury, disease, stress and environmental challenges. This allows us to assess the health and welfare of animals in a non-invasive way and supports early diagnosis of disease and other problems thus ensuring that we can optimise the animals’ well-being by early interventions and prompt actions.


5th & 12th April

Where Does Beeswax Come From?, by: Brian Pool
Meet RZSS Beekeeper in Residence Brian Pool to learn everything bees. Find out where beeswax comes from and what it's used for, see a wild honey bee colony's nest and have a go at making your own beeswax candle.


6th & 7th April

How Do You Weigh a Chimpanzee?, by: RZSS
RZSS monitors our animals’ health and well-being on a regular basis. A good indicator of health is weight. Weight checks can help us to detect pregnancies, monitor diet and normal development in young animals. Some animals can be tricky to weigh, so Heriot Watt Engineering students have helped us by designing some chimpanzee proof scales. Meet the scientists who created the scales and see how they came up with their designs.


8th & 9th April

GPS Navigation - From Animal Tracking to Geocaching, by: Geocash UK
VENUE: Zoo central lawn, by Jungle Cafe
GPS technologies are used to track rare species in the wild, from tagging of individuals to location mapping from satellite and aerial images. GPS technology is also used for recreational purposes, such as hill walking, sailing and geocaching. Join us for an introduction to using GPS and become Edinburgh Zoo's trainee animal tracker. Can you solve the mystery of the strange footprints and sightings that have occurred in the zoo recently? We have followed the footprints and put out cameras and even have extra animal trackers out on watch, can you help them? Follow the clues, and use your GPS on your phone to solve the mystery of the zoo's extra animal.


10th & 11th April

RZSS Google Expeditions, by: Google Expeditions
Google Expeditions helps bring lessons to life and take children to places they may never be able to go to. By simply putting on a virtual reality viewer, children can explore everywhere from the Amazon Rainforest to Madagascar and even Antarctica, all from a space within RZSS Edinburgh Zoo. By selecting expeditions which link closely to the habitats of the animals here at the Zoo or the many Conservation Projects supported by RZSS around the globe, we hope to bring you a greater understanding of our natural world and the amazing animals, landscapes and plants which occupy it. The team will be onsite with a complete Expeditions kit with everything needed to take children on journeys to virtually anywhere.

360 Degree Zoo, by: RZSS
Come to the Zoo, pop on a headset, and see the Zoo in a whole new light! We have 360 degree footage of the meerkats in a ball pool, a bug's eye view of cockroaches, some very special footage of the chimps from the Budongo Field Station in Uganda and more. Bring your own mobile device, click on the links using our free wifi and enter a whole new virtual zoo world.


12th, 13th & 14th April

Beyond the Panda, by: RZSS
Sample a few of the resources available in the Beyond the Panda education programme. The programme uses fun interactive activities, games and puzzles to encourage learning about China, its language, culture, geography, giant pandas and other Chinese wildlife.


13th & 14th April

Zoo Data & Technology, by: RZSS
Ever wonder how zoos keep records of all their animals? By using the internet of course! ZIMS (Zoological Information Management System) is a web based tool that we use to input and share data with zoos around the world. Zoos also care about collecting data about wild animals, find out how we use camera traps and analyse some wild photos yourself.

14th April

Eco-Tales of the British Isles, by: Alette Willis & Allison Galbraith
Venue: Wildlife Garden Yurt. Times: 12:30 and 1:30, 30minute sessions.
Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland have a rich tradition of stories about the natural world and humanity's place in it. Join RZSS Storyteller in Residence, Alette Willis, and special guest, Allison Galbraith, as they share tales with an environmental message from their newly published collection: Eco-Tales of the British Isles (The History Press, 2017).


15th & 16th April

Wild About Scotland Bus, by: RZSS
Details: In the Grassmarket on 4th & 5th April, Summerhall Courtyard from 10th to 13th April & Edinburgh Zoo 15th & 16th April. All 10am - 4pm.
Hop on board the Wild about Scotland bespoke double-decked bus to find out all about Scottish wildlife and RZSS native conservation projects. Have a go at guessing the animal skull, building a beaver dam and examining mini-beasts under microscopes.

While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for Pop-Up Science at Edinburgh Zoo are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment.

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