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Focus on the first weekend

Just a few of the fabulous events on offer over the first weekend of the Cambridge Science Festival.

Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 March

Hands-on at the Guildhall
Stem cells and ageing, exercise and diet, DNA and new treatments for disease – join our scientists from 10AM to 4PM on Saturday and from NOON to 4PM on Sunday and discover how your body works.

Saturday 18 March

Plant and life sciences marquee
Can plants sense us? Do flies see what we see? What is Bioengineering? Researchers from across the biological disciplines unite to showcase the personal side of their research.

Light up the castle
Join University of Cambridge engineers, assemble a cardboard cut-out castle and fit a lighting circuit to enhance the interior. Choose a simple but effective two-lamp arrangement or take on a more challenging design.

Chemistry in action: a material world
Explore, feel and enjoy coloured,  gooey and shining materials you  can touch and change. Explore light and matter in our dark room, and take home colourful art and toys you have created. Supported by the Walters Kundert Charitable Trust.

Game of dragons outdooor maths challenge
This spring, every dragon sets off with their friends on an adventure in the land of numbers and puzzles. This maths treasure hunt takes place around the grounds of Girton College and is open to young people aged 11–18 years old in teams of three.

The science of archaeology
How do we learn about the lives of ancient people? Science! See how archaeologists use science to study past diets, languages, clothes and  tools from around the world.

It's a muddy world!
Delve into geography and experience the magical mysteries of muddy coasts. Explore how, from tiny worms to cleverly adapted plants, muddy coasts support fascinating life forms, lock away carbon dioxide and protect us from flooding and erosion.

Science Cafe
Take a break with scientists at Caffè Mobile! Spin the ‘Wheel of Science’ and chat about their research. Hot drinks and homemade cakes available for purchase.

Molecules that rocked the world
These 25 molecules have changed our life, culture and social trends. Discover more about their structures, history, properties, applications and significance using a stereoscopic 3D display.

Make and test your own microscope
The microscope is a window to the incredible ‘small world’ of life. Make your own simple microscope using your mobile phone to magnify and view this micro-world and submit your best pictures to our competition. Try out our lab microscopes, meet our scientists to discuss their latest research and find out how microscopy is pushing the boundaries of what can be observed.

Zits, sex, drugs and rock'n'roll: all human life is here
Often dismissed as an unpleasant transitional stage or even maligned as a blight on society, are teenagers really unproductive and worthless? Dr David Bainbridge uses anthropology, physiology, history and psychology to argue that the teenage years should instead be seen as a unique human innovation – the very phenomenon, in fact, which has allowed us to achieve our unique success.

Optimistic show and tell
Celebrate what keeps us hopeful for the future with punchy presentations by some of the best speakers from the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, the Museum of Zoology and beyond - as they tell us why it’s not all doom and gloom for the planet and why we’re celebrating #EarthOptimism on the 22nd April 2017.

Hands-on at the Guildhall: adults only
Our adult-only hands-on session returns again to the Cambridge Science Festival. Join us at the Guildhall to discover, discuss and debate science with our researchers without a child in sight! And Cambridge Wine Merchants will be popping up with a cash bar with wine, beers and soft drinks.

Family retro-gaming evening
An evening of video gaming that you won’t forget! A great chance for children, parents and carers to share experiences, compete against each other and talk about how technology and gaming have changed over the years. £8 / £6 children / £7 students, carers and over 60s / £24 family (2 adults and 2 children) / under 5’s free.

Sunday 19 March

Look up, look down, look all around!
Drop in for a self-guided exploration of the Museum using our new puzzle quiz and trail. Bring your smartphone or tablet and uncover the hidden treasures of the Museum in a self-guided tour produced by Historyworks. And venture beyond the Museum by foot or bike to find our specially produced geocaches. Regular Museum entry fees apply

Image credit: Rhys Grant