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Public Engagement at Manchester

Challenging Science Quests

With more than 40 interactive science stalls there's something for everyone at our Science Spectacular family fun day. The A - Z of our science challenges:

ALGAE | ANTIBIOTICS | ALAN TURING | ALMA | BRAINWAVES | BUGS AND DRUGS | BAROMETER | CELLS CELLS CELLS | CRYPTOGRAPHY | CARROT CLARINETS | CARBON IN OUR FOOD | DNA | DINOSAURS | ENGINEERING | ENERGY | EYEBALLS | ENZYMES | FRIENDLY FRUIT FLIES | FLASH BANGS | FLUID DYNAMICS | FROGS | GRAPHENE | GLOWING CHEMISTY | HOLOGRAPHS | HELPING BABIES GROW| INTERACTIVE TEXTILES | INSECTS | INTELLIGENT COMPUTERS | JELLY | KELVIN | LASERS | LUMINESCENCE | LIGHT | METEORITES | MOON ROCKS | MAGGOTS | NANOTECHNOLOGY| NUCLEAR ENERGY | NATURE’S CATALYSTS | ORDER FROM CHAOS | ORGANELLES |PROTEINS | PHOTONS | POLLUTION | QUANTUM NUMBERS | QUASARS | RIVERS | SCIENCE BEHIND THE MUSIC | SQUARE BUBBLES | SUGAR | SMART MATERIALS | SKELETONS | TURTLE POWER | TADPOLE TALES | UNIVERSE | VISUAL PERCEPTION | VOLTS | WINGING IT | WOOLLY ANIMALS | WHATEVER THE WEATHER | WORKING WONDERS | X-APPEAL | Y-CHROMOSOME | YELLOW SMARTIES | ZEEMAN'S ROPES

Here are just some of our science challenges...

Palimpsests, palaeontology & particle

X-Appeal

X-rays can help resolve the shape, structure, chemistry and biology of life on Earth, both past and present. Palaeontology is now using the electromagnetic spectrum to unlock dilute shadows of life from deep time. The X-Appeal exhibit will help you to discover how past life is only a mere wavelength away!

Wing

Winging It!

How does a plane fly? Wings? An engine? Picking up the pieces of their contraptions, the earliest inventors soon realised you need more than this to grace the skies. Thankfully the Wright Brothers discovered the third vital component of flight - CONTROL. In this fun, hands-on activity we demonstrate 'controlled flight' with an aerodynamic visualisation of aircraft maneuvering.

Fruit fly

Fruitflies Our Little Helpers

Do you know that flies get drunk, that they have stem cells, and that they suffer from jet lag? Find out how Manchester scientists use the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster in research and how the fly has helped us make new discoveries about diseases such as epilepsy, cancer or neurodegeneration in Alzeihmer's. Meet our collection of Frankenstein flies, find out why the fly has been used to study the origin of body shape, discover what makes a fly fall asleep and see what makes a maggot cringe.

Chocolate Impact Testing

Marvellous Materials

Come and find out more about the exciting world of Materials Science. Discover which is the toughest chocolate bar and as we challenge you to put your favourites to the test. You might even get to nibble on a bit of chocolate or two! Have a go at electroless copper plating and try to ‘engrave’ a design on steel using just a permanent marker!

Chemistry glows!

Chemistry Glows!

We will demonstrate the phenomenon of luminescence, that is chemicals and chemical reactions that give off light; this will include making glow in the dark ice cubes using tonic water in different shapes, a demonstration on how to make light sticks by making two chemicals react together and seeing how metal based compounds that are around us every day such as in TV screens produce different colours of light.

Photo credit: everyone's idle

Nanoscience in action

Nanoscience in Action

Come and meet the researchers from the NowNano Doctoral Training Centre as they share their amazing nanoscience (or the science of teeny, tiny things) with you. Find out how nanostructures and nanotechnology are revolutionising modern science and engineering. Take part in hands-on demonstrations and find out why lotus leaves never get wet and how to make carbon sheets as thin as an atom!

Sugars

Complex Life of Sugars

Learn about the importance of sugars in your daily life (not just in your diet!) Using giant building blocks build your own sugar as it is created by cells in your body, see what happens when things go wrong and change your perspective on these essential miniature treats.

