Bang went the Borders on Saturday as hundreds of budding scientists descended on Melrose.

The fifth annual science festival to be held in the town was hailed a huge success at St Mary’s School.

With over 25 workshops to choose from, run by universities, schools and scientific bodies, covering a massive range of topics for four to 13 year olds, the stream of would-be young scientists came in their droves to watch volcanoes exploding, dry ice smoking and a testing for the DNA of a strawberry .

“Today I held a sea urchin in my hand, built a computer from scrap and dissected a real pig’s eyeball,” remarked one eight-year-old.

This totally free Science Festival, sponsored by Rathbones Investment Management and Heriot Watt University, once again opened its doors to welcome over 1200 children and their families to a world of science and discovery.

In the Marine Zone, St Abbs Marine Station’s Touch Tank Rock Pool Safari was swimming with a wealth of live Scottish sea life including sea urchins and starfish for enthusiasts to hold in the palm of their hands.

Across the room, researchers from the University of Aberdeen explained the mysteries and beauty of Scotland’s Super Sharks. A metal detector was at the ready to show the electro reception of this domestic mammal’s behaviour whilst younger visitors coloured in sharks for the great Shark Wall.

Budding geologists packed into watch Geo-Chemists from Glasgow University and their engaging “Volcanoes – Crystals and Bubbles” show and crystal-growing workshop.

Afterwards they could get their hands on real mineral specimens, rocks and crystals.

The Carbon Footprint was well and truly stamped into the mind with the two new Workshops “Keeping Carbon Cool” by Heriot Watt and “Bubbles” with Loretto School.

Here children as young as four could help experiment by “floating bubbles” on containers of Carbon Dioxide. Question and answer sessions showed a good knowledge of the atmosphere of the young visitors.

Not for the squeamish “What are you looking at” brought by Fettes College allowed the braver young biologists to don a lab coat and spectacles and get to work on dissecting a real life pig’s eye.Event organiser Sara Shinton said: “By instilling a strong interest in science in children at an early age by using fun, hands -on engaging activities we can open their eyes and minds to fantastic opportunities.Bang Goes the Borders is aimed at making science accessible, engaging and inspiring for children."

“We are incredibly grateful to the busy scientists, their institutions and our sponsors who make this annual totally non-profit making educational event such a success.”