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

Winter Roadshow 2019 - Volunteer Sign Ups

Volunteer to help out with our Winter Roadshow 2019 - the sign ups are now open:

Sign up here!

"Hey this looks cool, what is it?"
We'll be visiting places in Cambridge and the surrounding areas for a week towards the beginning of December to show kids that science is interesting, relevant and fun! We want to spread this message as much as we can, and this "Winter Roadshow" helps us achieve this goal.

"Who can help? And when exactly?"
We're looking for scientists, mathematicians, medics, engineers, computer scientists, etc... Anyone who would like to do some fun and free science outreach. Most of the roadshow will run after the Michaelmas term ends (from 5th December) so you don't have to worry about missing lectures in term-time. There is also an event on Sunday 1st December with the Institute of Physics. Finally, we have a CHaOS+ day on Wednesday 11th December, where we will demonstrate to older children (year 10+) rather than the more usual years 4-9 on the other days.

"Wow that sure sounds like a lot! How much am I committing to? Also why should I help out?"
You can sign up for as little or as much as you like. By doing CHaOS, you'll get to...

...inspire the next generation of scientists,

...put something on your CV,

...have fun doing something different for a day,

...meet some interesting, like-minded people,

and most importantly...

...eat lots of free food!

We do keep you well fed - and note that any necessary expenses, such as food and travel, will be covered by us!

"I do like free food, but alas! I have no experience in science outreach..."
No experience is necessary! If you're a student at Cambridge, you almost certainly have enough knowledge to demonstrate. We also have detailed descriptions and explanations for each experiment.

"I have more questions and I want to talk to your lovely committee more!"
If you've got any questions about the event or about CHaOS generally, please get in touch with us at contact@chaosscience.org.uk, or find us on Facebook and Twitter!

CHaOS 2019 Reports

We have had a fantastic year demonstrating to children of all ages across the country! Here are two reports describing in detail our events. The first is all about our big event "Crash, Bang, Squelch!" that ran in March 2019. The second is about our Summer Roadshow, which took place in July and August 2019.

Click on the images below to have a read!

CHaOS Summer Roadshow 2019

This summer, the CHaOS Roadshow is heading across the country for six weeks in July and August. As well as visiting schools and scouting events we'll be running free public events in venues in Birmingham, North Wales, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Sheffield, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and more. All public events are free* so drop in anytime (see each event description for times) to see some exciting hands-on science experiments - there is no ticketing! Below is a list of all the events we're attending or running this summer, along with useful links and Facebook events to keep you updated!

Click here for more details!

Volunteers Needed for CHaOS Summer Roadshow

We are currently seeking student volunteers for our summer roadshow! We will be camping all around the UK and summer, and we are seeking student volunteers to join us from anywhere from a weekend to several weeks.

Learn More

Sign-Up Now

Crash, Bang, Squelch! Saturday 16th March 2019

On Saturday 16th March 2019 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! Pre-booked tickets are available here , but if you miss out there will be plenty available on the door! If you're a Cambridge student, you can volunteer to demonstrate here.

CHaOS will also be running several workshops on robotics, with lots of hands-on design and programming. Absolutely no experience is required, we'll teach you all the basics and you can start making our robots do all sorts of amazing things in no time at all.

There are sessions running from 10:15 - 11:00am, 11:15 - 12:00pm, 12:15 - 1:00pm, 1:15 - 2:00pm, 2:15 - 3:00pm, 3:15 - 4:00pm and 4:15 - 5:00pm.

Tickets for this event are currently sold out!

Crash, Bang, Squelch map!

Download your own Crash, Bang, Squelch map here or by clicking on the image!
Map of Crash, Bang, Squelch! 2019

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. Tickets available here . 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!


CBS! Talks Poster

An overview of "Crash, Bang, Squelch!" 2019 for volunteers


Sign-ups for CBS 2019 are open! Click here to sign up!


The biggest CHaOS event of the year is "Crash, Bang, Squelch!", which happens on the first Saturday after lectures finish in Lent term (for 2019, this is Saturday March 16th). We'll take over the Zoology Department in the New Museums site (right next to the whale), and fill it with lots of own exciting hands-on experiments. We need lots of enthusiastic student volunteers to help demonstrate them to the public, which is where you could fit in! It involves as many as about 150 student volunteers, and we manage to fit about 2,000 visitors in during the day, which is as many as we can safety let through! As this Saturday is always after the end of lectures, so you can have great fun helping out without worrying about work! It's a lot of science and a lot of fun in one place!


