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Celebrate Science

Programme of events

Here are some of the great activities that took place at Celebrate Science 2017. The exhibitors for Celebrate Science 2018 will be announced as they are confirmed.

Share your photos from Celebrate Science at #CelebrateScience

Tuesday 23 - Thursday 25 October 2018
10am - 4pm Daily

Glassblowing (Durham University Chemistry)

Tuesday 24th October Only: 10am - 12noon and 2pm - 4pm

The Chemistry Department’s own Malcolm Richardson and Aaron Brown demonstrate the ancient art of glassblowing. Watch them carefully manipulate this fragile and brittle material into weird and wonderful glassware scientists need to carry out cutting-edge experiments.

Mammal Web Urban Rangers (Department of Biosciences, Belmont Community School, Durham Wildlife Trust, the British Ecological Society and the National Trust)

Tuesday 24th October Morning Only

Mammals can be very shy and hard to find. We are setting up a network of 'camera traps' across the North East of England to photograph and monitor our wildlife. Come along to take a look at our photo's and help us to identify what we've seen!

Sun Dome (EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in the Science and Technology of Fusion Energy)

Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th October Only

Come inside our Sun Dome! Join our scientists on an exploration of the power of the Sun and fusion energy. Can we make mini suns here on Earth and will these eventually power our homes? Shows last approximately 20 minutes and are suitable for anyone aged 4 and over. Children should be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Experiment! (Schools' Science Ambassadors: Bishop Barrington School; Dene Community School; Ferryhill Business and Enterprise College; Framwellgate School, Durham; Longfield Academy; Parkside Academy; Sedgefield Community College; St Bede's School & Sixth Form College, Lanchester; UTC South Durham; Wolsingham School with support from the Institute of Physics and NETPark)

Come and meet these inspiring school students with an enthusiasm for science and a talent for getting people involved in experiments. They aim to amaze and engage with their hands-on activities including testing balloon rockets, building planets and investigating slimy stuff!

Planetarium (Durham University Physics)

Explore the night sky in Durham University’s planetarium. Join astronomers on a journey to the stars with stories about the constellations and fascinating facts about stars, planets and what you can see in the sky tonight. Shows last approximately 25 minutes and are suitable for anyone aged 4 and over. Children should be accompanied by a responsible adult.

The Cool Shapes of Viruses (Durham University Mathematics)

What do you think a football and many viruses have in common? Explore this intriguing question by manipulating shapes, identifying symmetries and discussing the mathematical concept of group. Discover the far-reaching impact of these ideas on modern mathematics.

Eye Openers: Exploring Optical Illusions (Beamish Museum)

Have you ever tricked your eyes into seeing something that wasn’t there? The Victorians were fascinated by optical illusions, and designed a whole variety to entertain. Have a go at tricking your eyes with our examples, and make one to take home.

Light Entertainment (Durham University Physics)

How do we communicate with light, and why does this make your internet connection faster? Learn how to send Morse code messages, use lasers to play your mp3 files, and learn how optical fibers work to send information all over the world at the speed of light!


Amazing Materials (Durham University Chemistry)

Come and see ordinary substances doing extraordinary things! Watch the crazy effect of high and low temperatures on some everyday items, see reactions producing colour changes and test some cutting edge materials with your own hands.

Athlete Testing (Durham University Sport)

What helps make athletes successful at events such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games? Sport Science uses a variety of different tests to monitor the athlete's performance and make sure that coach and athlete have all the information required for success. Come along and see if you could be a future Olympian!

Pathology: Disease Detectives (Pathology, County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust)

Pathology is the science behind the cure. Join local NHS scientists to dispel some of the myths about Pathology. Find out about the journey your blood sample takes in the laboratory and the clues the samples give us to help diagnose and monitor disease.

The Science of Fairy Tales (Durham University Library Learning Team)

Do you read stories and wish you had magical powers or could go on great adventures in fantastic and faraway lands? Fairy tales are full of amazing and seemingly impossible things but just how impossible are they really? Is it possible to fly, do dragons exist, could people live under the sea and would it really be possible to sleep for a hundred years? Science teaches us that all is not as it seems…

Cosmoscope - Finding Your Place in the Universe (OASES North East)

What have the study of the universe, blood flowing through the human heart and the order & disorder of atoms and molecules all got in common? What is the smallest and the biggest thing you can imagine?

Explore the ideas behind a new installation, Cosmoscope, a sound and light sculpture, which fuses art and science and will be exhibited as part of this year’s Lumiere festival, 16th-19th November, supported by Wellcome.

The Attraction of Magnets (Durham University Physics)

Be amazed! Since the discovery of magnets their behaviour has created a sense of wonder. Scientists and engineers have studied magnetism and developed important technologies from generating electricity to storing information in the Internet cloud. Join us to explore the science and technology of magnetism from fridge magnets through to magnetic skyrmions.


Lights, Colours, Canera, Action! (Durham University Chemistry)

What do sweet wrappers, Pink Floyd, Star Wars and fibre-optic broadband have in common? It’s light! Join Robert Pal from Durham University Chemistry to understand light in all its glory.


Galaxy Makers (Durham University Institute for Computational Cosmology)

Understanding how galaxies are made is one of astronomy’s greatest puzzles. Join us to find out how we use computer simulations to test how galactic ingredients and violent events combine to shape the life history of galaxies, and make your own galaxy in the computer.

Let's Beat Cancer Sooner (Cancer Research UK)

Wednesday 25th October Only

Come and meet some of our researchers who are finding new and better ways of treating cancer. Discover what life as a cancer researcher is really like and take on our science challenge!

Modelling the Invisible (Durham University Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology)

Join us to explore the fundamental building blocks of nature and the laws describing their interactions. Find out how we use computer simulations to investigate natural radioactivity and cosmic rays, identify the rare natural events that we are searching for, and design future experiments.


Exploring Earth (Durham University Earth Sciences)

Get hands on with fossils of animals living millions of years ago! You can make rubbings and models of the fossils, seeing the fine detail of these ancient animals. Take on the challenge to build the tallest spaghetti and marshmallow tower that will survive our shake plate. Can your tower resist an earthquake?

Exploring your Senses: Sight and Sound (Durham University Psychology)

Learn how your brain interprets the world around you: experience surprising visual illusions, try seeing the world from a new viewpoint in virtual reality, and discover how you can use sound echoes to hear silent objects.

Physics in the Field (Institute of Physics)

Join in with eye-catching physics tricks to wow all ages, using things that can be found at home. Some are messy, some are noisy and some need you to tinker in the kitchen, but all of them are crowd pleasing and show that physics is everywhere. Come along and find out how to amaze your friends and family with physics!

Name that Mammal! (Durham University Biosciences)

Mammals come in lots of different shapes and sizes. Some are large and graze on grasslands, some are small and fast and hunt insects, yet more can swim and chase fish. Can you tell the difference between the skull of a zebra and a wild boar, and work out why they are so different? P.S. There are a couple of skulls from animals who aren’t mammals – see if you can spot them!

Energy Conversion & Efficiency (Durham University Durham Energy Institute)

Visit us to learn all about energy, its generation, conversion and utilization. Joins us to explore energy efficiency within the home with hands-on experiments – generate your own electricity and learn about the advances in technology designed to save you money!


Time to Breathe (Life of Breath, Durham University Centre for Medical Humanities)

You breathe over 20,000 times per day, mostly without even thinking about it! Explore some of the amazing things your breath allows you to do.


Science All Around You (Procter & Gamble)

Join scientists from Proctor & Gamble to explore the amazing science behind some of the things that you use everyday. There's more than meets the eye to many of the items you find in your home...


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