Get stuck into science this summer with the Royal Institution

The Ri has a fun-filled summer holiday calendar packed with over 50 hands-on workshops for all ages covering topics in science, maths, computing and engineering.

Students getting stuck in to experimental science in the L'Oreal Young Scientist Centre
Royal Institution

Snapshot of events

Climate change, does it all add up?

Thursday 24 July 10:00am – 4:00pmAges: 16–18

Climate change is potentially one of the greatest threats that our world faces today. Certainly, the extreme events of this winter’s weather, including record flooding, have dramatically affected all of our lives. But is this an effect of climate change or is it just a random variation in our weather? Climate change is a hot topic for debate and discussion. So, what is climate change, and how can we even start to predict what the climate will be in 100 years time? Can we possibly rely on any such predictions?

Book places for Thursday 24 July

Coding from Scratch

Monday 4 August 10:00am – 12:30pm Ages: 7–9

We use computers to play games, solve problems and communicate, and computer animation is everywhere. But how do you get started with programming? David Nutting will help students to explore the very basics of coding with the program Scratch, using graphics to help develop their ideas into real, working computer programs.

Book places for Monday 4 August

3D printing and design

Wednesday 6 August 10:00am – 4:00pmAges: 16–18

3D printing is at the heart of cutting-edge design and manufacturing, used in everything from fashion to films to racing cars. From jewellery to Iron Map props to replicas of your own hand, 3D printing can be used to create almost anything and is developing quickly. Students will explore this fascinating process with Stan McCarthy and Chris Bradley, developing their own unique computer model from concept to the final design and creating an original 3D printed object.

Book places for Wednesday 6 August

Knots and links

Friday 8 August 10.00am – 3.00pmAge: 13–15

Knots have existed in cultures around the world for thousands of years, in art and religion as well as for climbing, sailing and fishing. When did they become a part of mathematics, and why? This workshop explores that question and will take students on a journey through different questions in Knot Theory, many of which are still unresolved today. They will also see how simple questions about knots are becoming very important in chemistry and biology, where knots can be made out of molecules and DNA.

Book places now for Friday 8 August

Byte-sized computing for grown-ups

Friday 8 August 10:00am – 4:00pmAges: Adult (over 18)

Computer programs are intrinsic to our world, but writing and understanding a computer program is a ‘dark art’ known to relatively few of us. In this special adult Summer School workshop with David Nutting, participants will explore some simple applications to play with computer graphics, codes, and solve problems using basic computer programs. You will also explore some of the ideas which will now be taught in schools, and how you can keep up with your children. You may even have time to dip into some more powerful programming tools and have a go at programming robots.

In this workshop you will be using friendly graphical environments called Scratch and Blockly, as well as a simple but powerful JavaScript tool called Khan Academy. 

Book places for Friday 8 August

How big is the universe?

Tuesday 19 August 10:00am – 4:00pmAges: 16-18

Can we use mathematics in astronomy and physics to calculate the size of the universe? Can we use mathematics to discover whether aliens really exist? How do mathematicians work with the very large numbers involved? In this workshop with Martin Yates, students will explore a number of mathematical techniques that astronomers employ, modelling everything from the size and history of galaxies to the probability that we might one day communicate with civilisations from another planet. If you want to understand how the universe works, this workshop is for you.

Book places for Tuesday 19 August

Mathematical origami

Thursday 21 August 10:00am – 12:30pm and 1:30pm – 4:00pmAges: 7–9 and 10-12

There are many interesting mathematical shapes that can be made using paper or card. With Katie Steckles, students will look at some fabulous objects they've never seen before and have a go at building them - using their mathematical thinking skills to work out where everything goes!

Book places for Thursday 21 August (7-9 year olds)

Book places for Thursday 21 August (10-12 year olds)


This summer the Royal Institution has an action-packed programme of fun, hands-on educational activities for all ages, even grown-ups.

From half day and full day workshops to week long courses running throughout July and August, our range of innovative and interactive Summer Schools are designed to bring to life all areas of science, mathematics, computing and engineering. With over 50 sessions to choose from, covering topics from climate change to acoustics, earthquakes to rocket science, forensics, crash-testing and ancient history there is something for everyone.

The workshops in the L’Oréal Young Scientist Centre offer students the chance to be a scientist for the day by making explosive bath bombs, extracting their own DNA, investigating forensic science, exploring the chemistry of colour and much more.

In the workshops and Summer Schools devised by the Ri’s Mathematics and Engineering Masterclasses team and led by experts from across industry and academia, students can design and build their own underwater robots, have a go at computer coding and mathematical origami, or even try their hand at some 3D printing.

Booking is now open and places can be booked online via the Ri’s What’s On calendar or by calling our Public Programme team on 020 7409 2992.

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. All tickets are discounted for Ri members.

A selection of the events are also CREST accredited, and students on the week-long Summer Schools will have the opportunity to achieve a CREST Award for their completed projects. Where applicable, more information is provided on the booking page for each event.

The Potential Trust may be able to offer financial support to participate in Ri events and activities for any children who would not otherwise be able to attend. Please contact Anna Comino-James on 01844 351666 or email her at to find out more.

We would also like to thank Google for their donation of the Chromebooks used in the Computer Science Summer School workshops.

Please read on for just a snapshot of the different activities on offer or browse the July and August sections of our What’s On calendar for full listings.