A popular north-east STEM festival is to take place online this year for the first time in its 27-year history.
TechFest will launch this year on November 5, with a live dive show streamed from Macduff Aquarium.
Its ambitious programme includes more than 30 events taking place over a three-week period and includes the traditional public programme, plus a separate one for schools.
The event usually takes place in September, but rather than cancel the festival due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, organisers decided to make the most of the situation by expanding the event digitally.
Therefore, TechFest this year will include a mix of live and pre-recorded events delivered via Zoom, Facebook, LinkedIn and interactive activities.
It has also been supported by joint principal sponsors BP and Shell and also sponsored by Equinor, Ithica Energy, SBRC, The Data Lab and supported by RockRose Energy.
TechFest’s managing director Sarah Chew said: “Having to look at a different way of delivering the festival this year, really opened our eyes to the possibilities, not just this year but in the future.
“Translating a three-week live event into a digital format has been a considerable undertaking but we’re very excited about what has been achieved and how it has shaped up.
“We’ve been able to include speakers and events from across the country and visitors to the festival are not confined by distance so by adopting the digital format we’ve extended the reach of our audience.”
Some of the public programme events will include talks on deep-sea genetics and marine plastic pollution, human evolution according to brain size, sleep management and the development of good sleep habits.
The school events will bring science-based activities into the classroom, with video conferences, talks and virtual events taking place with partners such as Edinburgh Zoo, the RAF and the Red Cross, working alongside Skills Development Scotland.
This year, TV wildlife photographer Doug Allan will also be a keynote speaker for the festival.
Ms Chew added: “It’s also giving us the scope to create a bank of online resources which people can access long after the festival has ended.
“We are already looking at how we can incorporate and expand the digital element of the TechFest festival in the future. This has shown there are no boundaries and there’s no reason why we can’t bring in international speakers and a global audience in future.
“We are incredibly grateful to our joint principal sponsors BP and Shell and all other sponsors and supporters for making it possible at this time and to all the presenters who met the challenge with enthusiasm when we proposed this programme.”
Admission to all of the events is free.
For more information on the events and to book, visit https://www.techfestsetpoint.org.uk