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The University of Southampton

Award-winning event brings science to life for all the family

Published: 8 March 2011

The University of Southampton’s award-winning Science and Engineering Day and Ocean and Earth Day are back again in 2011 for National Science and Engineering Week (11 to 20 March).

The University of Southampton and National Oceanography Centre at the Southampton waterfront campus are celebrating this exciting occasion with a variety of free events.

The University’s Science and Engineering Day, which was voted the UK’s best engineering event during Science and Engineering Week in 2009, takes place at the Highfield campus on Saturday 12 March, with fascinating exhibitions, interactive displays, talks and shows from 10.30am to 4.30pm (last admission 4pm).

This stimulating and fun day will be full of opportunities for children of all ages to get direct experience of science across six different zones: Technology, Life, Transport, Construction, Light, and Chemistry. There will be something for everyone including:

  • Pilot the Airbus A380 super jet in the flight simulator; 
  • How fast can you go? Test your skilful driving through waves on a fast craft simulator;
  • Watch a rocket-powered model of the Bloodhound SSC car, which is aiming to break the world land speed record by achieving 1,000mph;
  • Learn how to recognise, diagnose and treat illness using a state-of-the-art simulated mannequin, just be careful not to make him cry;
  • Blow square bubbles, if you’re lucky you may catch a glimpse of the mysterious and magical world of ‘Sud’s Law’;
  • Learn how maritime archaeologists work and uncover shipwrecks, submerged ancient landscapes and ditched military aircraft from WWII;
  • Perform in the vegetable orchestra and make flutes out of carrots, trumpets out of broccoli and shakers out of peppers;
  • Solve a dramatic murder-mystery using scientific clues in 'Blood on the Stage Door'.

Children of all ages will get hands-on experience of science across six different zones
Interactive display at NSEW

Professor William Powrie, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, comments: “One of the aims of the University’s yearly involvement in National Science and Engineering Week is to inspire young people’s interest in these fascinating subjects and demonstrate just how exciting they can be. I really hope that these events spark enthusiasm and prove influential in persuading many of the children to choose science or engineering as a career.”

Ocean and Earth Day will be held at the National Oceanography Centre at the Southampton waterfront campus (through Dock Gate 4) on Saturday 19 March from 10.30am to 4pm (last admission 3.30pm). Ocean and Earth Day 2011 comes at the start of Climate Week, the UK's first week dedicated to understanding and tackling climate change. Visitors will learn about the impact of the oceans on the climate of our planet and can visit the aquarium, operate an underwater vehicle, take a close look at fossils and sea life, take part in a range of exciting hands-on activities and even get the chance to visit a working research vessel - RV Callista.

For more information on these and other National Science and Engineering Week events, please visit

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