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The University of Southampton

Bringing science to life for all the family

Published: 11 March 2013

Find out how science shapes our world, from the importance of bacteria to discoveries in the solar system and beyond, at the University of Southampton’s annual Science and Engineering Festival from 16 to 24 March.

The festival, which is part of National Science and Engineering Week, includes two public open days - Science and Engineering Day on Saturday 16 March and Ocean and Earth Day on Saturday 23 March. Physicist, oceanographer and broadcaster Dr Helen Czerski will give a free public lecture on Wednesday 20 March about why bubbles are a fascinating and important part of our everyday world.

The festival will bring science to life for all the family

The festival also incorporates Multidisciplinary Research Week, which showcases innovative research solutions to today’s big global issues such as climate change, energy and lifestyle diseases. Highlights include a talk by world famous Sustainomics guru Professor Mohan Munasinghe; why one of our researchers has wired up TV presenter Ben Fogle for his cross Atlantic swim; and a dynamic workshop that will allow participants to use sustainable materials to create something new.

Professor William Powrie, Dean of Engineering and the Environment, comments: “One of the aims of the University’s Science and Engineering Festival is to inspire 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 young people to choose science or engineering as a career.”

Science and Engineering Day takes place at the Highfield Campus from 10.30am to 4.30pm (last admission 4pm) with fascinating exhibitions, interactive displays, talks and shows. This stimulating and fun day is free and will be full of opportunities for children of all ages to get direct experience of science, including:

  • Learn more about black holes and the dark side of the Universe;
  • Find out how you smell things with your nose, and how perfumes are extracted from everyday ingredients;
  • Build your own electronic device and program your own game or animation;
  • Learn about your brain and find out how it works;
  • Make your own solar-powered boat;
  • Construct your own bridge and see what weight it can take.

Ocean and Earth Day will be held at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (through Dock Gate 4) from 10.30am to 4pm (last admission 3.30pm). 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.

To book a place for Dr Helen Czerski’s lecture and for more information on the Science and Engineering Festival events, please visit

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