1001 Inventions Arts and Science Activities Inspire Children in Milton Keynes

Creative learning attracts families to central library as part of the City of Codes and Light Festival

Milton Keynes, October 9, 2023 – The recently concluded educational extravaganza, “1001 Inventions: Journeys from Alchemy to Chemistry,” held at the Milton Keynes Central Library, witnessed resounding success with children and garnered wonderful feedback from attending parents and teachers. The event, a part of the City of Codes and Light Festival, unfolded over four days, from October 4th to 7th, drawing participants not only from Milton Keynes but also from other towns and cities including London, Cambridge, Leicester, Manchester, St Albans, Luton and Northampton.

The event organised in collaboration with Milton Keynes City Council and generously supported by the Arts Council England and The Royal Society of Chemistry, aimed to excite children about science and spotlight the significant contributions of ancient civilisations to the bedrock of modern chemistry. Central to the narrative was the groundbreaking work of the 8th-century scholar Jabir ibn Hayyan, known as Geber in the Western world.

Children were immersed in an interactive learning experience by exploring lesser-known stories of pioneers from diverse cultures from the history of science. They gained insight into how these historical discoveries continue to shape their daily lives.

Sessions organised as part of the event featured a captivating blend of animated videos, and science demonstrations weaved in an artistic theatrical performance. Children also had the opportunity to actively participate in hands-on workshops led by a creative and enthusiastic team of science explainers. Such an opportunity for experiential learning provided children with a platform to explore fundamental concepts, processes, and chemical reactions. Also, recognise the paramount importance of experimentation, following the footsteps of luminaries such as Jabir ibn Hayyan, Al-Razi, Al-Kindi, and other visionaries from the golden age of Muslim civilisation.

As part of the City of Codes and Light Festival, digital projection organised by Limbic Cinema and Islamic Arts, Heritage and Culture (MKIAC) using 1001 Inventions resources lit up the Milton Keynes Central Library attracting thousands of people. The projection, supported by Arts Council England, showcased a wondrous introductory journey into the golden age of Muslim civilisation dazzling audiences with colourful animations, poetry and music.

The event’s seamless execution and profound impact on the participants underscored its significance in fostering an appreciation for the historical underpinnings of modern science.  “1001 Inventions: Journeys from Alchemy to Chemistry” stands as a testament to the power of artistic offering and storytelling to encourage creativity and innovation while promoting diversity and inclusion.

About Milton Keynes Central Library

Central Library is the largest of the ten Milton Keynes Libraries, acting as the hub for library services. Central Library hosts many activities, events and exhibitions throughout the year.


City of Codes and Light Festival

The City of Codes & Light Festival 2023 is a celebration of learning, centred around MKC Library and Blechley Park, exploring history, art, science, maths and technology. The Festival, organised by Milton Keynes Islamic Arts and Culture (MKIAC), brings together creative and inspirational workshops, educational symposiums and unforgettable performances. It celebrates contributions of culturally diverse artists, mathematicians and scientists throughout the ages, from the golden age of Muslim civilisation to Alan Turing’s Enigma codebreaking during WWII at Blechley Park that led directly to the technological advancements of the world we live in today.


Arts Council England

We are the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us had access to a remarkable range of hight quality cultural experience. We invest public money from Government and the National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.


About The Royal Society of Chemistry

We are an international organisation connecting chemical scientists with each other, with other scientists, and with society as a whole. Founded in 1841 and based in London, UK, we have an international membership of over 50,000.

We use the surplus from our global publishing and knowledge business to give thousands of chemical scientists the support and resources required to make vital advances in chemical knowledge.

We develop, recognise and celebrate professional capabilities, and we bring people together to spark new ideas and new partnerships.

We support teachers to inspire future generations of scientists, and we speak up to influence the people making decisions that affect us all.

We are a catalyst for the chemistry that enriches our world.


 About 1001 Inventions

1001 Inventions is an award-winning, British based organisation that creates international educational campaigns and initiatives aiming to spark young people’s interest in science. 1001 Inventions believes in the power of culture and storytelling to encourage innovation and promote diversity and inclusion. As such, 1001 Inventions produces themed transmedia productions uncovering fascinating contributions of lesser-known pioneers from Arab, Asian and other Eastern cultures. Such creative public engagement productions cover a wide array of themes including health and wellbeing, machines and robotics, chemistry and its applications as well as animals and nature.


All photos from the event