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STEM@Leeds Team

Educational Engagement
University of Leeds
18 Blenheim Terrace


T: 0113 343 7495

Events Calendar

9:00 am The MoMath MATRIX conference @ University of Leeds
The MoMath MATRIX conference @ University of Leeds
Sep 1 @ 9:00 am – Sep 3 @ 5:00 pm
Are you interested in outreach and public engagement for mathematics? Do you create, design, operate or sell maths exhibits? Then join us at the MATRIX conference at the University of Leeds, 1st to 3rd September 2016.The MATRIX (Mathematics Awareness, Training, Resource, & Information Exchange) Conference is jointly organized by MathsWorldUK, MoMath, the National Museum of Mathematics (New York), and the School of Mathematics, University of Leeds. It is a gathering of people interested in improving the public perception of and engagement with mathematics. The aim of the conference is to share ideas, experiences and best practice in the area of maths outreach. We intend it to be the largest UK gathering of outreach-minded people in recent years. (International attendees warmly welcomed of course.) The conference will include public lectures by Hannah Fry and Tadashi Tokieda along with a large number of 20-minute talks. For more information and to register, visit the conference webpages here.
5:00 pm A world from a sheet of paper @ University of Leeds
A world from a sheet of paper @ University of Leeds
Sep 1 @ 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm
A world from a sheet of paper @ University of Leeds
Maths World UK | Public Lectures Tadashi Tokieda (University of Cambridge/Stanford University) presents: A world from a sheet of paper Thursday 1st September 5pm-6:15pm Start with a sheet of paper. By folding, crumpling, sometimes tearing, we will explore a variety of phenomena, from magic tricks and geometry to elasticity and the traditional Japanese art of origami. Much of the show consists of table-top demos, which you can try later with friends and family. So, take a sheet of paper… Tadashi Tokieda has attracted worldwide attention for his work connecting maths and science with toys and origami. Having worked as a painter in Japan and as a classical philologist in France, he is now a mathematician at Stanford and Cambridge, and is active in outreach in the developing world, especially via the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. Suitable for ages 11+ (children should be accompanied by a responsible adult). The talk will be followed by optional visit to conference exhibition and reception. For more information and to register, please visit the MATRIX conference website here.
11:00 am The Mathematics of Love @ University of Leeds
The Mathematics of Love @ University of Leeds
Sep 3 @ 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
The Mathematics of Love @ University of Leeds
Maths World UK | Public Lectures Dr Hannah Fry (University College London) presents: The Mathematics of Love Saturday 3rd September 11am – 12:15pm You’d be forgiven for thinking that love and maths don’t naturally sit well together. Equations and proofs seem pretty poorly equipped to capture the thrill of romance or the world-ending despair that love can bring. But love – as with most of life – is full of patterns which mathematics is uniquely placed to describe. What are my chances of finding love? What profile picture should I use to maximise my chances in online dating? When should I settle down? And how can I avoid divorce? Sometimes serious and sometimes playful, Hannah will take us on a tour of the most talked about subject in history – using maths as our guide. Dr. Hannah Fry, a lecturer in the Mathematics of Cities at University College London, has contributed to several BBC documentaries including City in the Sky (BBC 2), Trainspotting Live (BBC 4), and The Joy of Data (BBC 4). Suitable for ages 14+ (children should be accompanied by a responsible adult). The talk will be followed by a screening of the Schools Video Competition winners and a chance to explore the conference exhibition. For more information and to register, please visit the MATRIX conference website here.


LFoS – Public Programme


Thanks to those who joined us for Leeds Festival of Science 2016!

The 2016 Public Programme was once again packed full of exciting events that enthused and inspired everyone, whatever their age and experience  – see below or download the programme here.

You can also see our twitter updates, with pictures, using #LeedsFestivalofScience

Public events list

How can you help?

Explore the Power of Water 

Saturday 5th March, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Thwaite Mills 

A fun packed day of practical science activities that will show how we can use water as a source of power.

This event is free, but usual admission prices apply. No booking is necessary, for more details please contact us on 0113 378 2983 or email thwaite.mills@leeds.gov.uk.

How can you help?

