What is CHaOS?

CHaOS is Cambridge Hands-On Science, a voluntary student group based in Cambridge. We believe that science is fun, and relevant to everyone! CHaOS take our wide range of hands-on science experiments to a variety of venues around the country, with our enthusiastic student demonstrators explaining what each experiment shows and why it's interesting!

  • For more information about us, see the "About CHaOS" page
  • If you're a teacher and would like CHaOS to visit your school, see the Schools page
  • If you're a family see what events are near you on our on the Families page
  • If you're a student volunteer see how you can get involved on our Volunteers page
  • If your organisation might be interested in supporting CHaOS, please see our Sponsors page

Crash, Bang, Squelch! Saturday 15th March 2014

On Saturday 15th March 2014 CHaOS will take over the zoology labs of the University of Cambridge for a day for Crash, Bang, Squelch!, inviting in over 2000 visitors to see lots of exciting hands-on experiments from all areas of science.

To add to the fun, in the lecture theatre next door, there will be a series of talks, with some high powered experiments that can't be done in the hands-on lab! See below for more details!

Picture of Crash, Bang, Squelch! 2013

Lots of hands-on experiments to try!

The hands-on event is open from 10am-5pm, and is absolutely free. We'll have around 50 different experiments, each of which will be demonstrated by a friendly student volunteer! This year, we will be offering pre-booking online for the first time via the Science Festival website. We are now SOLD OUT of pre-book tickets and won't be offering any timed tickets on the day, but we will still be running a drop in queue - so do feel free to come along even if you don't have a ticket!

NEW!

Crash, Bang, Squelch map!

Download your own Crash, Bang, Squelch map here!

Exciting demonstrations can be seen in our lectures!

This year we're running 7 exciting talks in addition to the hands-on activities that are part of "Crash, Bang, Squelch!" on Saturday 15th March! These talks will be full of fun demonstrations that are too explosive/messy/tricky to fit into our normal hands-on sessions next door!

Each talk will last around 30 minutes, and is suitable for ages 8+. The talks run in the main lecture of the Zoology Department, and the directions are similar to the main "Crash, Bang, Squelch!" event. Again, you will be able to pre-book tickets for these talks on the Science Festival website from the 3rd February 2014 - visit here for the booking page. We will also be running drop in 'first come, first served' admission on the day if there are still spaces left - check our website and twitter for updates!

Picture of talk at Crash, Bang, Squelch! 2013
The talks this year are:

9.45am – 10.15am - ‘Sending signals and making messages.’
10.45am – 11.15am - ‘Crystals: discover their beauty and how we can use them in biology, in the year of crystallography!’ With Richard Mifsud
11.45am – 12.15pm - ‘Feeding the flames: we’ve used it since we lived in caves, but what does it take to make a fire?’ With Will Benfold SOLD OUT
1pm – 1.30pm - ‘Vacuum bazookas and custard fireballs.’ With Dave Ansell of The Naked Scientists SOLD OUT
2pm – 2.30pm - ‘Record breaking plants! We know which animals are the fastest and largest, but how does the plant kingdom measure up?’ With Sonja Dunbar
3pm – 3.30pm - ‘Parasites: unwelcome visitors in your body.’ With Lia Chappell
4pm – 4.30pm - ‘Shortcuts to space: what are the best and worst ways to get into orbit?’ With Zephyr Penoyre SOLD OUT

About the speakers:

  • Richard Mifsud is a PhD student working on Crystallography
  • Will Benfold is a fourth year undergraduate studying Physics at Downing College
  • Dave Ansell is the 'kitchen science' specialist at the Naked Scientists
  • Sonja Dunbar is a PhD student in the Pharmacology department, having graduated from Plant Sciences
  • Lia Chappell is a research scientist, who is studying the genes of Malaria parasites.
  • Zephyr Penoyre is a third year undergraduate studying Astrophysics at Trinity Hall

CHaOS do IOP PhysicsFest 2013

On Sunday 8th December, CHaOS will be taking part in PhysicsFest 2013 at City Academy in Norwich. As well as all our usual exciting hands-on experiments, there's going to be great talks from Dave Ansell, Stephen Ashworth, Gerry Blake and Garth Jones, as well as many more fun activities! The event will be running from 2pm - 5pm and we can't wait to see you there!

CHaOS Summer Roadshow Report 2013

Now that the 2013 Summer Science Roadshow has finished, we've collated our diary, photos and visitors comments into our Summer Roadshow report.

You can read about our visits to schools, showing our exciting hands-on experiments to primary and secondary school children in Essex, Hampshire and Warwickshire. We also report on our events that were open to the public in Norfolk, Worcestershire, Yorkshire and Kent where our enthusiastic team of demonstrators from the University of Cambridge explained the science behind our experiments to visitors of all ages.

CHaOS would like to thank everyone who was involved in the 2013 Roadshow including our demonstrators and all the helpful people in schools, halls and community centres.

And the Roadshow couldn't have run without financial support from the following organisations:


Thank you to everyone who took part!

Thanks to everyone who came to see us on the 2013 Roadshow! The visits were a huge success, and we're just working our way through lots of lovely feedback, which we'll post a summary of here in the form of a Roadshow report.

Until then you can check out our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/chaosscience

If you saw us on the Roadshow and and would like your school or town to host a CHaOS visit next year please contact us.

CHaOS at the Cherry Hinton Festival - Saturday 21st September

Keep up-to-date with CHaOS!

Did you enjoy meeting CHaOS at an event on our Roadshow this year? You can get the latest information on what we are up to on Facebook or by following us on twitter.

We hope to see you at another event soon!

CHaOS Summer Roadshow 2013 - Press Release

Thank you for your interest in Cambridge Hands-On Science.