Take away science

Take Away Science

This is your chance to collect some science that you can take home or to school with you - from ‘biology in a box’: learn about the human body and how blood circulates round it or build an ‘envirobox’ and learn about the environment. You can also read all about science in our comics and meet interesting characters like Eric Evolution and the Animacs in Animals vs. Plants.

The world of the cell

The World Of The Cell

Ever wondered about the different cells in your body, what they do and how they live and function? Then this is the place to come! Take a look at images of living cells including, blood cells, nerve cells, and epithelial cells - which are found throughout the body, from skin to glandular formations within tissues. Peer inside the cells and discover the important role organelles play in helping cells to survive.

Nature's catalyst

Nature's Catalysts

Find out how enzymes and bacteria can be used to produce and process chemicals, pharmaceuticals, materials and bio-energy in an environmentally-friendly way. Join our Industrial Biotechnology scientific team of experts as we search for sustainable alternatives for diminishing fossil resources such as oil and natural gas. Using molecular models, we'll take a look at amazing 3D images of proteins and get you to involved in simple and practical enzyme experiments.

Fascinating DNA

Fascinating DNA

This is your chance to explore one of the most fundamental topics of science – the DNA molecule. try your hand at making their your own DNA bracelet, extracting DNA from kiwi fruit, and testing your knowledge about DNA in an interactive quiz.

 

What’s wrong with teddy?

What’s Wrong with Teddy?

Don on white lab coat, glasses and gloves and use our scientific equipment to help investigate which teddy is sick. Test samples of their ‘blood’ using chromatography, a method that is commonly used in our lab and regularly seen on shows like CSI! You can also perform a ‘lab’ test for diabetes.

Turtle Power:  The Champion Breath-holder

Turtle Power

Turtles are one the most distinctive life forms on the planet but how much do you know about them and their ability to hibernate and ‘hold’ their breath? Come along and meet our turtles you might be surprised by these incredible creatures. You can also take part in some turtle themed games and competitions.

The wonderful world of weather and climate

Whatever the Weather!

Marvel at the world of atmospheric science! Visit our interactive activities to learn all about the air around us: clouds, ice, pollution, weather and climate. You can even make your own barometer to take home. Plus, collect stickers and answer questions at each station to stand a chance of winning a special weather related prize!

Carbon footprint of our food

The Carbon in our Food

The food and drink we consume can account for up to one third of our personal carbon footprint. We want to show you which foods are high in carbon and which are low (and we will explain why). With some fun activities for all the family, we want to help you understand how to reduce the carbon footprint of your diet by making smart choices.

Maths tricks

Alan Turing Cryptography

Help us crack a series of cryptic codes and learn how to create your own codes. You'll also find out more about the life of Alan Turing and how he cracked the naval Enigma machine. Take a look at how cryptography is used in our everyday lives.

Interactive Textiles

Interactive Textiles

Take a look at the latest textile technologies being developed and researched. Learn about the latest printing technologies by interacting with 3D prints and playing with colour-change fabrics; see also how waterproof and the latest sweat-proof textiles really work, and see how textiles are becoming more environmentally friendly.

Moon rocks and meteorites

Moon Rocks and Meteorites

What does a piece of the moon look like up close? Or a piece of Mars? Is it really red? Hold pieces of the moon, collected by the Apollo astronauts, in your own hands, as well as meteorites from Mars and asteroids. 4.5 billion year old meteorites hold the key to understanding the history of our Solar System. Learn different meteorites and how our Solar System evolved.

Is your health in your hands?

My Marvellous Medicine

What colour are your eyes? Can you roll your tongue? The answers to these questions and others are what make us all different from each other. Find out how researchers and doctors are using this information about our differences to make medicine more effective. Learn about where medicine comes from and build your own personal medicine.
Talk to real doctors who are making medicines work better!

Dawn of time

Planck: Looking Back to the Dawn of Time

Planck has surveyed the entire sky to examine the faint ripples in the microwave background which are the fingerprints of the early universe physics that drove the Big Bang, and which later developed into the stars, galaxies and galaxy clusters we see today. You will be able to explore this data using interactive displays, including Chromoscope which lets you explore the maps in both space and frequency.

Meet ALMA

Meet ALMA

We will introduce you to ALMA, a new millimetre/submillimetre telescope in Chile.  We will also take a look the basic concepts of interferometry (important in ALMA observations) using hands-on sound demos and interactive touch screen demos.

 

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