The University of Southampton
Public Engagement with Research

Southampton Science and Engineering Festival (SOTSEF)

Over recent years Southampton Science and Engineering Festival (SOTSEF) has grown to become one of the most popular science festivals in the South of England.

SOTSEF is organised by the Public Engagement with Research unit and supported by the UK Science Festivals Network.

SOTSEF 2018 - Statement

It is with great regret and after careful consideration that we have taken the unprecedented decision to cancel this year's Science and Engineering Day on Saturday 10 March 2018.

You may have seen news coverage that the University and College Union (UCU) are currently in a national dispute with sixty university employers over proposed changes to one of the sector's pension schemes. The industrial action is scheduled to begin on Thursday 22 February and is set to continue over the period of the Southampton Science and Engineering Festival (SOTSEF).

Since it began 16 years ago, Science and Engineering Day has depended on the amazing voluntary effort of researchers and other staff. As UCU members are not obliged to notify the University in advance of their intention to take action, we are not in a position to know definitively how many activities/talks/workshops will be running on the day.

We have been predicting that around 10,000 people would be attending this year's event. In the light of fundamental uncertainty about which areas of the event will be in operation on the day, we cannot guarantee the great experience that you would expect or the usual level of safe service for our visitors.

Winchester Science Centre

If you are looking for an alternative science related activity during March 2018, the Winchester Science Centre is offering you a 20% discount, as a registered ticket holder at SOTSEF.  Just show your Science and Engineering Day ticket at the front desk.

Southampton Science & Engineering Events later in 2018

We will be looking to build on the incredible amount of preparation for Science and Engineering Day by running some of the events and activities later in the year.  If you would like to be kept informed follow @UoS_Engagement on Twitter, @UoSEngagement on Facebook or email  to join the mailing list.

Science and Engineering Day 2019

We look forward to welcoming you back to an even bigger and better Science and Engineering Day on Saturday 16th March 2019; please save the date.

Thank you for your support,

Emma and Steve, on behalf of the University of Southampton Science and Engineering Day team.

You can read the University's statement on the industrial action here.

Touching Science
Public Lecture
Cancer Science Stand
Acoustic Levitation
Archeological village
Archeological village

Southampton Science and Engineering Day 2017 Summary

The 2017 Science and Engineering Day event was the largest yet as we welcomed over 7000 people to our Boldrewood and Highfield campuses to participate in over 130 hands on demonstrations, shows, talks, and tours run by University research staff and students.

Of the 130 activities, we had 87 brand new activities such as the Science Soundwalk Experience, From Glowing Sea Anemones to Medical Research, Maths on the Move and the Planeterrella. We also welcomed several brand new zones: the Biodiversity Hub (in Valley Gardens), the Alumni Zone, and the Teachers Zone. And, if that wasn't enough, we also opened up more of the state-of-the-art research facilities at our Boldrewood campus for public exploration for the first time ever.

In addition to all the new activities, we welcomed back plenty of long-standing SOTSEF favourites like the highly competitive Annual Mars Bar Bridge Building Challenge, the Archaeology Village, and Minecraft Engineering. We once again had the R J Mitchell wind tunnel and the 138m Towing Tanks open with live demonstrations occurring throughout the day.



SOTSEF 2017 Infographics

Science and Engineering Day has previously been awarded Best Engineering Event in 2009 and Best STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) Institution Event in 2014.

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