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Family activities reveal the science of everyday life

Published: 
2 March 2005

From tsunamis to aquariums, from flight simulators to laser light shows, the University of Southampton is bringing alive the drama of science for local people in a series of free events and activities during National Science Week 2005.

The University's week of events will give local people the opportunity to experience examples of science, maths and engineering that illustrate their importance in our everyday life. Ranging from hands-on activities through to learning about the power of natural disasters, there will something for everyone.

Events kick off on Saturday 12 March with a Science Family Day between 10.30am and 4pm at the Boldrewood Conference Centre. There will a variety of hands-on interactive activities for people of all ages, including the chance to fly the Airbus A380 Superliner Flight Simulator and experience the Light Express Laser Show.

During the week commencing 14 March there will be four evening lectures covering a range of science backgrounds. These include 'Understanding earthquakes and tsunamis' on Tuesday 15 March, presented by Dr Lisa McNeill and based on the devastating Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami last December. Her talk will show images and results from the recently completed HMS Scott survey of part of the earthquake zone, in which she took part with colleagues from the Southampton Oceanography Centre and the British Geological Survey.

The final event is the Ocean and Earth Day on Saturday 19 March from 11am to 4pm at the Southampton Oceanography Centre. Visitors will be able to find out about what lurks in the ocean depths and the Earth's crust, as well as attending sessions on the Asian tsunami and global climate change. There will also be the chance to make fossil mounds and visit the aquarium.

All events have been co-ordinated by the University's Outreach and Partnership Team, part of the Educational Development Service. Richard Kennett, head of the Team, explains: "National Science Week aims to celebrate science and its importance to our lives. It is also an important part of the University's commitment to greater public understanding of science, as well as placing its activities at the heart of the community. The programme is interactive and highlights the breadth and importance of the University's scientific research across a wide range of subjects - from the creation of new materials through nanotechnology, to research into the after-effects of the tsunami."

National Science Week is co-ordinated by the British Association for the Advancement of Science. This year's event is of particular significance as 2005 has been designated Einstein Year, the World Year of Physics, to mark the centenary of the publication of the physicist's ground-breaking Theory of Relativity.

Notes for editors

  1. All events are free, including the evening lecture series which will appeal to visitors aged 14 upwards.
  2. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has around 20,000 students and nearly 5000 staff. Its annual turnover is in the region of £270 million.
  3. The University's Science Week programme is as follows:

    Saturday 12 March
    Science Family Day, Boldrewood Conference Centre, Bassett Crescent East 10.30am-4pm

    Monday 14 March
    'The Mathematics of the Human Eyes' with Professor Alistair Fitt.
    7.30pm, Lecture Theatre B, Building 46, Highfield Campus

    Tuesday 15 March
    'Understanding earthquakes and tsunamis' with Dr Lisa McNeill
    7.30pm, Southampton Oceanography Centre, Dock Gate 4

    Wednesday 16 March
    'Climate Change and Arctic Drilling' with Dr Heiko Palike
    7.30pm, Southampton Oceanography Centre, Dock Gate 4

    Thursday 17 March
    'Nanostructured metals, butterflies and lotus leaves' with Professor Phil Bartlett
    7.30pm, Lecture Theatre 1101, Building 29, Highfield Campus

    Friday 18 March
    'Einstein's Revolution' with Professor Douglas Ross
    7.30pm, Lecture Theatre B, Building 46, Highfield Campus

    Saturday 19 March
    Ocean and Earth Day 11am - 4pm, Southampton Oceanography Centre, Dock Gate 4
    Visit the internationally renowned Southampton Oceanography Centre that includes University of Southampton's School of Ocean and Earth Sciences. Come and see the exciting worlds below the sea and under the Earth's crust.

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