Half-term science fun at the Ri

Visit the Ri this February half-term for a series of fun and educational public events on science and maths.

Children in front of the Periodic Table game in the Ri's Faraday Museum.
T Mitchell


Family Fun Day

Saturday 15 February 11:00am – 4:00pm

Discover where you came from, find out if you are a mutant and hear a talk from the 2013 Christmas Lecturer herself, Alison Woollard! Among the many activities on offer, you can try out demonstrations from the CHRISTMAS LECTURES like using webbed gloves to feel what it would be like if you didn't experience programmed cell death (called apoptosis). You'll also be able to see if you have the genetic mutation that makes you a supertaster, use our microscopes to get up close to a variety of objects, inflate some lungs and make your own genome bracelets.Family Fun Day activities are suitable for 6-12 year olds though older and younger siblings and friends are also very welcome.

View the talk schedule and book tickets for Family Fun Day

Cosmetic chemistry

Tuesday 18 February 11:00am – 3:00pm

This workshop gives children the opportunity to explore the chemical processes behind cosmetics like bath bombs and lip balms, allowing them to observe the properties and interactions of oils and waxes as they dissolve into one another. This also allows them to investigate the difference between acidic and alkaline solutions and how they can neutralise each other in a reaction by forming a salt. Please note this workshop is strictly for 7-10 year olds only.

Find out more and book tickets for Cosmetic Chemistry

Patterns and populations

Wednesday 19 February 10:30am - 12:30pm or 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Mathematics can be used to study and predict the world around us in many surprising ways. Based on one of our Mathematics Masterclasses, this family workshop will aim to open the eyes of young people to the excitement, beauty and real-world value of mathematics. During these sessions we will explore one type of mathematical modelling and how we might be able to represent complicated processes using very simple rules.

We encourage parents to attend with their children. The workshop is recommended for 11 - 14 year olds, but older students, adults and under 11s are also welcome. However, please note that anyone under 11 will need to be accompanied by an adult.

Find out more and book tickets for the 10:30am - 12:30pm or 2:00pm - 4:00pm sessions.


Wednesday 19 February 11.00am - 3.00pm

In this workshop, students get to experience what it would be like to work in a forensics lab by investigating a fictional crime scene scenario. They will evaluate the crime scene and suspect DNA samples using modern molecular biological techniques including restriction digests and gel electrophoresis, comparing the bands formed on the gels to identify the criminal.

Please note this workshop is strictly for 14-18 year olds only.

Find out more or book tickets to Forensics.

Extract your own DNA

Thursday 20 February 11.00am - 1.00pm

A great introduction to enzymes and DNA structure this workshop gives children the opportunity to make their own DNA necklace and use equipment usually found at degree level. After harvesting their own cheek cells, children will then extract the DNA by using a lysis buffer and protease digestion. To precipitate the DNA out of solution, ice cold ethanol is used which can then be transferred in to a necklace to take home.

This workshop is strictly for 10-14 year olds only.

Find out more or book tickets to Extract your own DNA.


Looking for activities for the kids this half-term? Why not bring them along to one of the Ri’s fun and educational events for children and families?

Starting with our Family Fun Day on Saturday 15 February we’re running a wide range of public workshops and activities on chemistry, maths and biology.

Our spring Family Fun Day will explore the exciting themes of the 2013 CHRISTMAS LECTURES®: ‘Life Fantastic’. With talks from the Christmas Lecturer herself, Dr Alison Woollard, the day will explore the genetic wonders of life on Earth from the lowliest worm to the mightiest mammal. Try out activities featured in the CHRISTMAS LECTURES, see if you have the genetic mutation that makes you a supertaster and make your own genome bracelets.

We also have a number of workshops being held in our L'Oréal Young Scientist Centre, from the cosmetic chemistry of bath bombs, to using forensic science to solve crimes and making your own personal DNA necklace.

You can also discover the surprising and elegant uses of mathematical patterns to analyse our world in a family workshop adapted from our popular Mathematics Masterclasses.

See below for links to book tickets to individual events.