CBS for volunteers

An Overview of "Crash, Bang, Squelch!" for Volunteers

The biggest CHaOS event of the year is “Crash, Bang, Squelch!”, which happens on the first Saturday after lectures finish in Lent term. For 2022, this is **Saturday March 19th**. We 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 as many as 150 student volunteers to help demonstrate our experiments to 2,000 visitors throughout the day, which is where you fit in! As this is the Saturday after the end of lectures, 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, over 60 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, why some things glow in the dark or even introducing children to Boris the 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 may be a free party after the event for all those who help!

If you want to see what happened at previous events, our reports of what happened at “Crash, Bang, Squelch!” in the last few years can be downloaded from here (2017) and here (2016)

**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.

If you’ve got any questions about Crash Bang Squelch!, or about CHaOS generally, please get in touch with us at

[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!]