The University of Southampton
Public Engagement with Research

Southampton Science and Engineering Festival (SOTSEF)

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

In March 2017 the Festival marked its fifteenth anniversary by bringing together thousands of visitors and creating innovative experiences, where researchers from the University could showcase their work and people of all ages could ignite their curiosity in science.

The highlight of the Festival is the Science and Engineering Day - a one-day free event that sees the University opening both Highfield and Boldrewood campuses to the public allowing people to come and explore science and engineering through a wide-range of hands on activities, shows/demonstrations, talks, and tours of the University's state of the art research environments. All led by the University's research staff and students.

The next Science and Engineering Day will be happening on Saturday 10th March 2018.

The event is organised by the University's Public Engagement with Research unit ( and supported by the UK Science Festivals Network (


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Touching Science
Public Lecture
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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.



Download 2017's Programme HereSOTSEF 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.

Further information

For further information on Science and Engineering Day, and SOTSEF festival itself, you can find us online at our official website and on Facebook and Twitter.

Official WebsiteFacebookTwitter

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