Below you can find our July 2013 press releases and print quality photos as well as printable posters and flyers. Click on the links to access the material.

For more information, or requests for interviews, please contact CHaOS by email (contact@chaosscience.org.uk) via our webform or by phone on 07941 198994.

CHaOS Summer Science Roadshow 2013

This summer, the CHaOS Roadshow will be heading across the country for five weeks in July and early August. As well as visiting schools and scouting events we'll be running free* public events in venues in Essex, Hampshire, Warwickshire and Kent.

The Roadshow Route!

All public events are free* and open to the public from 12-5pm unless otherwise stated below. Drop in any time to see some exciting hands-on science experiments!

Saturday 6th July & Sunday 7th July: Bressingham Steam & Gardens, Norfolk *

Saturday 13th July (11am - 4pm): Redditch Town Hall, Worcestershire
Sunday 14th July: Family Sports & Fun day, Tiddington, Warwickshire

Saturday 20th July: Banbury Town Hall, Oxfordshire
Sunday 21st July: Didcot Civic Hall, Oxfordshire

Tuesday 23rd July - Thursday 25th July: Flamingo Land, Yorkshire *

* CHaOS events are free with admission to venues marked with a *. Please check the venues' websites for prices.

Click here for maps of our venues.

Click here to see our press release and downloadable posters, photographs and leaflets.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our events, including any questions about accessibility of venues. We'd be particularly keen to hear from you if can help publicise our events in any way (newsletters, posters, newspapers, radio etc), and we can give you material if you get in touch.

CHaOS Roadshow 2013 financial supporters' logos

CHaOS at the Cambridge Science Festival 2013

Once again CHaOS enjoyed running "Crash, Bang, Squelch!" and taking part in the Cavendish Laboratory Physics day as part of this year's Cambridge Science Festival. Both events were extremely busy and everyone that attended looked like they enjoyed the fun hands-on science on show. On Saturday 16th March CHaOS ran "Crash, Bang, Squelch!" in the University of Cambridge Department of Zoology laboratories. The event was full to capacity all day and the seven spectacular talks throughout the day were also very well attended. The following weekend, a selection of our physics experiments were out again as part of Physics Zone at the Cavendish Laboratory, with many hundreds of people coming through the door during the day. You can find much more information in our report of the day.

What is "Crash, Bang, Squelch!"?
Crash, Bang, Squelch! is a day of hands-on science experiments that takes place in the University of Cambridge Department of Zoology each March, and is run by the student society Cambridge Hands-On Science - more fondly known as CHaOS. On one Saturday in March we take over a large lab, filling them full of fun, interactive science experiments, each of which is demonstrated by a friendly student volunteers. The first "Crash, Bang, Squelch!" took place in 1998 and we've continued to develop the event each year. We said in 2012 that it was our busiest ever event, but this was also true this year, despite the rain!

Crash, Bang, Squelch! Saturday 16th March 2013

On Saturday 16th March 2013 CHaOS will take over the zoology labs of the University of Cambridge for a day for Crash, Bang, Squelch!, inviting in over 2000 visitors to see lots of exciting hands-on experiments from all areas of science.

To add to the fun, in the lecture theatre next door, there will be a series of talks, with some high powered experiments that can't be done in the hands-on lab! See below for more details!

Picture of Crash, Bang, Squelch! 2011

Lots of hands-on experiments to try!

The hands-on event is open from 10am-5pm, and is absolutely free. Drop in any time, there's no need to book in advance, although in busy periods timed tickets may by issued for later in the day (we are likely to run out of tickets before the end of the day, so get here early to avoid disappointment). We'll have around 50 different experiments, each of which will be demonstrated by a friendly student volunteer!

NEW!

Crash, Bang, Squelch map!

Download your own Crash, Bang, Squelch map here!

Exciting demonstrations can be seen in our lectures!

This year we're running 7 exciting talks in addition to the hands-on activities that are part of "Crash, Bang, Squelch!" on Saturday 16th March! These talks will be full of fun demonstrations that are too explosive/messy/tricky to fit into our normal hands-on sessions next door!

Each talk will last around 30 minutes, and is suitable for ages 8+. The talks run in the main lecture of the Zoology Department, and the directions are similar to the main "Crash, Bang, Squelch!" event. Last year these talks filled up fast, particularly towards the end of the day, and we run admission to the talks on a "first come, first served" basis.

The talks this year are:

9.45am – 10.15am - 'Water: the weird and wonderful wet stuff’. With David Bebb
10.45am – 11.15am - ‘What's inside a cell?’ With Nunu Tao and Raghd Rostom
11.45am – 12.15pm - ‘Please don't eat me!’ With Sonja Dunbar
1pm – 1.30pm - 'Parasites: unwelcome visitors in your body’. With Lia Chappell
2pm – 2.30pm - ‘Sending signals and making messages’. With Philip Garsed and Lia Chappell
3pm – 3.30pm - ‘Big things, small things and everything in between’. With Will Benfold
4pm – 4.30pm - 'Parasites: unwelcome visitors in your body’. With Lia Chappell **Change from printed schedule**

About the speakers:

  • David Bebb is a recent graduate in Chemistry
  • Nunu Tao studies chemistry and Raghd Rostom studies molecular biology; they are both undergraduate students at Christ's College
  • Sonja Dunbar is a PhD student in the Chemistry department, having graduated from Plant Sciences
  • Lia Chappell is a PhD student at the Sanger Institute researching the genes of Malaria parasites
  • Philip Garsed is a PhD student in the Engineering department studying Electrical Engineering
  • Will Benfold is currently studying Physics as an undergraduate at Downing College
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