Helen Sharman, first Briton in space, to feature in Festival of What If

Thursday 14 June | Jen Forster

We The Curious will be kicking off the summer season with the ‘Festival of What If’ 26 – 31 July – an inspirational mix of events, activities, art, music and comedy, all framed around the question ‘What if I could change the world?’ Special events include an audience with Helen Sharman, the first Briton in space, and special Aardman model making workshops.

On Saturday 28 July, 2.30pm, We The Curious will be hosting ‘An Audience with Helen Sharman’ – in May 1991, Helen Sharman became the first British astronaut when she launched on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.  She spent 8 days orbiting the Earth, living and working on the MIR Space Station. Come and hear the story of her incredible journey – from answering the advert on the radio, learning Russian and the meticulous training, through to launch and landing. Find out how weightlessness feels, the importance of team spirit, and how you readjust to life on Earth.*   

There will also be special Aardman model making workshops (three times a day 26 – 29 July) – where you can join an expert model maker from Aardman Animations and discover how to make your very own model of inventor and faithful friend, Gromit. A lively and engaging session, with plenty of anecdotes about the Aardman studio and a chance to ask all your burning animation questions.**

The Gromit model making workshops also tie in with the fantastic Gromit Unleashed 2 trail which is hitting the streets of Bristol this summer from 2 July - 2 Sept – and you’ll even be able to pose with your own Gromit creation with the two statues which will be on Millennium Square and in the foyer of We The Curious over the summer.

Throughout the Festival of What If, families can enjoy a day together making discoveries. Launching for the Festival, you’ll be able to choose your mission in the brand new 3D Planetarium show ‘Solar System Odyssey’, a presenter-led show with multiple missions and 28 different destinations to choose from, no two shows are ever the same!***

Families can investigate how great ideas begin in ‘The Lightbulb Moment’ Studio show, team up for the chain reaction challenge and go behind the scenes to explore some colourful chemistry in the lab. If that’s not enough, spend some time with visiting artists and researchers, finding out about their work and getting involved yourselves.

The Festival of What If will also have a series of special evening comedy events, Planetarium nights events, robots, a free play-day on Millennium Square, and a special After Hours event – full details will be announced shortly!


*Helen Sharman tickets cost £20 adult, £18 concession. Includes entry to We The Curious for the afternoon from 1.30pm.

**Aardman Model Making Workshops are an additional £3.50 per person. You do need to have a general admission ticket to book a workshop. Suitable for age 5+.

***Planetarium shows cost 2D: £2.50 (members £1.25) or 3D: £3.50 per seat (members £1.75), in addition to standard admission. 3D only available for ages 6+ due to health restrictions.

For more information, and to book tickets, visit www.wethecurious.org or call 0117 915 1000 (Monday – Friday 9-5).



For further information, images, or to arrange a press trip to We The Curious, please contact Jen Forster – PR Manager, on 0117 9157 152/07967 334 152 or jen.forster@wethecurious.org You can also follow We The Curious on Twitter (@wethecurious_) or on Facebook (wethecurious). For more information, please visit www.wethecurious.org


Editor’s Notes :

About We The Curious:

We The Curious was previously known as At-Bristol Science Centre; an educational charity with an aim to “make science accessible to all”, it opened in 2000, and welcomed over 5 million visitors in the past 17 years. At-Bristol relaunched as We The Curious in September 2017, with a new vision that is committed to creating a culture of curiosity.

We The Curious is an idea and a place for everyone. Our venue on Bristol’s harbourside is a bit like an indoor festival, with all sorts of different experiences, where you can interact with exhibits, test stuff out and participate rather than just visit.  We’re all about empowering everyone to ask questions and get creative - with boundaries removed between science, art, people and ideas - a culture of curiosity.


Image credit: National Waterfront Museum Swansea