Bright Club Leeds

Thursday 10th March, 7:00pm
The Fenton, Woodhouse Lane

A concept that originated in a North London pub, Bright Club aimed to discover what would happen if comedians, musicians, writers and academics came together to create an evening of live entertainment. These people were not necessarily professional comedians, and had not even necessarily performed before – in fact, they were a collection of bright people with bright ideas, who spoke interestingly and engagingly about what they knew.

Bright Club Leeds presents some of the best and brightest researchers in Leeds, for your amusement and admiration. Find us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!


Suitable for adults only. Tickets are £5 and can be purchased on the door.

How can you help?

Engineering Colouring Book Launch

Saturday 12th March, all day
Trinity Shopping Centre

Join us in Trinity Kitchen to get your hands on a FREE copy of the brand new Engineering Colouring Book, and help us as we try to colour in what may be the WORLD’S LARGEST colouring page! Meet the artists and our engineers, and find out more about engineering – what it is, how it helps us to live our lives, and just some of the incredible things that have been made possible through this fascinating field!

This is a free drop in event, all welcome.


How can you help?

Discover Science Through Comics

Sunday 13th March, 11:00am – 7:00pm
White Cloth Gallery, Aire Street

Visit our exhibition to see a variety of comics and animations that break the barriers between science and art to communicate an array of topical scientific subjects.

Drop in to workshops with comic artists from Newcastle Science Comic to try your hand at drawing your own science comic.

Join our talk from the editor in chief Lydia Wysocki (5:30 – 6:30pm) to take a closer look at Newcastle Science Comic and their projects to see what comics can do that other mediums can’t.

This is a free event, suitable for all ages.  Find out more information and register your interest here.


How can you help?

Get hands-on with keyhole surgery in Leeds – join our tour of the surgical training unit

Monday 14th March, 1:30pm – 3:30pm
LISTA surgical training unit, Chancellor building, St James’s University Hospital, Beckett Street, Leeds, LS9 7TF

Would you like to have a go at keyhole surgery? Would you like to hear from a brain surgeon and find out what brain surgery is really like and how growing ‘mini-brains’ in a lab is helping our research?

If so, join us in the surgical training unit at St James’s hospital and have a go with the keyhole surgery training equipment which the surgeons use to practice their skills – don’t worry, you’ll be operating inside a plastic person, not a real one.

You’ll also get to hear from Dr Ryan Matthew, a brain cancer surgeon who is also now doing research which involves growing ‘mini-brains’ from patient tumour samples.  You will also find out more about the Cancer Research UK Leeds Centre and its life-saving work.

This event is now fully booked.

How can you help?

The Innovation Story at M&S

Wednesday 16th March, 12:30pm – 1:30pm
M&S Company Archive, Michael Marks Building, University of Leeds

Join our Archivist for a look at the science and innovation behind some of our best-selling M&S products.

Admission is free. Book online here. 

How can you help?

Matt Parker’s Adventures in the Fourth Dimension

Friday 18th March, 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Conference Auditorium 2, University of Leeds

Back by popular demand – award winning maths comedian and Rubik’s Cube world record holder Matt Parker is on tour again, this time in 4D!

Fresh from his 2013 solo show “Number Ninja” and the sell-out 2014 and 2015 Festival of the Spoken Nerd UK tours, Matt Parker is once more forming a maths + comedy venn diagram with lively stand-up and mind-boggling maths. Now with more dimensions than ever before!

Entry to the show is strictly by ticket only.  Book early as places are limited.

Suitable for ages 16+. Tickets are £6 and can be bought online here.

How can you help?

Be Curious

Saturday 19th March, 10:00am to 4:00pm
Parkinson Building, University of Leeds

Do you want to come along and have a fun day out at the University?  Ever been curious as to what studies and research are taking place in Leeds?  “Be Curious” is an exciting, free, interactive event, suitable for everyone with an interest in health, wellbeing and the human body.  Come and see, play with and learn about our work! Suitable for all ages young and old, something for everyone.  See more at:  www.stem.leeds.ac.uk/becurious

Admission is free. 

How can you help?

People are Messy

Saturday 19th March, 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Clothworkers Music Hall, School of Music, University of Leeds

People Are Messy, by award-winning playwright Judith Johnson, has been devised and produced by Theatre of Debate with support from NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre and a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award.