What exactly does it involve?

We've got a huge number of hands-on experiments, almost 200 at the last time we counted, that we've designed to demonstrate interesting scientific principles. On the day of the event each of these is explained to children and families by student volunteers. You might find yourself demonstrating how bridges stay up, pulling the DNA out of a kiwi or even introducing children to Boris the friendly skeleton! The ideas are simple, but with enthusiastic and interested demonstrators we can show children that science isn't a 'boring' subject. Check out our experiments here

You can choose to demonstrate in the morning or afternoon (the event is open to the public 10am-5pm), and if you choose to do the whole day we'll even provide you with a free lunch (whoever said there was no such thing?). Even better, there is a free party after the event for all those who help!

If you want to see a few pictures, our reports of what happened at "Crash, Bang, Squelch!" in previous years can be downloaded from here (2012) , here (2013) and here (2014).


I've never done anything like this before... will I be any good?

No experience is necessary, and every year we have loads of people who haven't done CHaOS before. If you're a scientist (including mathmos, vets, medics, engineers, compscis,...) you already know more than enough to demonstrate. The experiments have interesting and useful descriptions to explain the science and if you are unsure you can always ask one of the friendly committee members. We'll also run several briefing sessions just before the event so you know exactly how everything will work on the day.


How to sign up

Click here to sign up!

We release a sign up form for "Crash, Bang, Squelch!" in Lent term each year. This will be linked from our main demonstrator homepage, which you can find here. If you sign up to our mailing list (instructions are here) you'll get an email telling you when the signup form is available, and about any other events we're doing!


Questions?

If you've got any questions about Crash Bang Squelch!, or about CHaOS generally, please get in touch with us at contact@chaosscience.org.uk.

[Note: In previous years people have confused Crash, Bang, Squelch! and other Science Festival events, some of which also happen on the same Saturday ... Obviously we think Crash, Bang, Squelch! is the most fun, but it makes everyone's life easier if you make sure you're not double booked!]

Signups for Mini Tour 2018 are now open!

CHaOS needs volunteers for the 2018 Winter Roadshow (also known as "Mini Tour")! To sign up, click here!

We're looking for scientists, engineers, medics and vets, mathematicians and computer scientists to join us at schools and public events around Cambridgeshire, where we'll get kids excited about science using fun, hands-on experiments! The roadshow will run from the 29th November to the 4th December, and you can join us for anything from just one day to the whole six days.

We'll be visiting:

  • Four Cambridgeshire schools (29th, 30th, 3rd, 4th)
  • Mill Road Winter Fair (Saturday 1st)
  • An Institute of Physics event (Sunday 2nd)

What exactly does it involve?

We've got lots of our favourite of hands-on experiments that we've designed to demonstrate interesting scientific principles. You might find yourself demonstrating how bridges stay up, pulling the DNA out of a kiwi, or even introducing children to Boris the friendly skeleton! The ideas are simple, but with enthusiastic and interested demonstrators we can show children that science isn't a 'boring' subject.

Each morning you join us, we'll pick you up from Cambridge and travel to the event, where you'll spend the day demonstrating your experiment to kids and getting them excited about science, and drop you back in the afternoon. You'll get a free lunch (and plenty of 'bounce' or snacks) too!

I've never done anything like this before.... will I be any good?

No experience is necessary, and every year we have loads of people who haven't done CHaOS before. If you're a scientist (including mathmos, vets, medics, engineers or compscis) you already know more than enough to demonstrate. The experiments have interesting and useful descriptions to explain the science and if you are unsure you can always ask one of the friendly committee members.

Questions?

If you've got any questions about the event or about CHaOS generally, please get in touch with us at contact@chaosscience.org.uk, or find us on Facebook!

CHaOS Summer Roadshow 2018!

The CHaOS Summer Roadshow report for 2018 is out now! Click here to view it!

