Plenty to Bragg about at Be Curious!

Preparations are in full swing for the fifth instalment of the hugely popular Be Curious annual open day.

Diffraction demonstration from ‘Bragg-ing about Leeds’, one of the attractions at Be Curious 2020

Diffraction demonstration from ‘Bragg-ing about Leeds’, for Be Curious 2020. March 2020

NB: Be Curious has been rescheduled to Saturday 10 October.

Colleagues from across campus are getting ready to showcase their research to a family-friendly audience on Saturday 28 March.

With more than 60 exciting activities on offer across several locations on campus, including the Parkinson Building, there’s a lot to get ready ahead of the big day.

Dr Philippa Shepley demonstrating a crystal structure that generates electricity with force, in preparation for the ‘Bragg-ing about Leeds’ stall at Be Curious 2020. March 2020Demonstrating a crystal structure that generates electricity with force, in preparation for the ‘Bragg-ing about Leeds’ stall, is Dr Philippa Shepley

Staff and students from Physics and Astronomy used their monthly Outreach and Public Engagement Network (OPEN) meeting as an opportunity to hold a trial run of their demonstrations with fellow stallholders from the Bragg Centre for Materials Research.

Attendees got to grips with Professor Bragg’s discoveries, shared the full sensory experience of eating with our food scientists, encountered sticky scenes whilst forming polymers and explored a microscopic world with our bionano scientists, all through a series of hands-on activities.

Dr Andy Lee showcasing preparations for the ‘Bionano 4 Life’ stall at Be Curious 2020. March 2020Showcasing preparations for the ‘Bionano 4 Life’ stall for Be Curious 2020 is Dr Andy Lee

Erin McNeill, Physics Outreach Officer, said: “It was great to see so many engagement activities that highlight the cool things we’re doing here at the University.

“Through our Network, we’re learning that it’s more fun and a lot easier to take part in public engagement events like Be Curious by working together.”

Bottling it! 

The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery is preparing for Be Curious by collecting as many plastic bottles as possible, to be recycled and reused in the name of art!

Claire Evans, the Gallery’s Learning Coordinator, said: “I’m excited this year to be working in partnership with students from the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies (FAHACS) to enable the public to collaborate with real artists.

“Visitors will help turn plastic bottles into plastic string, which they can then use to construct an exciting piece of recycled textile art that will grow throughout the day. All we need to make this happen now is plenty of plastic bottles!”

Two-litre, smooth-sided bottles in any colour are required. They can be dropped off at the Gallery from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.

And why not go along to Be Curious to see how they’ve been put to use?

There’s no need to book, just attend between 10am and 4pm with family and friends, and take part in a range of exciting activities suitable for all ages.

Event highlights 

Find out what happens when you dive further and further into the dark ocean. Be Curious 2020. February 2020Find out what happens when you dive further and further into the dark ocean 

Among the highlights is the Deep Ocean Lab event – a voyage of discovery with Greg Foot, YouTuber and BBC TV and radio presenter.

What happens as you dive further and further into the dark ocean? Join Greg for the story of his scientific adventure to the deep. With experiments and stunning videos, Greg will show you the high-tech submersibles that took him down a crazy 1,000ft into the twilight zone. He’ll explain the importance of our oceans and – thanks to Greg’s work with the Blue Planet II team – uncover the effect we’re having on them.

Plus you’ll get the chance to meet a creature from the deep!

Pre-booked tickets have sold out, but many more will be available on the day on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. And like all the other attractions on the day, they’re absolutely free!

If exploring the ocean doesn’t appeal, what about plunging into the depths of your wardrobe instead?! If you’re planning a spring clean, take your old clothes along to the Be Curious pop-up fashion studio. With the help of Dr Pammi Sinha and our expert fashion students, visitors will learn how to restyle and reimagine their clothing – with little or no sewing required – and leave with some glittering ‘new’ garments.

Further information 

A full list of attractions is available on the Be Curious website, together with a link to download the programme and a map of events. You can also access the latest updates on Facebook.

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