FOSACCredit Emma Ford

Fleas, brains and robots at Festival of Science and Curiosity

Friday, 03 February 2023

Fleas, brains and robot making are some of the exciting workshops being delivered by researchers from the University of Nottingham as part of the Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity that returns next week.

The annual festival celebrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths with interactive and fun, free family events runs from 6 -17 February and this year’s programme promises to be the biggest yet.

Neuroscientists from the University of Nottingham’s School of Life Sciences will be running workshops exploring what different parts of the brain are and what they’re for with activities including; colouring in your own brain-hats, understand the parts of the brain using playdough and an activity exploring the functions of the brain,

The world of fleas will be the topic of workshops being run by the School of Pharmacy where people can find out about the vampire of the ectoparasite which feeds exclusively on the blood of its host. Find out what features of these fascinating parasites have allowed them to feast upon dinosaurs, our relatives in the middle-ages, and our furry pets today!

The University’s Cobot Maker Space is running workshops in Mansfield where children will be able to learn about how robots work and interact and build their own LEGO versions.

Lakeside Arts also has the Morgan and West: Unbelievable Science production running on thr 11th and 12th February. Expect explosive thrills, chemical spills in this family science extravaganza.

Professor Zoe Wilson
We’re always delighted to support the Festival of Science and Curiosity and show local families what incredible research is happening at the University and how it is not always what you might expect! We hope that sharing the expertise and passion of our scientists will inspire the next generation to find out more about studying STEM topics.”
Pro -Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Science at the University of Nottingham, Zoe Wilson

The first week of the festival sees researchers takes science out of the labs and into schools giving pupils the opportunity to explore a wide range of STEM topics through interactive workshops, as well as activities and talks about careers in science from local industry partners.

The second week takes place during the school half-term and brings science out into the community with a host of exciting live shows, science fun days and a wide range of hands-on activities delivered by local researchers in libraries, museums and community spaces across the city and county.

Other highlights from this year’s festival include the Ministry of Science Live at Newark Palace Theatre, Slimey Science at Green’s Windmill and Science Centre, Maths Madness at Nonsuch Studios, The Secret Science Show at Wollaton Hall and Sensory Nature Walks at Bennerley Viaduct.

The free festival magazine is also back, created by researchers and designed by students from Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, featuring a range of fun activities for all the family.

Megan Shore, the festival producer said: “We’re delighted to bring the festival back for its eighth year and this year’s programme is going to be bigger than ever. We’ve put together a brilliant line-up of events and hands-on activities from live shows to robot building, the science behind chocolate to an inflatable planetarium and much more!"

With the increased cost of living putting pressure on many families, it has been really important for us to ensure we continue to deliver high-quality, fun educational events at little or no cost to families during the half-term break. The majority of our events are free for families to enjoy and we hope they will be inspired by our exciting programme this year.”

The Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity is produced by local education charity Ignite!, with support from a wide range of festival network organisations. This year's festival is delivered in partnership with University of Nottingham, with support from the Institute of Policy and Engagement. Also Nottingham Trent University; Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Gedling, Mansfield, Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire County, Newark and Sherwood and Rushcliffe Councils; local businesses Boots, Catalent, Sygnature Discovery and Quotient Sciences; and the local enterprise partnership D2N2.

For more information including detailed event listings please visit and follow the Festival on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @NottsFOSAC #FOSAC23 #CuriousNotts

Story credits

More information is available Jane Icke, Media Relations Manager for the Faculty of Science on

Jane Icke - Media Relations Manager Science
Phone: 0115 7486462

Notes to editors:

The University of Nottingham

Ranked 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2023, University of Nottingham is a founding member of Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.  

The University is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.The University is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

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