Beakerhead bubbles a big hit with kids

Every year during the second weekend of September, Calgarians make their way downtown for the annual Beakerhead festival.

Beakerhead’s highlight this year was a mechanical snake, and when the clock hit 8 p.m. it lit up in flames at Fort Calgary.

If fire isn’t your thing, check out the wall of bubbles at the Centre Street LRT, where families walking by can pop bubbles and interact with 1,000 balloons.

“I love taking my kids to Beakerhead,” said Cathy Libownski.

“It’s great for them to be able to touch art. The mixture of science and artistry allows for us parents to let them roam free.”

Libownski said that it is hard to take the whole family to other events, especially ones that feature art, because children like to explore and touch.

“It’s nice to watch them gather around and be able to touch the exhibits. I don’t have to constantly be watching them to make sure that they aren’t putting their fingers on something that shouldn’t be touched,” said Lebownski.

“It gives us a nice break, too.”

Exploration involving more senses than just sight is highly encouraged at Beakerhead.

Their main mission is to allow for science and art to co-exist.

According to its website, “Beakerhead is a registered charity whose mandate is to advance education at the crossroads of art, science and engineering.”

It is because of this that many people around the city have put forth donations.

Madelyne Luarilla, a frequent donor to the TelusSpark Science Centre in Calgary said, “I love Beakerhead. I donate often to science as I think it is very important, but I also donate because I think making education fun can be difficult.

“Having events like Beakerhead, it doesn’t seem so bad to want to learn about pyrotechnics, or space, or why balloons stuck to a wall is a crazy and simple display of physics.”

As children play with the bubbles, volunteers are on hand to explain to the kids why we can make balloons stick to walls, make hair stand on end, and why bubbles pop.

These easy and fun explanations of physics help kids understand things like friction and gravity.

The balloon wall could be seen from the Centre Street LRT station, and many passers-by’s stopped to take pictures.

“It’s just fun to see balloons stuck to a building while waiting for your train. It’s nice to see kids jumping and laughing. You kind of forget you’re stuck waiting,” said Annie Chan, a frequent transit passenger.

Beakerhead is working on ways to discover what other boundaries they can cross, and what new artistic developments will make Calgarians smile even more next year.

Check out more information about Beakerhead at

About Amanda Stanford 3 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Amanda Stanford worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2017-18 academic year.

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