Some of the country’s bright sparks of the future will exercise their scientific muscles at the University of Birmingham this week for a day of hands-on activities to mark National Science Week.

Robots, cars, colour, bubbles and health will be the topics of the day on Wednesday 15 March, when more than 300 pupils aged 14-16 from across the country take part in workshops, practical sessions and lectures run by University students and lecturers.

From building remote powered vehicles to constructing and racing motor powered buggies, the emphasis is on presenting science topics in a fun and engaging way.

University medical students will run interactive health tests, whilst the School of Physics celebrate the birthday of Albert Einstein (14th March 1879), by holding a ‘Physics Big Quiz’, and demonstrating the smoking, shrieking and foaming properties of liquid nitrogen.

Dr Sandra Woolley from the School of Engineering leads the main session entitled “Seeing is Believing” at 2pm, on the evolution of photography and how vision works.

The day culminates in a balloon race, under the shadow of the clock tower in Chancellor’s Court.  A prize will be awarded to the person whose balloon travels the furthest - last year’s winning balloon ended up in Skegness, but will climate change have affected how far this year’s winner will travel?

Outreach Officer Mr Mohammed Ansar, who has organised the event said, “Raising the profile of science and getting young people to think about Higher Education is important for the university and the country as a whole. This day is about breaking down the barriers that some young people perceive when thinking about post-16 education and studying at a Russell Group university like Birmingham.

“We hope that the pupils will gain some valuable knowledge and insight, which they will take back to their schools and share with their friends. We also want the students to have fun, experience the vastness of a university campus but most importantly, enjoy the science on offer during the day.”


Notes to Editors:

The event takes place on 15th March 2006 from 10.00am to 3pm at the University of Birmingham’s main Edgbaston campus.

Various workshops and activities run through the day - information on times and places for these workshops can be obtained from Mohammed Ansar.

The Photography and Vision Lecture takes place in the Haworth Building, Lecture Room 101 at 2.00pm.

The Balloon Release takes place at Chancellor’s Court at 2.45pm.

Schools from Herefordshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands are taking part in the activities.

The theme for this year’s National Science Week is ‘Capturing the Colour in Science’ and ‘Climate Change’.

Further information:

Rachel Robson – Press Office, University of Birmingham

tel: 0121 414 6681 / mob : 07789 921165 / email:

Mohammed Ansar, Outreach Officer

tel: 0121 414 7169 / mob: 07798 963441 / email:

Thomas Straw - Recruitment and Outreach Assistant Officer

tel: 0121 414 8489 / mob: 07920 801090 / email: