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

New for 2011: Printable visitor guide for Crash, Bang, Squelch!

New for 2011, we've made a "Crash, Bang, Squelch!" visitor guide that you can print at home!

The leaflet can be printed out onto two sides of A4, and includes a map of the different hands-on experiment areas at "Crash, Bang, Squelch!". We've also included all the details for the CHaOS talks going on in the lecture theatre of the Zoology Dept.

Download your copy for printing here.
See you on Saturday!


CBS leaflet 2011

Crash, Bang, Squelch! Saturday 19th March 2011

On Saturday 19th March 2011 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! 2009

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!

Exciting demonstrations can be seen in our lectures!

This year we're running 5 exciting talks in addition to the hands-on activities that are part of "Crash, Bang, Squelch!" on Saturday 19th March 2011! 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 45 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 are at:
A) 11:30am- 12:15pm "Seeing the science of light and colour" by Dave Ansell
B) 1:00pm- 1:45pm "Plants: Powering the world" by Sonja Dunbar
C) 2:00pm- 2:45pm "Water: chemistry of the wet stuff" by David Bebb
D) 3:00pm- 3:45pm "What are genes made of?" by Lia Chappell
E) 4:00pm- 4:45pm "The shocking science of electricity" by Dave Ansell

More about the speakers:
Dave Ansell is a CHaOS fanatic, also well known for his work with the "Naked Scientists"
Sonja Dunbar is a recent graduate of Plant Sciences from the Cambridge Natural Sciences Course
David Bebb is a recent graduate of Chemistry from the Cambridge Natural Sciences Course
Lia Chappell is a Biology PhD student researching the genetics of Malaria parasites

CHaOS at PhysicsFest 2010

On Sunday 5th December, CHaOS will be taking part in PhysicsFest 2010 at Claydon High School in Ipswich. As well as all our usual exciting hands-on experiments, there's going to be great talks from Dave Ansell and Lisa Jardine-Wright and lots more! The event will be running from 2pm - 5pm and we can't wait to see you there!

2010 Roadshow Report

Now that our 2010 Summer Science Roadshow has finished, we've collated our diary, photos and visitors comments into our Roadshow report.

You can read about our visits to 12 different schools, showing our exciting hands-on experiments to primary and secondary school children in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hampshire and Gloucestershire. We also report on our eight events that were open to the public, 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 2010 Roadshow including our demonstrators and all the helpful people in schools, halls and community centres. The Roadshow couldn't have run without the financial support of our sponsors:

CHaOS Summer Science Roadshow 2010

This summer, the CHaOS Roadshow will again be heading across the country for four weeks in June/July. As well as visiting 12 schools, we'll be running free public events in 8 venues in East Anglia and the South-West. See below for our Roadshow route.

All events (except school visits) are free and open to the public from 12-5pm. Drop in any time to see some exciting hands-on science experiments!

All public venues are wheelchair accessible. 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 can give you material if you get in touch. Click here to go to our press release and printable versions of posters/flyers.

The Roadshow Route

Monday 28th June-Thursday 1st July: Visiting schools in Beds/Cambs
Saturday 3rd July: Free public event, 12-5pm
Commemoration Hall, Huntingdon
39 High Street, Huntingdon, PE29 3AQ
[Venue Website] [Map]
Sunday 4th July: Free public event, 12-5pm
Newmarket Leisure Centre
Exning Road, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 0EA
[Venue Website][Map]
Tuesday 6th-Thursday 8th July: Visiting schools in Essex
Saturday 10th July: Free public event, 12-5pm
Mrs Howard Memorial Hall, Letchworth
Norton Way South, Letchworth, Herts, SG6 1NX
[Venue Website] [Map]
Sunday 11th July: Free public event, 12-5pm
Eaglestone Activity Centre, Milton Keynes
8 Harrier Court, Eaglestone, Milton Keynes, MK6 5BZ
[Venue Website] [Map]
Tuesday 13th -Thursday 15th July: Visiting schools in Portsmouth
Saturday 17th July: Free public event, 12-5pm
Greyfriars Community Centre, Ringwood
44 Christchurch Road, Ringwood, Hampshire, BH24 1DW
[Venue Website] [Map]
Sunday 18th July: Free public event, 12-5pm
The Corn Exchange, Blandford Forum
Market Place, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 7EB
[Venue Website][Map]
Tuesday 20th -Thursday 22nd July: Visiting schools in Cheltenham
Saturday 24th July: Free public event, 12-5pm
Corpus Christi Church Hall, Weston-Super-Mare
14 Ellenborough Park South, Weston-Super-Mare, North Somerset, BS23 1XW
[Venue Website] [Map]
Sunday 25th July: Free public event, 12-5pm
The Barn, Clevedon
Great Western Road, Clevedon, BS21 6HB (opposite Morrisons)
[Venue Website] [Map]

The CHaOS Roadshow couldn't run without the generous support of our sponsors, this year we are grateful to the Institute of Physics (East Anglia branch), the Royal Society of Chemistry (mid-Anglia branch), the Medical Research Council, the Newton Trust, the Physiological Society and the University of Cambridge Societies Syndicate.
Image: Logos for sponsors

Press Coverage

  • 1st July: Cambridge First newspaper publish a feature article on CHaOS.
  • 2nd July: Two of the CHaOS team take a couple of our experiments into BBC Radio Cambridgeshire to promote our events in Huntingdon and Newmarket. Click here to listen to what happened (this links to BBC iPlayer, the content will become unavailable after Friday 9th July, the link takes you to the CHaOS interview which is 2hrs, 48 mins, 21 secs in, and lasts around 15 mins)
  • 8th July:The Weston Mercury newspaper publish an article about CHaOS.
  • 9th July:The Western Gazette newspaper publish a short article about CHaOS.
  • 9th July:The Fosse Way magazine tells its readers about our event (see more here.)
  • 10th July:Letchworth Garden City What's On give us a prominent listing for in the local area here
  • 29th July:The Weston Mercury newspaper publish an article about CHaOS with pictures from the event.
  • Winter 2010: The Physiological Society publish an article about us one page 54 of their newsletter here

CHaOS at the Cambridge Science Festival 2010

CHaOS once again enjoyed running a series of events at this year's Science Festival, which was packed out with visitors on both of the main Saturdays. On Saturday 13th March, Crash, Bang, Squelch! was full to its fire capacity all day, and four spectacular talks run in the lecture theatre next door 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.

Click here to view a copy of our report.
Physics Zone Volunteers, 2010

Crash, Bang, Squelch! Saturday 13th March 2010

On Saturday 13th March 2010 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! 2009
The event is open from 10am-4pm, 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 might run out of tickets before the end of the day, so get here early to avoid disappointment).

PhysicsFest 2009 - Sunday 6th December 2-5pm

CHaOS will be at PhysicsFest 2009, running a selection of hands-on experiments (mainly physics) in the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, on Sunday 6th December 2009 from 2-5pm as part of this IoP run event.

There's lots of other exciting events going on, mainly linked to the theme of space. See here for more details, and directions.

PhysFest Poster

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