Science Spectacular

Discover the secrets of 3D printing, build the world’s largest fractal, see a dress of glass and flame, and enjoy an exciting programme of evening entertainment. Art and science collide to engage and inspire curious minds of all ages in 11 days of innovative exhibitions and activities across Greater Manchester, proudly produced by the Museum of Science & Industry.

The University hosts an exciting programme of activities during the Manchester Science Festival. This year’s highlights include Chemistry Flash-Bang Show, Weather & Climate DIY, Ice Age Science: Mammoths, Mega Boulders & Microscopes, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Solar System, and – Science Spectacular – our amazing family fun day! The Science Spectacular will be held on Saturday 25 October 2014 and, with over 40 interactive science stalls, there will be something for everyone at this fun-filled family science day.

Last year's eventYou’ll be able to take part in a range of challenging science quests, find out how to make square bubbles, help us build an erupting volcano, and see if you can put a fly in a headlock. You’ll also meet our newest dinosaur, Gorgosaurus, and discover why he has x-appeal.  Many of our researchers will be there to answer your questions; they are behind some of the world’s most amazing discoveries. They’ll tell you what’s lurking in our rivers and just how flies help with their research. There will be fun activities for adults and children alike. Make sure you don’t miss out!

Benjamin Stutchbury wins over audience at FameLab Regional Finals

stutchbury (1)Faculty PhD student Benjamin Stutchbury recently took part in the North West regional finals of FameLab UK 2014, a competition to find new voices in science. Four other University researchers were also involved.

The event, hosted by MOSI, saw the region’s finest communicators battle it out to impress a judging panel of Dr Phil Manning (University of Manchester), Carolyn Bishop (University of Huddersfield), and Victoria Gill (BBC). The prize on offer was a place in the FameLab UK National Final. Each contestant had three minutes to present accurate and interesting science in an accessible way, using everyday language and storytelling.

Benjamin won the audience vote at the Regional Finals with his presentation entitled ‘Designing drugs on the London Underground’. His talk focused on the use of systems biology to improve drug design. Mathematical networks are widely used in systems biology so Benjamin used the London Underground map as an example of a mathematical network that the audience could easily relate to. Benjamin said:

“The ability to communicate complex scientific concepts to a wide audience is an extremely important skill to develop. Concentrating complex science into a (hopefully) entertaining three-minute talk was extremely challenging, but also great fun. I was amazed by how inventive some of the contestants were and the range of scientific topics covered. I would recommend anyone to give it a go next year!”

Dr Jo Pennock, a lecturer from the Faculty, also participated in the Regional Finals. Jo was chosen as a wildcard and will go into a draw for the last spot in the National Final, held at Bloomsbury Theatre on the 23rd April.