Science made fun at the Scottish Parliament


This April, the Scottish Parliament’s Main Hall will play host to science themed fun, where visitors will be able to take part in live science experiments and will even have the opportunity to control a replica of the world’s most powerful laser, the Vulcan. 

The Incredible Power of Light exhibition will go on display at the Scottish Parliament between Wednesday 1 and Thursday 30 April.  

The Vulcan laser is 10,000 times more powerful than the national grid and will form the centrepiece of the exhibition along with a number of interactive exhibits and animations. 

Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer, Rt. Hon Tricia Marwick MSP said:   

“Science will be brought to life in the Parliament this April as visitors get to experience the wonder of lasers. I am delighted that the Scottish Parliament will play its part in making science fun and engaging for both adults and children alike.  

“This exhibition will also be accompanied by one of our most exciting programmes of free interactive children’s workshops and talks aimed at all the family.  

“We want to encourage people to come and explore Holyrood and find out more about what’s going on inside.” 

The exhibition is accompanied by a programme of free drop-in interactive workshops and talks for all ages.  Budding scientists will be invited to light up their world with workshops on illuminated geometric lanterns and creative cameras that really do look round corners.  

Cupcakes with popping particles and fruit punch experiments will be served in the public café as part of a child friendly menu inspired by science. 

The exhibition and accompanying events programme also celebrates the International Year of Light 2015. This will also be the first time that the Scottish Parliament has featured in the Edinburgh International Science Festival. 


The Incredible Power of Light is presented in partnership with the Science and Technology Facilities Council and forms part of the wide ranging actives of Edinburgh International Science Festival. 

The Vulcan laser is the most powerful laser in the world, 10,000 times more powerful than the National Grid and is a laser facility delivering pulses of light up to one petawatt of energy.

A replica of this extraordinary laser will form the centre-piece of the Incredible Power of Light exhibition here at the Scottish Parliament. 

Alongside the laser will be animations, interactive exhibits, hardware and displays that will all tell the story of how lasers impact on our everyday lives. 

As part of the Incredible Power of Light exhibition, an inspiring range of family-friendly workshops and activities are taking place at the Scottish Parliament during April.

This is the first time the exhibition has been shown to audiences in Scotland.  

The exhibition and events run from Wednesday 1 April – Thursday 30 April (Monday – Saturday). Visit for the full exhibition and events programme and details of opening times.

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