Science Spectacular brings down the curtain on Manchester Science Festival

27 Oct 2011

This weekend sees a Spectacular end to the Manchester Science Festival, featuring drunken flies, glow in the dark ice cubes and many other weird and wonderful phenomena.

Families have the chance to learn with interactive events
Families have the chance to learn with interactive events

The Science Spectacular showcases the best The University of Manchester has to offer, with more than 30 research groups showing visitors how fun and important their work can be.

The free event, which runs from 11am-3pm on Saturday 29th October, brings together scientists from all disciplines and is entertainment for both adults and children of all ages.

Held at the Whitworth Hall at the University and the Manchester Museum, the Science Spectacular in an interactive exhibition which helps to bring science to life.

Among the exhibits are:

•    The Fly Station – discover that flies get drunk, that they have stem cells, and that they suffer from jet lag, as well as how the humble fruit fly has helped make new discoveries about diseases such as epilepsy and cancer.

•    Chemistry Glows - demonstrating luminescence – chemicals and chemical reactions that give off light. This will include making glow in the dark ice cubes using tonic water in different shapes and a demonstration on how to make light sticks by making two chemicals react together.

•    Seeing Inside the Invisible Universe – get your own copy of the live signal from the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank, play with sound waves to discover how arrays of radio telescopes work, and explore the astronomy picture of the day for your birthday.

•    How Does That Work? – discover the wonder of electrical and electronic engineering, including what makes a self inverting pendulum, self-balancing two-wheel robot, auto-tuning electric guitar, electronically controlled hovercraft, and interactive electronic audio/visual system work.

The Science Spectacular comes at the end of the Manchester Science Festival – a programme of more than 150 events, debates, installations and more across greater Manchester and beyond.

Earlier highlights included a stunning photographic exhibition from University of Manchester researchers - – and a recording of the BBC Radio4 panel show based around the festival featuring Professor Brian Cox.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President & Vice-Chancellor, said, "I am delighted that the University is playing a significant role in the Manchester Science Festival. I hope you can join us for the Science Spectacular -  this is a wonderful opportunity for us all to engage with the amazing science here in Manchester."

Full details about the Science Spectacular can be seen by visiting

For more details on the Manchester Science Festival visit

Notes for editors

Images of some of the exhibits are available on request.

For media enquiries please contact:

Daniel Cochlin
Media Relations Officer
The University of Manchester
0161 275 8387