This event happened in the past (2018 edition)

Science Without Borders day

The Explorium

This is an event from the 2018 edition

The Explorium

Discover what our local scientists from Norwich Research Park get up to in the lab, and how their work is helping push forward science. With microbiology experiments from the Quadram Institute, Stan the Skeleton from NNUH, and activities from UEA, The Sainsbury Laboratory, the Earlham Institute, and John Innes Centre.


Meet the Guardians of the Gut

Guardians of the GutWho are the scaled-down superheroes battling baddies in our gut, and keeping us in tip-top health? Find out as the Hall Lab at the Quadram Institute introduce you to the Guardians of the Gut.

Our bodies are home to a diverse population of microbes, known collectively as our microbiota. These microbes play an important role in keeping us healthy from birth to old age. Scientists are now beginning to unravel exactly how these microscopic marvels work together and with us, and how this affects our health.

Guardians of the Gut

At The Guardians of the Gut you can learn about the amazing variety of bacteria that colonise our gut, and the roles they play in our growth, development and wellbeing. Walking through a giant interactive gut you can explore the different roles microbes play. You’ll get the chance to find out what happens if you change your diet, or if you have to take a course of antibiotics. And you can explore the new bacterial therapies that are being developed by the Hall lab to manipulate the microbiota to combat diseases.

The Guardians of the Gut has been developed by the Hall Lab at the Quadram Institute.  They are studying how our birth and conditions in early life can change our gut microbiota and how this can impact our health.

Hall LabQuadram Institute


Developmental dynamics: how do children’s brains develop?

Watch how your child’s brain works, learns and develops with these interactive mind games for young children from the Developmental Dynamics team at UEA.

Suitable for children aged 0-5 years.

UEADevelopmental Dynamics Laboratory

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Sequencing the NedOME

The Earlham Institute is at the cutting edge of life science research. One way we contribute to understanding life is through genome sequencing – and our scientists not only embrace the latest kit but also write important software and algorithms which allow scientists worldwide to make important discoveries.

This year, we will be showcasing our research on real-time genome sequencing, using the Oxford Nanopore MinION to sequence the genome our PhD student, Ned Peel, who is doing important work using this kit. Alongside this live sequencing experiment, we will be showcasing our LEGO sequencer, which will shed light on the basics of DNA sequencing.

Earlham Institute
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Farming for pollinators and other wildlife: actions big and small

Come and learn about actions in farming environments that can help to increase pollinator resources and the developing technologies that can aid this process. Learn also about actions we can take in our own gardens and find out why this is important, while enjoying some cake decorating at the same time!


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UEA technicians make it happen: showcasing the variety of technical roles in science

When you need a custom test tube… when your electronics just aren’t doing what they should… when you need a 3D printed molecule… who you gonna call? Tech-nicians! Find out how the science technicians at UEA work with their colleagues to bring scientific research to life through all sorts of interesting work, including CAD, electronics, and even glassblowing.


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The hand-washing challenge

Do you think your hands are clean enough? Dirty hands can help the spread of diseases. Light up the bacteria on your hands and check how good your hand-washing is. Pop on a lab coat and goggles and have your photo taken in our microbiology lab while you learn about the invisible bacterial world around us!

Quadram Institute
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Plants versus bugs: discover the world of plant diseases and how plants fight back

Like us, plants are constantly exposed to many pathogens. And they have an immune system too! It helps them to fight off diseases and to stay healthy. At The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) in Norwich, we study the interactions between plants and microbes; and we aim to use this knowledge to improve important crops such as wheat and potato.

Visit our stand at the Norwich Science Festival to meet several plant bugs including the ‘potato destroyer’, discover how plant immunity works and how we can use modern genetics to help plants fight back, investigate naturally occurring crop diseases using a microscope, learn how we introduce pathogen molecules into plants to study their immune reactions, and discover the microbes that live on top of leaves by growing them on Petri dishes.

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Catchment-based approaches for better aquatic environment

In a number of hands-on activities, find out what catchments are, learn about processes that happen inside and outside them, and find out what they all have to do with water quality! Make your own catchment and see what happens when pollutants are introduced in the area, purify polluted water yourself and play a game that will show you how human activities impact the aquatic environment.


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Build a plant

Plants are all made from the same stuff, so why do they look so different? Build your own plant from our protein bricks and see what effect the weather has on how it grows.

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parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed events around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. People of every ability are encouraged to take part; from those taking their first steps in running to Olympians; from juniors to those with more experience; all are welcome. Come along and find out where you can walk, jog, run or volunteer at parkruns across East Anglia.

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Saturday 27 October
Venue: The Forum’s Explorium
Cost: Free, drop-in
Age: All ages, most activities 10+