Press release 15 Mar 2024

Taking place between 16th and 23rd March, the 22nd annual Caithness International Science Festival is set to bring entertainment and education suitable for the whole family at venues across the region. Organised and run by Science 03, the latest festival offers a jam packed schools programme and several public events.

With experts from fields including astronomy, biology, conservation and food and farming, there’s something on offer for everyone. For a taster of everything the festival has to offer, the Family Fun Day taking place on 23 March at Wick High School and sponsored by Thistle Wind Partners (TWP), the developer of the 1GW Ayre Offshore Wind Farm, a floating wind project which will connect into Caithness.

This year’s festival will give attendees the chance to learn about offshore wind, virtual reality, climate change, RSPB reserves, exotic animals, bees, robotics and much more through a variety of interactive shows and hands-on activities.

Visitors can work with programmable robots, robotic arms, test out virtual reality goggles, venture inside a life size inflatable humpback whale, get up close and personal with the animals from Caithness Animal Farm Park and marvel at Mark Thompson’s Spectacular Science Show. There will also be a café to keep everyone refreshed.

“The festival is such an important opportunity for us to talk to young people in Caithness about the career opportunities in offshore wind,” said Ian Taylor, Project Director.

“Our two Scottish offshore wind farms are set to enter construction from 2029 and then will be in the water for another three decades after that (and longer, if circular economy and design advances allow). We know key roles like welders will be in high demand and the industry faces a shortfall of engineers across a variety of disciplines, as well as the new roles in robotics development, data and digital solutions, and marine science that are coming online in the sector.”

TWP supports skills development in the region through its funding of an early-years STEM programme with UHI, sponsorship of the Orkney International Science Festival, and outreach to local schools.

Chairperson, Iain Baikie said “over the last 22 years the Caithness International Science Festival has brought a range of presenters to Caithness and North Sutherland generating excitement, fun and learning for pupils, students, teachers, and the public. Our Family Fun Day has seen excellent turnouts of over 2,000 coming to Wick High School and Café to meet our presenters and enjoy a range of demonstrations and exhibits from local STEAM groups and employers. It’s a real treat for everyone, please come along and make our Family Fun Day on Saturday 23rd March 12-4pm, our 22nd festival the biggest ever!

Other Family Fun Day highlights will include SPOT the Robot Dog, Glasgow Science Centre’s interactive Fitlab exhibits and Dynamic Earth’s planet protection themed activities and exploring light and magnetism with Caithness Astronomy Group, there will also be an opportunity to look through telescopes and learn more about planets, comets, and galaxies.

Festival coordinator, Nicola Macleod said “We are really excited about this year’s event, we have an excellent schools and early years programme, and the Family Fun Day will be a fantastic finale to the event. With over 30 local and national exhibitors there will be plenty for everyone to get involved in. We are looking forward to welcoming back Mark Thompson with his Spectacular Science Show which will take place in the studio and was a huge hit last time he visited. We are also looking forward to welcoming some new exhibitors at the fun day, including Royal Highland Education Trust, Moray Makerspace and Caithness Seal Rehab and Release.”

All events are free to attend and open to anyone who would like to come along. A full programme of events and more details on the festival can be found at

Notes for editors:

  1. Science O3 is a registered Scottish Charity.
  2. The 2024 festival is supported by The Scottish Government, Thistle Wind Partners, Developing the Young Workforce North Highland, KP Technology Ltd, and Foundation Scotland from several funds including the RWE Bad á Cheò Community Fund, Tannach and District Wind Farm Trust Fund and Watten Windfarm Trust Fund.
  3. There is an extensive school’s programme that comprises shows and workshops from local and national organisations, including. Details can be found in the attached document. [Schools and Early Years Programme]
  4. The full programme of Family Fun Day events is continually being updated at



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