Monthly Archives: November 2014

ESRC – Festival of the Social Sciences

The Public Engagement Unit at UCLan were delighted to get involved with the ESRC Festival of the Social Sciences, which took place across the UK from 1-8 November 2014. We ran a fun filled day of activities themed around ‘Trust’ in an empty shopping unit in St George’s Shopping Centre on Saturday 1st November.


The Harris Museum and Art Gallery also held an interactive workshop in their Education Room with our academics, Dr Alastair Roy and Dr Julian Manley. This Visual Matrix workshop looked into how aware people are of complex issues behind understanding trust and how the meaning of trust has developed between people and our community. The session fully booked within a few days of ticket being advertised and was a huge success!


Aimee, Jo and Jenny the lawyers!

Lancashire Law School gave the public the chance to dress up and experience what it would be like to be in a position of trust, by roleplaying different members of a court room. The public loved getting #uclanlawselfie’s of them all dressed up.

Children went behind the scene of a crime and explored the role of science used in the detection of crime, and how we can use science in order to spot the liar. Individual finger print balloons was a fabulous way to engage and enthuse children and get them talking about crime and trust.

Dr Charlie Frowd from the University of Winchester also got involved and let the public loose on his EvoFIT composite system (developed at UCLan).  The system allows a visitor to watch a video of a person committing a crime and then the visitor can create a picture of the criminals face. This activity worked brilliantly, both children and adults loved it.

We also had various other activities the public could join in with, such as a ‘Do You Trust Your Perceptions?’ activity, which consisted of some great optical illusions and psychological tricks to see if you can really truly trust what you see? Families had fun blindfolding each other and learning about trust when working in a team. Our ‘Wall of Trust’ was very popular, with adults even joining in, drawing a picture of someone they trust. We had drawings of family members, friends, partners, nurses, police men and even Mr T (can you spot him in the image below?!). Guests were also invited to write down what trust means to them and hang it on our Trust Tree. We had some awesome entries for both. The best pictures and quotes won £5 amazon vouchers!

The Wall of Trust

The Wall of Trust

We would just like to say a huge thank you to all involved – Everyone had a great time!

Lancashire Science Festival fun at Open Day – Nov 14

Lancashire Science Festival added a splash of yellow to Open Day’s showcase floor on Saturday 15th of November. The team wore their famous bright yellow t-shirts, put up the yellow gazebo, fairy lights and were ready for action! Lots of visitors wanted to know more about the festival, and how they could get involved.


After collecting some local pond water the morning of the Open Day, the team put droplets of the water under microscopes for the public to examine what algae looks like close up. On the whole the public were shocked at how intricate and interesting the algae was under the microscope. We then asked people to create the algae in green plasticine and hang it in our fish tank. This was (as you can imagine) incredibly popular with the younger visitors, engaging them with science and letting them get hands on creativity.


Amazon vouchers could be won, by telling us your favourite/worst part of science, or what you love/would like to see at Lancashire Science Festival on luggage tags and adding them to our science tree.

We had some great entries, such as:

‘‘Life is like a proton, stay positive’’

‘’I want more robots in science’’

Overall the team had a fantastic day, enthusing, engaging and exciting the public with science!

Jo and Jen Selfie