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Family Fun Day: Great stuff

Find out everything you wanted to know about materials science in this hands-on day for the whole family!

Magnetic nanoparticles of iron suspended in oil to create a ferrofluid
Via Wikimedia Commons

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!

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 times11.30am1.15pm2.45pm

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: 12.15pm 2.00pm 3.30pm

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.