Review: Honiton Festival of Imagination

The Beehive was a-buzz with activity on both Friday and Saturday last week for the second Festival of Imagination.

On Friday nearly 60 children from primary schools in Honiton, Awliscombe, Stockland, Offwell and Upottery, enjoyed some exciting workshops led by an astronomer from the Ogden Trust, a physicist from the Institute of Physics, a meteorologist from the Met. Office, a fellow from the Primary Science Teaching Trust and chemist. The activities included learning about planets using different sized balls; talking through string-telephones; seeing cells using a microscope; making paper snowflakes in a session on weather; and making a variety of models of crystals from sweets and cocktail sticks. After all this exciting hands-on science, parents arrived to see children from Honiton Primary, Awliscombe and Upottery present their own work on a festival school science project – the ‘Rollercoaster Challenge’.

Whilst the children were learning downstairs, audiences of about twenty adults attended each of four talks upstairs on Architecture, Gluten-free Cookery, Astronomy and Theatre and enjoyed drinks and refreshments in the Beehive café bar.festimag

Day 2 of the festival was a family event with many hands-on activities, pop-up performances from Honiton Youth Orchestra and East Devon Dance Academy, more talks and story-telling. Amongst the wide range of activities on structure, children and adults enjoyed putting a stick through a balloon; building a wooden ‘rainbow’ bridge (large enough for a child to sit on) with help from a Member of the Institute of Structural Engineers; dressing up as engineers in safety vests and helmets while they built bridges from Art straws under the guidance of a Member of the Institute of Civil Engineers; and creating a ‘Spaghetti Tower’. Tables with model-making, ‘Origami Crystals’, DNA models to see and copy using beads, Meccano, Lego, and robots were constantly busy. The talks, including ‘Oliver Cromwell’s Ointments’, ‘Shakespeare – sonnets and plays’, ‘Raindrops to Superstorms’, and ‘Arches and Bridges’, were well attended.

The second Festival of Imagination lived up to its name – both children and adults enjoyed a wide range of hands-on activities and stimulating talks.  The festival organisers would like to thank all workshop leaders, speakers, activity leaders and performers for generously giving their time and energy in planning and delivering such engaging presentations. We are also grateful for the support we have had from the Beehive.

Review by Sue Waring