Ever wondered ‘why?’ ‘how?’ or ‘what if …?’   Science Oxford is encouraging you to take your curiosity one step further and take part in our Big Science Event at Home, which launches today – Thursday 11th June.

All you need to do is come up with a question that you really want to find the answer to, design and carry out an investigation that might help you to answer it and share what you discover with us. With lots of families with young children at home, the aim of the event is to celebrate our curiosity and creativity and have fun with science.

Your investigation can be on any topic – Which soap is the best one to use when you have to wash your hands a lot? Which bag for life is the strongest? Which ice cream melts the quickest? What type of seed grows the fastest? Which garden bird sings the loudest? Or Are bigger snails faster than small ones? What you choose to investigate is completely up to you!

The Big Science Event at Home is open to all ages. You can work on your own or with your family, with a friend via Zoom or as part of a group at school. All you need to do is share what you did and what you found out. This can be in any format that you like – a short film, photos, a poster, a short report or a set of slides. All entries must be sent to us by 13th July. Our panel of friendly science-loving judges – including Renee Watson from The Curiosity Box and Sarah Bearchell from Sarah’s Adventures in Science – will look at all the entries and select a variety of winners of all ages, celebrating a wide range of skills from novel experiments to careful measurement and great teamwork.

Thanks to our sponsors and supporters, we have lots of lovely prizes to give away – including £500 worth of Playforce equipment for the winner’s school; 25 subscriptions to The Curiosity Box; and tickets to the Science Oxford Centre in Headington, Oxford, when it reopens. The Big Science Event has been funded by the Evolution Education Trust.

Bridget Holligan, Director of Education and Engagement at Science Oxford says: “Thanks to funding from the Evolution Education Trust, we are launching the Big Science Event at Home to enable families in lockdown and pupils at school to enjoy the creativity and challenge of doing their own science investigations. Science Oxford is passionate about making people feel at home with science and we know from the Big Science Event we’ve run for schools over the last ten years what a difference it makes to young people when you let them follow their own ideas and interests. We will provide lots of guidance and resources to support people and we’re really looking forward to seeing what they come up with!”

“The Big Science Event at Home will inspire young people into science by helping them use rigorous scientific enquiry to better understand the world around them.” said Dr. Chris Lennard, Acting CEO of the Evolution Education Trust. “The COVID-19 Pandemic has emphasised the important role that parents and carers play in complementing formal education, and the Big Science Event at Home will encourage and support STEM learning within the family environment. The Evolution Education Trust is proud to support this innovative hands-on science programme.”

Oscar Sorabjee, Director of Play Services at Playforce says, “We have been supporting the Big Science Event every year for many years now and so we were delighted to be able to continue to do this and encourage children to have fun with science in a slightly different way this year. We can’t wait to see all of the investigations that children come up with at home with their families!”

Lockdown has severely impacted children’s access to experiential learning by taking them out of the classroom and removing access to clubs and activities. Parents are now taking a larger role in how their children learn and supporting and extending what teachers are providing on-line. During this period Science Oxford continues to support families and teachers in school with opportunities for science learning – that’s why we are launching the Big Science Event at Home. We hope that it will give children the opportunity to learn about scientific enquiry and see science as something creative and fun.

The Big Science Event at Home competition is based on the popular Big Science Event at School that Science Oxford has been running since 2009. The schools’ competition is run in association with Diamond Light Source and is supported by Abbott and Playforce. Over 16,000 pupils from 94 schools across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire took part in the Big Science Event in 2019.

Learn more about Playforce visit:  www.playforce.co.uk