Family Fun Day: Great stuff

Drop in between 11.00am and 4.00pm, Saturday 17 May

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • Ferrofluid spike

    Magnetic nanoparticles of iron suspended in oil to create a ferrofluid

    Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons


£12 Adults


£6 3-18 year olds


Faraday members free. Members and Associates get two free junior tickets.

Event description

What happens when you make a liquid with iron filings? How can you make paint change colour before your eyes? Everything is made of something, and the stuff in your life, from the ordinary to the obscure, is full of surprises! Explore the amazing material world at this Family Fun Day all about stuff, with talks from former Christmas Lecturer, Professor Mark Miodownik and engineer Roma Agrawal.

Hands on activities

There's the chance to get up close and personal with some weird and wonderful materials as well as giving you the chance to see everyday materials in a whole new light.

  • Bring your own small metal object to be electroplated (max size 3cm square)
  • Make a circuit with electroputty with Technology will save us
  • Find out how you make a collar tough enough to track a cheetah in the wild with the Royal Veterinary College
  • Meet Polyox, a gravity defying liquid
  • Play with ferrofluid, a liquid containing magnetic nanoparticles of iron
  • Iodine - it's sublime!
  • Dry ice and solid nitrogen
  • Snapping spaghetti
  • Thermochormic paints
  • Make nylon

And lots more besides!

  • Roma Agrawal

    Roma Agrawal

  • jelly baby bridge

    Jelly baby bridge

Theatre talk 1

Engineering and Jelly Babies - Roma Agrawal

Roma will use jelly babies and video footage from the 1940s to show you how bridges can ‘gallop’ and collapse. She will also show an engineer’s role in designing them, using suitable materials, to make sure this doesn’t happen.

In the Faraday Theatre at the following times

  • Mark Miodownik and umbrella

    Mark Miodownik

    Credit: Paul Wilkinson

  • Mark Miodownik and thumb

    Mark Miodownik and giant thumb at the 2010 CHRISTMAS LECTURES

    Credit: Paul Wilkinson

Theatre talk 2

Stuff matters - Mark Miodownik
Everything is made of something...
From the everyday objects in our homes to the most extraordinary new materials that will shape our future, Mark reveals the inner workings of the man-made world, and the miracles of craft, design, engineering and ingenuity that surround us every day.

In the Faraday Theatre at the following times:

Please note

Family Fun Day activities are suitable for 6-12 year olds though older and younger siblings and friends are also very welcome.

Entrance for Faraday Members and under 3s is free. Adult Ri Members are entitled to bring two accompanying children free.

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Become a member

Benefit from free and better than half-price tickets, special offers and access to the CHRISTMAS LECTURES ticket ballot.

Join todayGo