Just landed: the LifeLab programmes for Cambridge, Ely and Peterborough!

Just landed: the LifeLab programmes for Cambridge, Ely and Peterborough!

It’s finally here! After months of planning we’re very excited to share this year’s LifeLab programme of events with you. Last year’s event was a great success but this year will be even bigger and better with more activities for you to try and a new city involved. As well as taking our researchers to Peterborough and Cambridge, this year LifeLab is taking over Ely Cathedral with lots of fun, hands-on activities for all the family. There’s something for everyone with powerful performances, tantalising talks, stupendous science stalls and even a giddy game show. We promise you won’t want to miss it!

Coming to Ely:

Let’s start with what’s happening in the new city in our programme, Ely. On the Friday evening from 7pm to 9.30pm, we’ll be filling the cathedral with a host of different things to entertain and enthral you, enabling you to explore some of the discoveries on your doorstep. The cathedral will be packed with hands-on activities exploring the biological world. You’ll be able to get a science-themed (temporary!) tattoo and discover how microscopes are used to see proteins in the tiniest detail. There will also be quick-fire, bite-size talks giving you a taste of research which you can then explore in more detail with the scientists afterwards. There will be a display of Stories from Science, where some of the region’s scientists are sharing how they got into science and introducing the broad range of opportunities for people to work in science. We’ll also be on Cross Green next to Ely Cathedral on the Saturday from 10am to4.30pm with even more hands-on activities for you to explore. Get a group together and test your skills in breaking out of our pop-up escape room, master laboratory techniques and solve scientific puzzles to untangle the mysteries to help your cells survive.

In Peterborough:

If you’re in Peterborough we have something for your artistic side on Friday night from 7pm. LifeLab LOUD is an immersive and interactive sound installation, created by duo, Neil Musson and Jono Retallick, exploring the sounds of our cells. Join us at Key Theatre for what promises to be an incredible experience with an opportunity to chat over refreshments with the artists and scientists involved. The next day our pop-up lab returns to Queensgate shopping centre from 10am to 6pm. You’ll be able to meddle with microscopes to see tiny worms used to answer big questions and get to grips with lab equipment to hone your scientist skills. We’re also taking over a nearby shop unit where you can take a break from the shopping and sit down with the children to enjoy fun, thrilling stories inspired by real life adventures!

In Cambridge:

Cambridge will be a hive of activity on the Friday night with events across the city in pubs, clubs and cafes. In the Portland Arms scientists will be sharing their exploration of the microbes living in the River Cam that flows through the city. You’ll also be able to enjoy a laugh with our line-up of budding comedians as The Variables take a humorous look at their life in the lab at the Cambridge Junction. There’ll be more evening fun with Café Sci at the EspressoLibrary and our panel show Kidology at the Cambridge Science Centre. Can you help our panel to work out what science a bunch of children are trying to describe? Then during the day on Saturday we’ll be back in the Science Centre for you to have a go at coding with a range of neat activities showing how coding is helping us in the lab. We will also be in the Grafton Centre with more hands-on science so park the shopping and see if you can get DNA out of a strawberry instead!

Plan your LifeLab experience

There’s lots going on and there’s certainly something for everyone. Most events are free but some do require you to book tickets in advance so check out the details and plan your weekend by going to the events section of our website. It’s organised by city so you can find the events closest to you. You can also keep up to date with what’s going on by following @camlifelab on social media. It’s going to be a fabulous weekend of fun science for all so we look forward to seeing you there!

Authored by:

Steve Scott, Senior Public Engagement Coordinator, Wellcome Genome Campus

About Steve:

Steve works at the Wellcome Genome Campus supporting researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and European Bioinformatics Institute to share the stories of their research with the wider public. This involves providing training in communication skills and helping staff to develop a programme of activities to engage audiences with their work. Steve has a particular interest in the role DNA plays in shaping who we are and our how it affects our health. He enjoys exploring this with different groups to see what they think about the potential social and ethical issues of someone knowing about their genetics and what they’d want to know.

Steve’s worked in public engagement for nearly 15 years having realised when he was studying for a PhD that he had a natural flair for explaining science in an easily, accessible way. Since then he’s worked for several organisations and been involved in lots of fun projects. He’s worked with TV presenter Gok Wan exploring the genetics of obesity and even helped choreographer Wayne McGregor create a ballet about his DNA. Who knows what’s next after LifeLab? He also enjoys most sports, particularly football, and loves travelling to London to see a West End show.