ScienceX is back for 2021, but with a new home. On 23 & 25 October, this free weekend-long science and engineering festival, organised by the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University, will be held at the Manchester Central Library. With a focus on climate change to tie in with COP26, this event is bursting with fun, exciting activities for families, and is open to all.

At ScienceX, visitors can learn about all about climate, sustainability and the environment. There are plenty of opportunities for families to get hands-on with a whole host of experiments – visitors can make DNA bracelets, build their own electronic car motors, learn about how we design robots to keep humans safe or become a climate-friendly chef for the day.

We want people to come along with their climate questions and through the event, find out how they can make a positive difference in the world. Our friendly scientists and engineers will be there to excite and inspire young environmentalists, campaigners, creative minds and future scientists and engineers.

For those wanting to learn at home, there will also be a whole host of online activities for all ages. Children and families can learn recipes for more sustainable baking, do hands-on experiments from home, or take part in our very own Escape Room. There’s a variety of videos, worksheets and other online resources so that visitors can carry on learning about climate change and sustainability from wherever they are.

Whether visitors come to ScienceX at the Central Library or take part on line, we hope they will feel inspired and empowered to take decisive, positive action and commit to a climate pledge in order to make a difference. This could be a seemingly small action but it will reflect the benefit of ScienceX and the commitment of our communities to having a positive impact on the world around us.

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ScienceX returns to intu Trafford Centre on 9-10 March for the fourth year running.

This free weekend-long science and engineering festival, organised by the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University, is bursting with fun, exciting activities for children, and open to all.

At ScienceX, visitors will discover what the world of science and engineering is really about. There are plenty of opportunities for families to get hands-on with a whole host of experiments – visitors can try making futuristic materials, clouds and slime, and find out what lives in the ground beneath their feet by taking a soil safari.

Thrill seekers can have a ride in a flight simulator or try our Formula 1 racing car for size! Those who like technology can programme robots, learn about drones or take a virtual reality experience.

Our friendly scientists and engineers from The University of Manchester will be there to excite and inspire young space explorers, creative minds and future scientists and engineers.

Explore what science and engineering is all about at ScienceX 2019!

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On 23 and 24 April the University of Manchester took over intu Trafford Centre for the first ever #scienceX in honour of Manchester’s European City of Science title for 2016.

To set off the festivities the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences worked with a team from the Faculty of Life Sciences to bring science and engineering to a less traditional audience who they ordinarily would not normally engage with. The aim was to show both boys and girls and people of all ages that everyone has the potential to be a scientist or an engineer.

Across the two days, shoppers were wowed with a wide variety of activities; many of which can be seen on our Storify.

The School of Physics showed off some science tricks, discussed the use of robots to discover more about the universe and asked the question: “Can physics let you see the world in a new light?” They showed off infrared cameras and virtual reality experiences. They also teamed up with the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) who displayed scale models of their radio telescope array in South Africa and Australia.

Our mechanical, aerospace and electrical engineering students let people experience their flight simulator and formula student racing car to give customers a taste of what engineers do. These were really popular attractions with a constant queue of excited children and adults waiting to attempt the landing of an airbus A320 or sit in the car, wear the helmet and pretend to be taking part in an important race.

Manchester Energy demonstrated how energy is produced and guided us on the journey of how it reaches our plug sockets. Their energy pods drew many interested young minds, all keen to play the games on offer and to try out the generator bike which could be used to power a fan.

Our earth scientists asked the questions: “What does a piece of the moon look like up close? Or a piece of Mars? Is it really red?” Members of the public were able to hold pieces of the moon, collected by the Apollo astronauts, as well as meteorites from Mars and asteroids. They were also able to examine meteorites through microscopes to explore what they are made of. The team demonstrated how 4.5 billion year old meteorites hold the key to understanding the history of our Solar System and how it has evolved.

Shoppers partied with the School of Computer Science and their robots, and learnt how to code their behaviour and write programs to direct their activities. The robots wich were voice activated impressed everyone with their dance moves and dexterity. Visitors could also fully immerse themselves in another world with the virtual reality headsets by searching for words relating to computers and computer science.

The School of Materials offered Electroless Copper Plating, an ‘engraving’ technique used to get a design on steel using just a marker pen! They demonstrated the science behind corrosion, and how material scientists try to protect against it. They also showed off a mind-controlled game where people moved rocks and trees without touching a single key on the computer key board.

Our mathematicians brought statistics to life by showing people how to make a ribbon curly. They showed shoppers how different instruments create different types of curl, and how maths taught them this.

Scientists from our Manchester Institute of Biotechnology presented how they study and engineer biological parts – for example sugars, enzymes and microorganisms – to help solve the problems of tomorrow and in the Sealife Centre they demonstrated some experiments to understand what carbon dioxide does to our oceans.

The weekend’s Science Extravaganza was a resounding success with both visitors to the stands and those who worked on them, commenting on how much they had enjoyed the experience. Visitors also said how pleased they were to be able to access these pieces of science and engineering which would ordinarily not be available to them and asked when we would be back again!