Science in the Park to reveal the wonders of the world around us

School pupil at a University science event
08 Mar 2011 09:40:39.570
PA 74/11

Do you have what it takes to help deliver a lamb? Have you got the guts to get up close and personal with a giant millipede or tarantula? Or maybe you’ve always wondered how nature produces its own genetic mutants?

If so, a free family event being held in Nottingham this weekend, and involving a host of experts from The University of Nottingham, could offer the perfect day out, mixing the fascinating with the fun.

Science in the Park 2011, taking place at Wollaton Hall on Saturday March 12 from 11am to 4pm, has been organised by the British Science Association Nottinghamshire Branch and aims to open up people’s eyes to the wonder of science in the world around them.
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The event will feature an exciting array of interactive stands, workshops and exhibits for all age groups on diverse areas of science — from revolutionary biofuels and veterinary science to the insect world and chemical experiments.

The event has been organised in collaboration with The University of Nottingham and Nottingham City Council, with contributions from Nottingham Trent University, Mad Science, By Design, Institute of Physics, British Geologic Survey, and Science on Stage.

Sarah Pierce, Science Outreach Project Officer, in The University of Nottingham’s School of Biology and chair of the Notts branch of the British Science Association said: “Science is so important in our society — it has an impact on almost every aspect of our everyday lives.

“This event will aim to break down barriers, bring people and scientists together and to give the general public the opportunity to learn a little more about what we do, why it’s exciting and why it’s so relevant to the world around us.”

Among the attractions will be:

  • Exploring the wonderful world of invertebrates by meeting charismatic characters including black beauty stick insects, colourful snails, a giant millipede and Lola the tarantula from The University of Nottingham’s SpiderLab, which investigates the genetics and evolution of our eight-legged friends.
  • Discovering how exploding popcorn can help us to produce replacements for petrol and other fuels — with a chance to eat the results!
  • Learning more about the Open Air Laboratories project and how to get more involved with nature while collecting valuable data for scientists, including — fair weather dependant — a nature walk and environmental surveys.
  • Finding out about veterinary medicine with experts from The University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine Sciences, playing the guess the animal using skeleton samples and x-rays and the chance to have a go at lambing using a lambing simulator.
  • Trying out specially produced science toys to explore natural phenomena like lightning, earthquakes and magnetic fields with scientists from the Centre for Effective Learning in Science at Nottingham Trent University.
  • Bringing together science and singing for a demonstration of the Science on Stage programme, which offers the chance to check out a mammoth tusk, do a DNA extraction, see a demo blimp flight and join in a song.

    The day will also offer people the chance to enjoy free access to Wollaton Hall and the beautiful surrounding deer park. The Natural History Museum and Industrial Museum will also be open free of charge. However, visitors travelling to the event in their cars will have to pay a £2 parking fee.

Ends —

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

Story credits

More information is available from Sarah Pierce, on +44 (0)115 951 3415,

Emma Thorne Emma Thorne - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5793 Location: University Park

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