OTLEY Science Festival has got off to a ‘storming’ start.

This year’s celebration of all things scientific got underway at Otley Courthouse on Monday, November 11 and will run though to Saturday, November 16. Some Silly Science Toddler Time sessions, laid on with help from Otley Children’s Centre, went down well with young children and their parents on the opening day.

Later on Monday CBeebies and YouTube star Maddie Moate performed a sell-out Fantastic Factory Tour show - and she was back in action on Tuesday with three more performances.

Science Festival committee member Mark Brockbank said: “This year’s festival got off to a very lively start on Monday with two sell-out Silly Science sessions for children who enthusiastically explored jungles, space, dinosaurs, transport, sound and more thanks to Otley Children’s Centre.

“And in the evening we had Maddie Moate’s Fantastic Factory Tour, a sell out show aimed at a young audience. The greeting when Maddie came on stage was literally deafening! The show was a great hit with parents and children enjoying lively science and lots of audience participation.”

Family outreach worker at Otley Children’s Centre, Katie Coultas, said: “Messy play was the focus of the activities for the children who attended the Silly Science event, using their senses to explore, make connections, have fun and support their development.

“We also showcased a variety of cheap activities parents can copy at home to support their children to become future explorers, and some children met animals for the first time.”

There are plenty of further festival events lined up - not least at the free all-day Science Fair on Saturday, November 16 when all kinds of experiments and stalls will be set up at the Courthouse.

Otley Libary and All Saints Parish Church will be involved this year too, with a planetarium being set up at the church while visitors to the library can have a go at coding.

One of the festival’s organisers, Dr Sue Bowler, said: “The festival got off to a storming start and continues all week - you can find out where physics can take a career in An Evening with Paul Hardaker, from the Institute of Physics, on Friday.

“Gardener and botanist James Wong, meanwhile will be wondering what is happening to the nutrition in our food on Saturday evening and we have our free Science Fair on Saturday.

“It’s a bumper fair this year, with extra events including free planetarium shows at the parish church. Just turn up and be amazed!”

Visit www.otleysciencefestival.co.uk for more details.