Its primary aim is to engage young people aged 14+ in an informed debate about the practical, ethical and social issues around decision-making and health research. It is equally engaging for adults and young people alike.

The play, a comedy drama, examines the complexities of patient and public involvement through the eyes of two teenagers with very different ways of confronting a future made uncertain by a serious medical condition.

Democracy, autonomy, personal responsibility and loss are all explored in this engaging, entertaining and accessible production. The play is followed by a facilitated debate, allowing the audience to further explore these issues.

For more information, see the Theatre of Debate website.

Admission is free, but booking is required. Book online here.

Suitable for age 14+

How can you help?

Caf̩ Scientifique: Science Slam РScientific Myths

Tuesday 22nd March, 8:00pm
Seven Arts, Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton
Did you know:
• If you were hit by a small coin dropped from the top of the Empire State Building, it would NOT kill you.
• There is NO dark side of the moon (though some of the moon’s surface is never visible to us on earth).

Over the decades and centuries, science has corrected many misunderstandings. Similarly, poor communication by scientists has led to new scientific myths which masquerade as good science.

In this festival special guest speakers will each give a short talk about a scientific myth.


Find out more about Café Sci here

Admission is free.

How can you help?

The Mathematics of Animal Locomotion (W P Milne Lecture for sixth formers)

Wednesday 23rd March, 2:30pm – 3:30pm
Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre Michael Sadler Building, University of Leeds

This event is in collaboration with the Yorkshire Branch of the Mathematical Association.

In recent years mathematics has found itself at the forefront of our understanding of biological processes. Multimillion pound research has used mathematics to study the spread and control of infectious disease, gene sequences and also the topic we will explore in the talk: animal locomotion. We shall see how simple mathematical ideas lead to a greater understanding of animal locomotion and how it influences current research.

Presented by Martyn Parker.

Admission is free.

To book please e-mail the festival of science team (festivalofscience@leeds.ac.uk).

How can you help?

Rodley Nature Reserve

Wednesdays, Saturdays or Sundays, 10am-4pm 

Rodley Nature Reserve is designed to bring wetland wildlife back into the Leeds area.  Why not go along for a visit during the festival?  Wildfowl are present in good numbers in March and Whooper Swans call in most years. Winter visitors such as Redwings and Fieldfares should still be around and the first summer visitors start to arrive – what will you see?

Visit www.rodleynaturereserve.org to find out more.

How can you help?

Discover the Maths around you

Self-Led Trail
Royal Armouries, Leeds

A self-led Maths Trail around the Royal Armouries museum aimed at KS3 students. Information and resources are available here. No booking required.

How can you help?

The Chevin Forest Park Geology Trail

Self-Led Trail
Chevin Forest Park, Otley 

This trail will guide you round Chevin Forest Park, providing you with lots of information about different geological periods.

Trail (leaflet and audio (MP3) versions) are available here. Leaflets are also available free of charge from many outlets, including the Old Courthouse in Otley.

How can you help?

Roundhay Park – a walk back in time Geology Trail

Self-Led Trail
Roundhay Park, Leeds

This trail guides you round the geological features of Roundhay Park. More information can be found here including details of a guided tours which run during the year.

The trail leaflet is available, price £1, at the Visitor Centre, The Lakeside Café and at the City Stationers, Oakwood.

How can you help?

Leeds City Centre Maths Trail

Self-Led Trail

Leeds City Centre

A self-led Maths Trail around the Leeds Market and Corn Exchange. Explore numbers, shapes and statistics as you visit some of the landmarks of Leeds.
Trail available here.

How can you help?

Leeds City Walks – Geology of Buildings in Leeds

Self-Led Trail

Leeds City Centre

This geological walk around the buildings of Leeds city centre offers a chance to look at the history of the Earth through the materials used to build the city over the last 800 years.

Trail available here.

How can you help?

An event to look out for just after Easter.

Science Fair

Saturday 2nd April, 11am – 4pm
Leeds City Museum

Organized by the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society this fair brings together lots of interesting science-related organizations from across Leeds. Why not pop in to find out all about the wonderful things that go on on your doorstep?