Community Initiative Awards – a thank you to our sponsors!

Today’s the day that some of the BGTB team head to London for the prestigious Times Education Supplement awards as we’ve been shortlisted in the Community Initiative category. The event doesn’t include thank you speeches, (particularly if we don’t win!) so here is what we’d like to say to everyone who is part of our success.

BGTB success comes from a hard working team, dozens of volunteers, hundreds of scientists, thousands of visitors and a group of sponsors who have trusted us to deliver the event. Rathbones Investment Management have been with us from the first event and Christopher Godfrey-Faucett has come to every event and lifted our spirits with his infectious enthusiasm and the legendary Rathbones mints and pens.

We were also supported in the first year by the Institute of Physics in Scotland and the Society for Applied Microbiology. Along with Christopher, Alison McLure at IOP and Clare Taylor of SfAM showed huge faith in us and supported us without any evidence that we could pull off a science festival in a day. Thank you both and everyone at IOP Scotland and SfAM for that initial investment and their on-going support in the form of goodies for our famous bags.

Since the second year we’ve developed a partnership with Heriot-Watt University who became our second major sponsor and have stuck with us since. A particular thank you goes to Steve Chapman, former Principal of HWU who responded to a tentative request to cover the expenses of his researchers with a big smile and a promise of sponsorship which enabled us to instantly expand the ambition and impact of the event. Steve has now moved onto pastures new, but we’re really grateful to the new Principal at Heriot-Watt for his on-going support.

We’re so proud of what has been achieved since 2011 because of the hard work of the organising committee current and past; the volunteers who help us to run the day; St Mary’s School Melrose who host the event and whose staff give up huge amounts of free time to make the day a success and of course all the scientists who come along to a Saturday in September each year and inspire and educate.


As the only Scottish school/event on the shortlist wish us luck – whatever happens it’s going to be a great night celebrating what’s possible when a community forms around an idea, pulls together and shows that just because something hasn’t happened before, doesn’t mean it can’t with style and huge success!

Full Programme!

Thank you all for your patience – we now have a programme for the day following a wonderful late flurry of new additions at the end of last week.

As always, you’ll need to check exact timings and locations on the day as we may need to move things around, but hopefully you can start to plan the when, where and what to make the most of your day.

There are lots of new events this year so even if you are a regular there are plenty of fresh attractions.

As always, any questions, just get in touch – via Facebook or contact Sara, BGTB Director and she’ll get back to you as soon as she can.

Download the programme here: BGTB – all events for 2016 – website programme


New attractions!

We try to balance new workshops with established favourites at BGTB so there’s always a reason to come back year after year. This year’s new attractions include:

Build (and launch!) a rocket car with Borders College

Learn about the UK’s only pandas with Edinburgh Zoo

Meet one of the engineers for the new Queensferry Crossing

Fool your senses with the University of Edinburgh

Get to know Scotland’s wildlife on board Edinburgh Zoo’s Wild About Scotland bus

Meet the bad bugs resisting antibiotics with NovoScience

Take the BGTB Step Challenge with the University of Aberdeen

Overload on technology with Borders College

More details of all our workshops will follow soon!

In the meantime, keep in touch on the latest news through our Facebook page.

Here we are again…

With the final preparations for BGTB 2016 now coming together, this page is to remind or inform you of the key features of our festival-in-a-day!

It’s free. Yes, completely free. Thanks to our fantastic sponsors, Rathbone Investment Management and Heriot Watt University, and our brilliant venue, St Mary’s School all the costs of our presenters and publicity are covered, so we can bring an incredible day of science learning and fun to you, for nothing! Everyone who works on bringing the festival together is a volunteer, which keeps the cost of running the day as low as it’s possible to be.

It’s aimed at families. We want the things you see and do to be the start of weird and wonderful conversations, so the day is aimed at families all coming together. This means no unattended children 😉

It’s interactive. Get stuck in. Make a scab. Build a car. Touch a snake. Blow a bubble. Blow up something else!

You get a goodie bag. Our bags are a huge part of the day – pick up science themed goodies as you go around and have a great souvenir of the day for the rest of the year.

It’s in Melrose. Right here in the heart of the Scottish Borders. We love the train, but we love our doorstep even more. Come and join in the fun!

Saturday, September 17th 2016, from 10am – 4pm. St Mary’s School Melrose (next to the Rugby Club).