This summer, the CHaOS Roadshow is heading across the country for six weeks in July and August. As well as visiting schools and scouting events we'll be running free public events in venues in Norfolk, Essex, Swindon, Bristol, Wales, Cheshire and Newark.. All public events are free* and open to the public from 12-5pm unless otherwise stated below. Drop in anytime to see some exciting hands-on science experiments! Below is a list of all the events we're attending or running this summer, along with useful links and Facebook events to keep you updated!

 

This year's public events:

Essex

Friday 6th July: The Forum, Southend-On-Sea

The Forum
Elmer Avenue
Southend-On-Sea
SS1 1NE

Google Maps Link

Facebook Event

 

Bristol

Saturday 14th July: Bristol Central Library (11:00-16:00)

Bristol Central Library
College Green
Bristol
BS1 5TL

Google Maps Link

Facebook Event

Sunday 15th July: Clifton Suspension Bridge (11:00-16:00)

Clifton Suspension Bridge
Bridge Road
Bristol
BS8 3PA

Google Maps Link

Facebook Event

 

Birmingham

Saturday 21st July: Lapworth Museum of Geology

Aston Webb Building
University of Birmingham
Birmingham
B15 2TT

Google Maps Link

Facebook Event

Sunday 22nd July: MAC (12:00-16:30)

Cannon Hill Park
Queen's Ride
Birmingham
B12 9QH

Google Maps Link

Facebook Event

 

North Wales

Tuesday 24th July: Wrexham Library (09:30-17:30)

Wrexham Library
Rhosddu Road
Wrexham
LL11 1AU

Google Maps Link

Facebook Event

 

Liverpool

Wednesday 25th July: St. John's Market (09:00-17:00)

St John's Precinct
Liverpool
L1 1LR

Google Maps Link

Facebook Event

 

Peterborough

Sunday 5th August: Peterborough One (10:30-15:30)

Peterborough One Retail Park
Eye Road
Peterborough
PE1 4YZ

Google Maps Link

Facebook Event

 

Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire

Monday 6th August: Mansfield Museum (10:00-16:00)

Mansfield Museum
Leeming Street
Mansfield
NG18 1NG

Google Maps Link

Facebook Event

Tuesday 7th August: Lincoln Central Library

Lincoln Central Library
Free School Lane
Lincoln
LN2 1EZ

Google Maps Link

Facebook Event

Wednesday 8th August: Newark Royal Market (10:00-16:00)

Newark Royal Market
Bridge Street
Newark
NG24 1EE

Google Maps Link

Facebook Event

Thursday 9th August: Grantham Library

Grantham Library
Isaac Newton Centre
Grantham
NG31 6EE

Google Maps Link

Facebook Event

 

* CHaOS events are free, except where we are being hosted at venues who have an admissions price (marked with a *). At these venues, there will be no additional cost to visit CHaOS. Please check the venues' websites for prices.

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.

Crash, Bang, Squelch! Saturday 17th March 2018


This is the page for the 2018 event - click on this link to find out more about Crash, Bang, Squelch 2019!


Winter Roadshow 2017 Signup

It’s time to sign up for the first big CHaOS event of the year! Here's the signup link for Winter Tour 2017...

Click to sign up to the Winter Roadshow 2017!


The CHaOS Winter Roadshow (affectionately known as mini-tour, the smaller sibling of our 7-week summer tour) is running from Thursday 30th November to Tuesday 5th December (just after the end of term for undergraduates). We'll be going to Cambridgeshire schools during the week and going to public events at the weekend, demonstrating our interactive science experiments for children and families to show them just how interesting science can be.

Mini-tour is a series of day trips, so you sleep in the comfort of your own bed each night - no camping at this time of year! You can apply for as many days as you like, whether that is just one, or all six!

We need plenty of enthusiastic volunteers to demonstrate the experiments - you could be looking at creepy crawlies, introducing children to our friendly skeleton Boris, building bridges, or even using resonance to explain why they fall down. No experience is necessary as each experiment comes with a description of how it works and what to talk about. We'll also be running a training session near the end of term for volunteers who would like to get a feel for a couple of experiments before going into schools or facing the public!

If you'd like to volunteer, then fill out the sign-up form (the unreasonably large link above) and if you have any questions then please send them to contact@chaosscience.org.uk.

Hope to see lots of you there!

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