Cambridge Science Centre

 

Dave Ansell

 

Chief Scientist

A science centre must encourage the idea that however beautiful the cell, the insect’s wing, the galaxy, or however cunning the device, understanding even a little about ‘the how’ and ‘the what’ makes the beautiful even more awe-inspiring. I have been involved in science outreach for the last twelve years and founded The CHaOS Science Roadshow with a friend in 2002. I have designed, developed and built dozens of hands-on exhibits and demonstrations, and I regularly present to packed audiences at the annual Cambridge Science Festival. I toured with the Institute of Physics “Lab in a Lorry” and am part of The Naked Scientists team as a regular presenter and kitchen science expert. I studied physics at the University of Cambridge.

  • Cambridge Science Centre science hunt

    The Cambridge Science Centre team has hidden some of our future hands on exhibits for you to discover and play with across the Cambridge Science Festival sites. Join us at the information marquee to start your hands on science trail – will you find them all?

  • Late Night Lab

    The Cambridge Science Centre team has hidden some of our future hands on exhibits for you to discover and play with across the Cambridge Science Festival. Join us at the information marquee to start your hands on science trail – will you find them all?

  • SciBarCamb

    This year was the first time the Cambridge Science Centre attended SciBarCamb on 20/21st April in Cambridge. SciBarCamb is an ‘unconference’ and is a gathering of scientists, publishers, technologists, and others with an interest in science.

  • Blowing in the Wind

    The Cambridge Science Centre is back at the Institute for Manufacturing with its mighty wind tunnel. Discover more about the how seeds fly and send up your own creation to see how it catches the wind.

  • Microscopic World

    From flowers and leaves, to bugs, to fabrics, the world can look very different when you see it in close-up. Come along and take a peak for yourself with the Cambridge Science Centre’s microscope workshop.

  • Those Magnificent Seeds

    Make your own seeds and throw them into our amazing wind tunnel. How high will yours go? How far will the wind carry them? Find out how you can make them travel further, and why plants want to scatter their seeds as far as they can, at this family hands-on workshop.

  • Those Magnificent Seeds

    Make your own seeds and throw them into our amazing wind tunnel. How high will yours go? How far will the wind carry them? Find out how you can make them travel further, and why plants want to scatter their seeds as far as they can, at this family hands-on workshop.

  • ScienceXchange: Launching the chain

    The centre piece of the day will see a huge Heath Robinson device, where one crazy contraption triggers another and another, leading to a big finale.

  • Cambridge Science Centre Official Opening

    Thank you for joining us on 8 February 2013 for the opening of Cambridge's first hands-on science discovery centre!

  • Sunday Science!

    The Cambridge Science Centre goes all out science crazy for the Cambridge Science Festival, with a fun filled day of hands on non-stop workshops for all the family. Join us to make and take away some amazing bits of science and engineering.

  • Late Night Lab: The next generation

    Join in the science mayhem with the return of Late Night Lab as the Cambridge Science Centre and Festival teams come together to present an amazing night of science comedy, workshops, music and exhibits, for adults only!

  • Microscopic Laser Shadow Imaging

    Just using a simple laser pointer you can see microscopic creatures far too small for the human eye to detect.

  • Catching Insects with Pitfall Traps

    Set a pitfall trap for some of the wild animals in your garden, using just an old plastic cup, and investigate the fascinating world of bugs.

  • Make a camera from a lemonade bottle

    Build a camera or if you prefer a magnifying glass, out of some old rubbish and a little water

  • Images from a Magnifying Glass

    Make ghostly images on a wall, just using a magnifying glass, and find out what this has to do with a camera.

  • Blowing on bottles

    Discover the musical properties of a few old bottles...

  • Create a Pinhole Camera

    Make a moving image of what is going on outside using just a cardboard box and the power of a hole.

  • How Does Suncream Work?

    Find out why wearing the white stuff is the cool thing to do.

  • Make an Infra Red Camera

    See the world from a completely different point of view using an old webcam and some exposed film.

  • Swapping Sounds

    Completely confuse your sense of direction using a couple of hose pipes and some funnels...

  • Dark Flames

    It sounds like something out of a horror film, but this is a lovely experiment which makes a bright orange flame seem dark, and has lead to scientists finding out the composition of stars on the other side of the universe.

  • Colours in CDs

    You may have noticed funky colours in CDs before, but where do they come from and why do they look different if you look at different lights?

  • Confusing colours

    Confuse your eyes with this colourful experiment, and find out how it relates to seeing in the dark

  • Superconducting Levitation

    One of the most bizarre and beautiful pieces of physics is superconductivity (Do not try this at home)

  • Mysterious forces - Eddy Currents

    Here is a lovely little experiment you can do if you can get hold of a small rare earth supermagnet. Using just a couple of tubes you can produce surprising forces.

  • Make your own Electromagnet

    Make yourself an electromagnet powered by a small battery and find out some of the mysteries of magnetism.

  • Magnetic Fingerprinting - Reading a Credit Card

    See the data which is stored on the magnetic strip of your credit card.

  • Roaring Balloon

    Make various strange noises using a couple of balloons and some coins and nuts.

  • The Secret Sounds of the Oven Shelf

    The kitchen has always seemed an unlikely place to find a musical instrument - until now.

  • The Vacuum Bazooka

    In the spirit of recycling, why buy a brand new bazooka when you can fashion one out of everyday household items?

  • Weighing the Atmosphere

    Find out how hard a vacuum cleaner can suck, what this has got to do with air pressure and discover how this helps us suck.

  • Vacuum Powered Bazooka

    Build a vacuum cleaner powered bazooka and launch projectiles across your garden.

  • Sounds from a Mug

    Make some quite perplexing sounds with a common coffee mug, and a pen.

  • Water Fibre Optics

    Use a bottle of water and a torch to bend light around corners, and find out what this has to do with the internet.

  • How to extract DNA from a kiwi fruit

    You've heard about DNA, but have you ever seen any? This week Derek and Lucy extract DNA from Kiwi fruit using just simple kitchen items.

  • DIY Photovoltaic Solar cell

    Find out how to build your own solar cell, it may not solve the world's energy problem, but it is made from recycled components.