Countdown to Be Curious 2023

The countdown has begun to our jam-packed programme for the entertainment extravaganza that is Be Curious!

Family fun is the order of the day at Be Curious 2023

Countdown to Be Curious 2023. May 2023

The annual open event – showcasing the University’s world-changing research to colleagues and the wider public – returns from 10am to 4pm on Saturday (13 May).

Each year we turn campus into a hub of free family friendly activities, with the chance to get hands on with the amazing research that happens at Leeds to see how it impacts our lives. We give visitors the keys and let them explore what happens in our labs, studios, workshops and lecture theatres.  

Under the banner of ‘creating, doing, inspiring’, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The full Be Curious programme features more than 40 interactive stalls and activities, from marvellous microbes, robots and chocolate trials, to DIY spell books and even a brain booth!

All events are free – there’s no need to book and everyone is welcome.

Fantastic opportunity

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Simone Buitendijk, said: “We’re delighted to once again welcome everyone to join in our popular Be Curious event. 

“We value our position at the heart of our local community and Be Curious is a fantastic opportunity for young – and not-so-young – people to learn more about the work we do at the University of Leeds.

“While we hope Be Curious will educate, we really want the event to entertain and inspire. Everyone at the University is committed to supporting and engaging with young people across our city and region, giving them the opportunity to be creative and develop critical thinking skills.”

Countdown to Be Curious 2023. May 2023

The crew of Expedition 399 will be broadcasting live from their research ship – Image courtesy of JOIDES Resolution

As a part of the day’s exciting activities, the crew of Expedition 399 will be broadcasting live from their research ship – the JOIDES Resolution. Join us to hear about the expedition and what life is like onboard a research ship. 

Another of the day’s highlights is a fun and interactive theatre taster session – entitled Eleven Benevolent Elephants – open to anyone aged between 9 and 16. This event is held by the stage@leeds Young Company – an inclusive and accessible creative space for young people. 

In addition, the Marks & Spencer archive will be open, giving people the opportunity to discover the amazing collection with exciting hands-on activities… including the chance to meet none other than Percy Pig himself!

Highlight of the year

Dr Alexa Ruppertsberg, Head of Public Engagement with Research, said: “Be Curious is the highlight of our year. We love opening the doors to the University and welcoming families from across the city.

“It gives young people a chance to interact with different, new ideas and topics in a really hands-on way, hopefully inspiring them to think outside the box. It’s a fantastic opportunity for researchers to share their important work and the impact it will have on lives.”

Be Curious is delighted to be a Child Friendly Leeds Ambassador this year.

The programme is split across four areas – Parkinson Court, Baines Wing, the Michael Sadler Building and venues such as stage@leeds and the M&S archive.

Programme highlights

Parkinson Court 

Marvellous Microbes 

Explore the hidden world of microorganisms. Look through the microscope, explore hands-on models and get creative with a wide range of activities to suit all ages.

Who is a witch? DIY Spell Books from Macbeth to Harry Potter

What do witches do? How do you know who’s a witch? Come and explore the idea of witchcraft and also get the chance to make your very own DIY spell book!

Crystal Creations

Professor William Bragg was so good at science he won a Nobel Prize! But did you know he taught here at the University (we’ve even named a building after him!). Come and experience Bragg’s Law in action and learn about all the materials that make up the world around us. 

Up Close and Really Cold

Freezing samples and studying them under microscopes can show us so much. It can tell us how diseases happen and how we can help. Come and see the power of freezing – and you don’t even need to bring a jacket!

Baines Wing

Board reading?

Do you always understand what you’re reading? Sometimes you need to know a lot of things to understand what the words mean. We’re going to share some games that can help you become a word detective – finding the meaning behind the words in your books.

Countdown to Be Curious 2023. May 2023

Visitors can give robotics a try

Michael Sadler Building

Wearable Technology 

When you run your heart rate goes up; when you’re cold your skin temperature goes down. One patch can measure all of this at the same time. Come and see how wearable technology can visualise the body’s response to changes in your environment. 

Real Robotics Lab

Give robotics a try at the Real Robotics Lab. You can experience the thrill and excitement of learning about robotics and you’ll even get a chance to control a robotic arm!

Yondar Space – Exploring STEM in Space

Experience our cutting-edge STEM products, such as rocket design, spacecraft simulators, nano satellite design and more. Learn about the science and engineering behind space technology and discover how you can unleash your potential in the world of space exploration.

Star*ts music and spoken word performance

Star*ts is an immersive experience with music and spoken word performances. Its creation is inspired by the origins of the universe. Performances will happen throughout the day in the Banham Theatre, so drop by and stay as long as you want.

The Chocolate Trial

In medicine, we use something called a clinical trial to answer questions. We’ll be asking the question ‘Do different kinds of chocolate make us happier?’ Come and help answer our question!

Bowels and Bugs and Poo

There are bugs lurking in your body. What can you spot down the microscope? Come and play our poo-related games and learn all about your marvellous guts and why we need to look after them!

Further information

View the full programme on the Be Curious website.

Follow along with the fun on the @BeCuriousLeeds Twitter account.

Please note a rail strike is currently scheduled for the day Be Curious is being held, but colleagues whose vehicles are registered with ParkIT can park for free in the orange zone. There are pay-and-display spaces for other visitors.

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