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Durham University

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Get involved in a fun-packed festival of science

(17 October 2018)

Children and families can conduct amazing experiments and create their very own inventions at Durham University’s Celebrate Science festival this October half-term. The free event offers three fun-packed days of children's events, activities, workshops and experiments.

Around 200 University staff and student volunteers, together with Schools’ Science Ambassadors from fifteen local secondary schools, will be on hand to explain everything from fossils to physics.

More than 8,000 visitors attended last year’s event and Celebrate Science 2018 is expected to prove popular once again.

Celebrate Science will take place Tuesday 23 - Thursday 25 October 2018 in an all-weather marquee on Palace Green, Durham City.

Watch a video to find out what visitors thought of last year’s event.

Making science fun for children

Highlights will include a ‘make and take’ workshop entitled The Human Spaceship, a pop-up Planetarium and the chance to explore The Amazing World of Nanotechnology. Scientists will also be shining a light on lung disease; as well as explaining how volcanoes grow and explode; and why the ground shakes in an earthquake.

Children can head to the Sun Dome to learn about earth’s nearest star, and how fusion energy might provide the power of the future. Alternatively they can quiz the University’s astrophysicists, or create their own galaxies with the Institute for Computational Cosmology.

Youngsters will also have the opportunity to visit the University’s Athlete Testing zone where they can discover what it takes to become an Olympian; or they may prefer to play Name that Mammal and attempt to spot the difference between the skull of a zebra and a wild boar.

Science and The Senses will stimulate the brain, and children of all ages can take part in demonstrations involving smell boxes, coloured lights and a ‘rubber hand illusion’.

The full programme of events and activities can be viewed here.

Sharing our knowledge

Now in its ninth year, the educational festival will share Durham University’s latest world-class research with the local community, targeting 7-11 year olds and their families.

Dr Pete Edwards, Durham University’s Director of Science Outreach, said: “Celebrate Science is a fantastic event for children and families. It’s interactive, educational and truly inspiring. There’s something for everyone.

“Our staff and students are passionate about science and we’re delighted to be able share to the University’s outstanding research and knowledge with the people of Durham and the wider region.”

Activities will also take place at other University attractions across the City, including the Botanic Garden, Oriental Museum and Palace Green Library throughout the festival and half-term week.

The various displays and activities are created and run mainly by students from science and related departments. Event partners include local schools, Business Durham, Reece Foundation, Rotary Club of Durham, NETPark, Procter & Gamble, Thought Foundation, European Southern Observatory, Beamish Museum, National Trust, Sustrans and many others.

For more information go to:


Related links:

Celebrate Science Programme of Events

Activities at other University Attractions

Video of last year’s event

Map and Directions

Download a copy of the 2018 Celebrate Science poster


Related research:

Materials for Fusion Energy

The EAGLE Project – Simulating the Universe

Modelling earthquakes to help save lives