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Exciting events set to showcase the fun in science and engineering

Published: 
26 February 2007

A 'science showman' also known as 'the Professor' kicks off the University of Southampton's Science and Engineering Week 2007 on Saturday 3 March by showing the science behind playing the saw and hot air balloons.

Ian B. Dunne, a science educator and a graduate of the University, will be at the official launch of this year's event in the city's WestQuay shopping centre between 3pm and 5pm. University staff and students will be in the Atrium between 9am and 7pm with a large display stand and visitors to the stand will have an opportunity to fly the Airbus A380 super jet airliner in a flight simulator.

Events revealing the excitement of science and engineering and the mysteries of the ocean and Earth take place between Saturday 3 March and Thursday 22 March. All events are free of charge.

University of Southampton Deputy Vice-Chancellor Adam Wheeler explains: "All the events taking place during Science and Engineering Week show the fun and excitement of science and engineering.

"But there is a serious message here too: we are aiming to inspire and excite the next generation of scientists and engineers who are crucial to the economic development of the UK. The events also demonstrate how important the research taking place at the University of Southampton is in underpinning many of the major technological developments taking place today: the University's scientists and engineers are helping to shape the future of our world."

Families are invited to attend fascinating exhibitions, interactive displays and lectures at two headline events:

* Science and Engineering Day at the Boldrewood Conference Centre at Bassett Crescent East on Saturday 10 March. This event features the science of time, nano-materials dancing with light, and the Light Express Laser Show. There will be a chance to pilot the new Airbus A380 super jet airliner in a flight simulator and opportunities to create video and computer games. A digital camera or MP3 player will be the prize in a competition.

* Ocean and Earth Day at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton on Saturday 17 March is a fun day for the family. Visitors can learn about the oceans and the Earth and how we explore them through science and engineering. They can also look over the research vessel Callista, visit the aquarium, and take part in activities ranging from making casts of fossils, working out the age of fish, learning about the pressure of the oceans and about the polar regions. There will be a competition for a digital camera or MP3 player.

A short series of evening lectures includes 'Science, Sea and Safety' with Holly Phillips, Senior Naval Architect at the RNLI; and 'Life, Water and the Planet' with Professor Rob Fender. Popular television scientist and personality Kathy Sykes is also presenting a lecture for local schoolchildren.

Ian B. Dunne says: "Science is the best: it is about everything and it is all round us all the time. Not only that but it is fascinating - from the strange and wonderful creatures that live at the bottom of the sea that no one has ever seen alive, to the wonders of stars, all the way down to how to make a decent cup of tea, there is science in it all. Now, like no time before, we need to get people interested in science and we need more science graduates. It is really satisfying to see how the University of Southampton is supporting National Science and Engineering Week, and I am very happy to be involved with these events."

Southampton's Science and Engineering Week 2007 is supported by The Royal Academy of Engineering under its Shape the Future campaign.

Dave Rowley, Head of Campaigns at The Royal Academy of Engineering comments: "We are delighted to be partnering the University of Southampton on such a varied series of fun events designed to show young people and their parents that it will be the scientists and engineers who will overcome the major challenges faced by the world in the coming years."

Notes for editors

  1. You are invited to the launch of Science and Engineering Week 07 at 3.15pm at WestQuay shopping centre when there will be a photocall with Ian B. Dunne and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Wheeler and an opportunity to interview Ian and University representatives from Science and Engineering Week 07.
  2. The University of Southampton is one of the UK's top 10 research universities, and the leading UK Engineering University, with a global reputation for excellence in both teaching and research. With first-rate opportunities and facilities across a wide range of subjects in science and engineering, health, arts and humanities, the University has around 20,000 students and 5000 staff at its campuses in Southampton and Winchester. Its annual turnover is in the region of £310 million.
    Southampton is recognised internationally for its leading-edge research in engineering, science, computer science and medicine, and for its strong enterprise agenda. It is home to world-leading research centres, including the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton; the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research; the Optoelectronics Research Centre; the Textile Conservation Centre; the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease; and the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies.
  3. The National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS) opened in 1995 in a purpose-built, £50 million waterfront campus on the city's Empress Dock. A joint venture between the University of Southampton and the Natural Environment Research Council, the centre houses around 500 staff and 650 undergraduate and postgraduate students. The UK's ocean-going Royal Research Ships are also based at the centre with a new vessel, RRS James Cook, joining the fleet in March 2007.
  4. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. The fellowship - comprising the UK's most eminent engineers - provides the leadership and expertise for Academy activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, they provide independent and impartial advice to Government, work to secure the next generation of engineers and provide a voice for Britain's engineering community. www.raeng.org.uk

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