8 October, 11:00 am

6 hrsPWYD

Hands-on, Interactive | Biology, Chemistry, Environment & Nature, Health & Medicine, Physics, Science, Technology, Engineering


Wesley Memorial Methodist Church, New Inn Hall Street, Oxford OX1 2DH

See some of the most exciting science and meet the best and friendliest inventors in town for free. Try out dozens of interactive activities and demonstrations suitable for all ages.

For one hour, from 11am, Explorazone will be open just for adults and children and the families of those who are within the autistic spectrum or who have other neurodiverse conditions. Join the researchers to explore and discuss science and ideas in a quieter and less-crowded space.

Please help us keep track of venue capacity by booking your approximate arrival time. You can arrive at any time during your half-hour arrival slot, then stay for as long as you like. Last entry 4.30pm, event closes at 5pm.

Activities include:

Risky business – environmental hazards!
What are the hidden dangers from radiation and chemicals in the environment? How can you protect yourself and loved ones? Have fun learning about a range of risks, explore what you can do to look after your health, and separate fact from fiction.
UK Health Security Agency

Sound the alarm: the DNA damage response
DNA is the blueprint for life, but what if yours becomes damaged? Explore the ways a cell can detect and repair damage in the genome. Find out what happens if these processes go wrong and see how scientists try to visualise these complex pathways.
Dept of Biochemistry, University of Oxford

Quantum computing – tackling today’s challenges 
Explore quantum computing through a mesmerising interactive activity: watch individual dust particles dance and manipulate their movements. Meanwhile, learn how scientists can use very similar systems to perform quantum computations.
National Quantum Computing Centre

Shaping Destiny: experiments in embodiment
Your genes shape your body, but other factors influence your sense of self, relationships, and destiny. Young dancers from Oxford worked with choreographers and digital artists to interpret research on human embryo formation and medieval perceptions of the human form through immersive virtual reality art.
Dept of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford

The wonderful world of water
Explore how to help keep your local waterways clean and healthy. Experiment with ways to harness the power of water, discover river and pond wildlife and get involved with projects that have a positive impact on your local water habitats.
Cotswolds National Landscape

Environmental detectives
Earth, air, and oceans… on a table.  Be wowed by a smoking demonstration of how increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere lead to ocean acidification and become an environmental detective. Identify some mystery river-water samples, dig up microplastics invading the ecosystem and find the plastics floating in the ocean.
Royal Society of Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry Group

Superconducting magnets in MRI
Explore the insides of the machines used to diagnose tumours, clots and tissue damage. Take a look at the curious and cool world of cryogenics, the low-temperature technology, design and manufacture of superconducting magnets in Oxfordshire.
Siemens Healthineers Magnet Technology

Who you gonna call? Myth -busters!
Have you ever been told that humans only use 10% of their brains? Or that carrots improve eyesight? Meet scientists to discuss and debunk myths and misconceptions of biology. Discover how some bodily beliefs are wrong and why they were embraced as scientific fact in the first place.
Dept of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford

Battling the bugs
When you’re sick with a common infection, it’s easy to think that antibiotics might help with recovery. But many infections get better without medicine. In fact, taking antibiotics when you don’t need to may lead to bacteria becoming resistant to treatment. Discover how to prevent infections, beat the bugs and keep antibiotics working!
Nuffield Dept of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford

Re-imagining monsters: make an AI beast
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is creating a new type of beast, so how can you encounter, understand, influence and live alongside the powerful, mysterious and amazing modern day ‘monsters’ we call AI Beasts? Be inspired by some hero beasts inside the AI Bestiary and create a picture of your very own AI monster to take home.
Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, University of Oxford

Diamond: atom by atom
Diamond’s properties stretch far beyond its aesthetic appeal as a precious gemstone. Its extreme and diverse characteristics make it the perfect material for a range of industrial applications including the machining of smartphones, high-end audio systems and in quantum enabled sensing devices. Explore diamond structure with hands-on activities.
Element Six

Prehension Blooms
Discover the technology embedded in Neon Dance’s new performance work Prehension Blooms. Play with ‘string-puppet robots’, manipulate and animate robot characters and learn about how they have been created.
Neon Dance

Muscle Switch
Not just for gym enthusiasts and athletes, understanding muscle damage and repair is important for everyone. Play the Muscle Switch video game and consider whole-body wellbeing alongside what is considered ‘normal strength’.
Dept of Paediatrics, University of Oxford

Engineering your future
Do you enjoy playing computer games, solving puzzles and building or fixing things? If so, maybe a future in engineering is for you! Have a go at some tech challenges and ask about engineering apprenticeships.
The Engineering Trust

IF Oxford uses Pay What You Decide (PWYD) ticketing so you can choose to pay whatever you want, or can afford. You can make your donation during booking or after the event and the amount you pay is up to you. A suggested donation of £5 per person for each event enjoyed will help secure the future of the Festival. IF Oxford is run by The Oxfordshire Science Festival (charity #1151361) and your donation may be eligible for Gift Aid, where a charity can claim back an extra 25% of your donation at no cost to you.

Donate and download Gift Aid declaration form  



Wesley Memorial Methodist Church, New Inn Hall Street, Oxford OX1 2DH, UK OX1 2DH