Saturday city takeover

Saturday 17 September | 11:00-16:30

Watch Leicester city centre come alive with science!

Take a break from your shopping to enjoy a virtual reality tour of the lungs, paint with metal salts, see the technology used to explore Mars, and much, much more. With a huge range of informative talks and interactive activities, there’s something for everyone.

Drop-in activities

These events will be running throughout the day and booking is not required.

Anti-boredom campaign


Join Dr Lizzie Burns from University College Hospital and the Anti-boredom Campaign for a series of boredom-busting activities including origami and colouring.  

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Black hole-and-seek


Adam McMaster has been using Einstein’s theory to look for black holes, and you can find them too! Join him in his quest to identify the black holes and stars that he’s searching for.  

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Edge of reality

Step inside this futuristic caravan to experience the ‘Edge of Reality’, an imagined future influenced by the technology we use and the data we produce as a result.

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Exploring Mars and the search for life


Join the Mars team from University of Leicester to find out more about the alternative ways being considered to deliver the ExoMars rover to the surface of Mars!

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In the genes? How genomic research can improve our health

Join researchers from the University of Leicester and dive into discovering how variations in our DNA sequence can affect our risk of developing diseases through these hands-on, interactive activities.  

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Jon Chase: Science Rapper

Join Jon Chase, scientist and science rapper, as he weaves scientific theories, rhymes and beats before your eyes. From precipitation to the periodic table, it’s the best science lesson that you never had at school! 

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Metal heads


Find out more about the extraction of metals from researchers at University of Leicester, while you paint with metal salts, and try your hand at many more metal hands-on activities!  

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Nourishing our future


Join researchers from Rothamsted Research, The Quadram Institute and The John Innes Centre on an exploration of future foods for healthier diets.

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Science on stilts


Do you look up to scientists? Well now you really can! Science on stilts is a walkabout show where real-life scientists – who are also accomplished stilt walkers – do simple science experiments with you!

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Skeletal secrets

We’ve convinced Sarah Inskip and her colleagues from the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History to let you in on some secrets. But you’ll need to search your bones and teeth to find them.  

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The million-dollar maths problem


Using a limited amount of string, The Operational Research Society challenges you to take on the role of a delivery driver and connect a series of pegs via the shortest route. See if you’ve got what it takes to plot the most efficient route and solve the million-dollar problem.  

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UCell - Electrochemical Energy Outreach Group


UCell from University College London are passionate about hydrogen, clean technologies and electrical storage and love sharing their knowledge and experience with others. In a time of a changing energy landscape, discover how these technologies are starting to become a regular feature in our everyday lives.

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Your lungs: Inside out


Have you ever wondered what the inside of your lungs look like? Wonder no more as a team of researchers from across the UK use virtual reality to give you a guided tour of these essential organs.

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Mix science with arts to change the world

Make science come alive with UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK – real-life projects taking place this year in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and online. We are bringing a taste of these awe-inspiring experiences, that all combine science with arts, to the festival.


These events can be booked in advance. There will be limited walk-up tickets on the day.  

All the talks will be held in Highcross Leicester, Lower East Mall opposite Footlocker

The Metabolism of the Earth


Highcross Leicester, Lower East Mall opposite Footlocker


Find out how our growing population puts a strain on the demand for energy, and discover a fresh perspective on the challenge of finding sustainable ways of living for the 21st century.  

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The Winchcombe meteorite


Highcross Leicester, Lower East Mall opposite Footlocker


Come and hear the story of how the Winchcombe meteorite was found and is now being used to answer the secrets of our solar system.  

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Real life dragons


Highcross Leicester, Lower East Mall opposite Footlocker


Join the University of Leicester’s resident Pterosaurs expert, David Unwin as he shares the fascinating story of a recent discovery of an exciting collection of twenty giant pterosaurs, belonging to two different species.  

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Our Place in Space


Highcross Leicester, Lower East Mall opposite Footlocker


Join celebrity scientist and TV presenter, Mark the Science Guy, for the ultimate interactive exploration of Our Place in Space.