Category Archives: Out and About

SaturYAY – Community kids club

Have you heard about SaturYAY? It’s our new exciting community kids club which focuses on extended learning activities between children and parents.. and IT’S TOTALLY FREE!

If you are in the area on a Saturday come join us at the UCLan InTheCity pop up shop based in St George’s Shopping centre – Lune street entrance. There’s always lots to going on throughout the session.

Recently, we’ve been focussed on christmas activities for children aged from 2-9 years old. We strive to engage with parents of young children to make life better for them! Each session is an extended learning activity, from kinectic movement and development to understanding the importance of involvement and sharing.

As we mentioned, the event it totally free – meaning no gimmicks. None what so ever!
Come along with your children and engage in a range of activities we have going on, from arts and crafts to a messy play handprint wall. Prams are welcome and we have specific stroller station where you can park your buggy!

The event is staffed by UCLan staff and student staff. Lee is qualified at childcare and is DBS checked, the student staff have undergone relevant HR checks, and the volunteers involved are also DBS checked through our centre of volunteering!

Free juice, tea and coffee and provided throughout.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Soapbox Science 2015

Soapbox Science are now looking for female speakers to be part of their annual public science communication event.

They are looking for scientists, researchers, academics and PhD students to be part of this year’s event and share their passion for experimentation, discovery and innovation with the rest of the UK.

The event brings cutting-edge science to the public, in an accessible, fun, free and un-intimidating way. Some of the UK’s top scientists will take to the streets to allow people who would not usually consider science, hear about it first-hand.

Soapbox Science runs for 3 hours over an afternoon in the summer. The event is divided into one-hour sessions, with 4 to 5 speakers per session. Speakers stand on custom made “Soapbox Science” soapboxes, arranged in a semi-circle, facing slightly inwards, to facilitate the crowds’ movements.

There are seven events at several locations this year. For more information or to find out which event you can be part of apply here before the 23rd of February.

Volunteer @lancscifest 2015

Following the success of 2014’s Lancashire Science Festival, we are pleased to announce that plans are well underway for Lancashire Science Festival 2015; this year the theme is ‘Evolves’. The dates for this year’s festival are 25-27 June. Days one and two of the Festival will be open to school groups and the final day is open to the general public; we anticipate total visitor numbers in excess of 6000.

The Festival will again feature a fantastic programme of interactive lectures, demonstrations, workshops and the ever-popular science show floor of hands-on exhibits. Confirmed activities include walking with dinosaurs, rocking out with heavy metal marine mayhem and exploring the evolution of experimentation! The ethos of our festival is to enthuse, engage and excite!

The festival will be held 25-27 June 2015.

Thursday 25th June and Friday 26th June – Schools days

Saturday 27th June – General public day

We need volunteers for all three days!

Volunteering times:

Schools day – 08.30-16.30

General public day 08.30-17.30

(Please note, volunteers do NOT have to volunteer for all day every day)

Activities volunteers are needed for:-

  • Welcoming attendees to the festival
  • Directing attendees to the correct areas
  • Registration
  • Stewarding
  • General assisting of the Lancashire Science Festival team

What we are looking for:-

  • Reliable, friendly and enthusiastic individuals
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Work well in a team
  • Enthusiastic about engaging with families

If you are interested in volunteering for this opportunity, please email with ‘Volunteering Lancashire Science Festival’ as the subject and one of the team will be in touch.

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!

LSF - Power Up logo (CDM version)

UCLan’s Lancashire Science Festival 2014 Power Up exploded science fun all over campus for all ages. The many many months of planning were all defiantly worth it – the team had an amazing time and we have all finally got our sleeping patterns back to normal after all the crazy science chaos. This year’s festival nearly blew the roof off the university with three jam packed days, with over 6500 visitors, two sell-out evening events, the incEdible Bake Off and a #LSFSelfie competition! We also ran out of visitor lanyards, which we thought near impossible! We would not have been able to make the festival happen without the support, friendliness and enthusiasm of our sponsors, colleagues and friends so we would like to say a great big thank you.

IncrEDIBLE cake off

Our IncrEDIBLE Science Cake-Off judges!

Feedback from the general public, school groups, head teachers and families has been wonderful here are some of the lovely comments we have received:

“To everyone involved in today’s fantastic festival…THANK YOU!!!! You have made 12 very keen scientists even more inspired and eager to join the world of science! Our children loved every moment of the day; from organisation to entertainment, you ticked all the boxes!” Science Coordinator, Devonshire Primary School

“Without doubt it is my favourite festival to work for. I’m always impressed by the professionalism, enthusiasm and friendliness of all the staff” Matt Pritchard, the Science Magician

“The Science Festival is just one example of an agenda that we’re really good at and I’m very proud to be the VC of a university that is leading the way in”- our VC, Gerry Kelleher

Titan - Saturday 1

Titan and the crowds on our general public day

The new aspects of the festival – Lancashire Science Festival Lates were a huge success with both selling out! The Festival of the Spoken Nerd session was full of geektastic fun and comedy – we loved it! Our other late session was an adult only Surgical Spirit: The Science of Cocktails were attendees listened to the fabulous mixologist, who talked everybody through the science of alcohol, and how could we forget the 5 free cocktails!

Planning for next year’s festival has already started so watch this space. The team feel a little bit sad and mopey; without the yellow t-shirts, walkie talkie code names and bizarre to do lists of having a festival around the corner! We can’t wait to turn UCLan’s campus into a science frenzy zone again next year and always we promise it will be bigger and better than ever.

Zoo Bus - snake 1

The amazing Dr Mike with two science mad students and a snake!