Join us for Wonder 2017

04 May 2017 09:30:00.000

The University of Nottingham is throwing open its doors to curious minds for a day of hands-on fun.

Wonder will see University Park transformed into a land of discovery and adventure with a packed schedule of free activities for all ages.

Previously known as May Fest, which ran between 2008 and 2015, Wonder will be the University’s largest community engagement event. 

Click here for full story

This year it takes place on Saturday 17 June between 11am and 5pm and is expected to attract around 6,000 attendees.

Visitors will have the chance to try out a range of activities, all designed by staff and students at the University including; performing a veterinary examination on a dog, assembling a Rolls-Royce engine, understanding how English slang has ended up in the German language, seeing the University’s award-winning electric superbike and testing reaction times against a computer.

To launch the event Dr John Turner, Assistant Professor in Engineering, gave a sneak preview of his Wonder event demonstrating the evolution of ‘extreme’ materials by attempting to smash through a glass cage with a heavy bolt.

He said: “The event’s theme is based around the properties of different materials, properties that we get from nature and how we manufacture new materials to enhance their natural properties and what we can use them for. 

“One of the demonstrations we’ll be doing, as part of our event at Wonder, involves dropping a heavy bolt onto a glass sheet and taking a run at a shatterproof glass sheet with a sledge hammer, which aims to showcase what the different outcomes are when the properties of glass are strengthened.  

“Two other demonstrations involve setting fire to a chocolate muffin in a ceramic bowl, to show the properties of ceramics, and using liquid nitrogen and a sword to show the different properties of wool in changing temperature conditions.”

Debbie Henthorn, Deputy Director – of Campaign and Alumni Relations, and a team from across the University are organising Wonder.

She said: “We are delighted to be welcoming the community back into the University of Nottingham this June, for our incredible brand new event.

“We care deeply about the University’s connection to the community and appreciate how many local people, businesses and partners in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire are involved in making what we do at the University possible. What better way to showcase the contributions that the University makes to education, research and business than opening up the campus to our community who are such an important part of our success.”

“We will bring children and grown-ups from all backgrounds together at University Park, for a fantastic free day out with some very exciting activities, experiments and demonstrations. We’d encourage anyone interested to come and join us for what promises to be a stimulating and fun-filled day.”

Opportunities to volunteer

The events team are also looking for volunteers to help with the large number of activities on the day. 

If you are available to help on Saturday 17 June, the team are recruiting Community Engagement Volunteers, which will provide opportunities to meet new people and gain new skills. For more details about how to volunteer at Wonder, visit and search for ‘Wonder Community Engagement Volunteer’. The deadline for applications is Friday 12 May.

— Ends —

Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

For up to the minute media alerts, follow us on Twitter

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Story credits


Liz Cass - Head of Media Relations

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 748 4734 Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Related articles

Master builders needed for Nottingham Lego tournament

Published Date
Thursday 12th October 2017

Science gets hands-on at curious city festival

Published Date
Thursday 15th February 2018

We can't wait to reveal our world of Wonder!

Published Date
Monday 8th April 2019

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798