The University of Southampton
Public Engagement with ResearchOur engaged university

Science and Engineering Day

Totally inspiring. An incredibly enjoyable day - we arrived before opening and stayed until the very end.

Science and Engineering Day 2016 was on Saturday 12th March. This free event was part of British Science Week and was previously awarded Best Engineering Event in 2009 and Best STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) Institution Event in 2014.

The 2016 event was organised by the University's Public Engagement with Research unit


Cave art
Wind tunnel
Erica the Rhino
Acoustic levitation
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About the day

Save the date - the next Science and Engineering Festival will be on Saturday 18th March 2017.

This was the 14th year that the University of Southampton has hosted a free event celebrating our Science and Engineering research and expertise. Each year we aim to have an inspiring and educational mix of old favourites and new activiites for our many visitors of all ages.

This year we expanded to include both Highfield campus and the nearby Boldrewood Innovation Campus. It is an easy, level walk between the two sites, but we also laid on a free shuttle bus.

There were more than 100 talks, tours, activities and experiments to choose.

We share Boldrewood with the Lloyd's Register Global Technology Centre. LR ran a number of marine-related activities and hosted talks in their building.

Visitors with a smartphone could find their way around via an interactive map at

Talks and shows covered topics as diverse as the science of light, bubble acoustics, Einstein's secret universe, weird weather, undersea volcanoes, engineering for sports performance, the physics of the Large Hadron Collider, and how to become a marine biologist. Ian B Dunne was back with his ever-popular Science Magic ...Magic Science show.

There were too many interactive activities to list them all here. You can download the full programme below, but here's a small selection: an 00-Gauge model railway showcasing the engineering behind modern rail infrastructure; a tour of the 6-axis shaker; a wingsuit challenge with the Icarus team who are trying to beat the world wingsuit record; the science of slime; From Head to Toe (exploring the human body); the stem cell mountain; MadLab; cleanroom tours; exploring gravitational waves; Erica the Rhino; ultrasonic particle levitation; a human-powered submarine; panning for gold; Minecraft engineering and a continuous demonstration in the new 140-metre ship towing tank.

There was lots more to discover on both sites including an archaeology 'village', a camera obscura and a dalek. Walking around you might even have come across teams of science 'buskers' with portable mini-science experiments.

Programme cover

Useful Downloads

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This year we gave a number of awards to recognise our staff and students involved with Science and Engineering Day.

Follow the link to read more

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