This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Saturday 15 June 2019, 10am to 4pm
  • Location: Ron Cooke Hub, Campus East, University of York (Map)
  • Audience: Open to the public
  • Admission: Free admission, booking not required

Event details

Join us for a family-friendly day of exploration - from the frontiers of space, to unexplored worlds underwater, to the extreme conditions of the Poles.

All our activities and talks are free and take place at the Ron Cooke Hub and the nearby Piazza Building. Tasty food and hot and cold drinks are available to buy throughout the day at the Hub Café.

So why not drop-in and enjoy some family fun? 


Exhibition:  Let the adventure begin!

10am to 4pm, Ron Cooke Hub

Get hands-on with a wide range of activities suitable for all ages.  Learn how to navigate with a compass and by the stars; venture into the polar zone and investigate how to keep warm in extreme environments; design your own boat to travel the high seas; explore underwater with coral to handle; and fly into space inside the Cosmodome, our inflatable planetarium.   


Mission to Mars

10am to 10.50am, Piazza Building

Take a fun journey into the future of space and robots. Help programme our friendly robot Nao and her friends for a joint human and robotic mission to Mars, and find out about Aurora, the European Space Agency’s plan to explore our Solar System.


Journey to the Centre of the Earth

11am to 11.45am, Ron Cooke Hub

What happens deep below the Earth’s surface at the core of our planet and how does this cause the spectacular volcanic eruptions we see?  Join Ben Esse of the University of Manchester for a journey through the layers of our planet.


The Wonders of Coral Reefs

12.45pm to 1.30pm. Ron Cooke Hub

Callum Roberts, Chief Scientific Advisor to the BBC Blue Planet II series, explores the wonderful world of coral - where rocks are alive, shrimps can produce underwater sparks and many fish are not what they seem.  Join Callum for a lavishly illustrated talk and take a close look at our display of corals.


Science Below Zero: Adventures in Antarctica

2pm to 2.45pm, Ron Cooke Hub

Learn about science teacher Roussel De Carvalho’s expedition to a remote and virtually unexplored region of Antarctica.  Hear what it was like to be in such a harsh environment and find out about some of the exciting polar science experiments carried out by his team. 


Exploring Other Worlds

3.15pm to 4pm , Ron Cooke Hub

Take a voyage of discovery out into the Galaxy with Emily Brunsden of the University of York. Find out about the exoplanets around other stars that might be able to sustain life and discover what different environments we might encounter - from multiple Suns in the sky to to red plant-life. 


Travelling to the event

Public transport is the easiest way to travel to the University of York campus with frequent bus services from the city centre. If travelling by car to Campus East (Piazza Building and the Ron Cooke Hub), please use the Field Lane and Kimberlow Lane car parks. Maps and directions are available at

About the speakers

Dr Emily Brunsden is a Lecturer in the Department of Physics at the University of York specialising especially in Astrophysics. She is the Director of Astrocampus - a teaching and outreach observatory at the University. Her research interests include the spectroscopy of pulsating stars and higher education in physics and astrophysics.

Dr Roussel De Carvalho was one of four science teachers selected by the Fuchs Foundation to participate in the mission of a life-time: An expedition to a remote and virtually unexplored region of Antarctica with the goal to explore the region and perform scientific experiments capable to engaging young people in the polar sciences.  The experience gave Roussel and the team a life changing experience to help them inspire both their teaching and their students.

Ben Esse is a postgraduate student in the Petrology-volcanology group at the University of Manchester, funded by a NERC DTP-CASE studentship. He researches the use of UV spectroscopy to mitigate the risks posed by airborne volcanic ash. Fine particles may stay airborne for many days or much longer and these pose a very serious threat to aircraft as well as to human health. Previously Ben completed a Masters in Physics with Astrophysics at the University of York. 

Professor Callum Roberts is a marine conservation biologist in the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York. He was first tempted into marine science by a trip to the coral reefs of Saudi Arabia, where he studied behaviour and coexistence of herbivorous fishes. This led to a lifelong love of coral reefs.  In the early 1990s his interests in behaviour gave way to concern about the deteriorating condition of coral reefs, leading to his current emphasis on marine conservation. He worked on the BBC TV programme Blue Planet, appearing in the last episode, and was a series scientific adviser to Blue Planet II.


Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible