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Sussex scientists reach the curious at Brighton WonderFest

Trustees of Curiosity Sussex

Chemists at WonderFest

BSMS at WonderFest

Over 1,500 visitors attended the first Brighton WonderFest, held at Brighton Racecourse on Saturday 26th October 2019.

The event, organised by two scientists at the University of Sussex - Dr Katy Petherick and Dr Stephen Wilkins - as part of their newly formed charity Curiosity Sussex, aimed to encourage a sense of curiosity in everyone. Hosting a range of interactive activities, visitors were invited to explore the possibilities of the future of technology, health and the environment.

Researchers across the University STEMM (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine) Schools took part in Brighton WonderFest, showcasing the variety of research taking place at the University. They were joined by local companies, as well as undergraduate students, who were all demonstrating their ideas for the future.

Dr Stephen Wilkins, an astrophysicist in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Sussex and co-founder of Curiosity Sussex, said:

“As the first event for Curiosity Sussex, we were really pleased with the interest from exhibitors and the public, who ensured the event was busy until the doors closed. We are grateful to everyone who took the time to come along, in particular our volunteers who ensured that the event ran smoothly.”

An initial ‘quiet hour’ enabled people with additional needs to explore the activities with more space and less time pressure, before the event opened fully to the public. Young children, teenagers and adults alike were able to take part in WonderFest and explore the exhibits, and it was all free.

Dr Katy Petherick from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Sussex, who is the Director of WonderFest and co-founder of Curiosity Sussex, said:

“After the success of WonderFest, we are now looking ahead to 2020 plans. We’ll be supporting and creating additional events across Sussex, including Lewes STEMfest and some community projects. We hope to build on this fantastic start to reach a wider audience and get more people discussing what makes them curious.”

Curiosity Sussex are willing to hear from people who have ideas for activities or want to volunteer for future events – you can sign up to their newsletter for more information.

Posted on behalf of: School of Life Sciences
Last updated: Thursday, 31 October 2019