Science Alive 2016: “Impossible to Possible”

5-18 March 2016

Science Alive is jointly organised by the British Council, the Hong Kong Science Museum, the Education Bureau and the Hong Kong Education City Limited, and sponsored by the Croucher Foundation. Every year for the past 23 years, Science Alive has invited leading UK academics and communicators in various fields of science to engage Hong Kong’s students, teachers and the public in activities that promote a wider understanding of science.

We once believed that the earth was flat and we never imagined humankind walking on the moon. Science and technology have both quenched and further intensified our curiosity. We continually try to explain the “impossible” in order to advance our quality of life and to explore the boundaries of our knowledge. The year 2015 signifies an important year in that some seemingly impossible things have been made possible - the Deep Space Climate Observatory giving us real-time data about the earth, scientists discovering another “Habitable Exoplanet”, the rising popularity and accessibility of electric vehicles – proving to us time and again how the power of science can enable us to achieve the “impossible”. Science Alive 2016 will once again be expanding its scale and scope by showcasing examples of “impossible to possible” science in the realm of physics, biology and chemistry to the students of Hong Kong, continually inspiring them to reach for the impossible. 

The registration will be started on 11 January 2016 at 9 a.m.

School Tour Shows

Feel the Force (For Primary School)

Sir Isaac Newton and Phil the Stunt Frog join forces in this fast-paced action-packed extravaganza. Join us on a trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Highland Games of Scotland and even the Moon, as we take a closer look at the forces that shape our world.

Duration of the show: about 40-45 minutes

Curriculum links: General Studies curriculum P1-6: Strand 3 Science and Technology in Everyday Life

Date Time Performers Venue
14-18.3.2016
(Mon-Fri)
08.50-10.25 
11.00-12.35 
14.20-15.55
Outreach team of 
London Science Museum
School Hall /
Auditorium

It takes guts (For Secondary School)

Follow the journey of your food into your mouth, through the acid bath in your stomach, along metre after metre of pulsating guts, and then… out the other end. This show, featuring video footage of people’s inside, is a gross-out, squirm-inducing demonstration of why exactly your poo is brown.

Duration of the show: about 40-45 minutes

Curriculum links: Science curriculum S1-3: Unit 12 A Healthy Body

Date Time Performers Venue
7-10.3.2016 
(Mon-Thu)
08.50-10.25 
11.00-12.35 
14.20-15.55
Outreach team of 
London Science Museum
School Hall /
Auditorium
  • Conducted in English (Cantonese interpretation provided for schools on request).
  • Schools interested in having this performance: please register here.
  • No seating arrangement is required and there is no quota on audience; students can interact freely with the performers.
  • The show requires the display of PowerPoint presentations, so schools should provide a portable screen, projector and portable PA system with three sets of microphones (preferably clip-on or hands-free ones) for the performers.

Family days: Drop-in activities and science walk-about shows

During the weekends of Science Alive, the outreach teams from the School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University and from the Outreach team of School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham will be joining us to deliver a variety of drop-in activities and science walk-about shows. Come join us to explore astronomy, see yourself in invisible light, get the chance to use robotic telescopes, and try some “impossible-to-possible” chemical tricks.

Previous FameLab Hong Kong finalists will also be joining the two teams to deliver the science walk-about shows. Additionally, walk-about magic shows and various science activities will be held to boost children’s interest in learning science.

Date Time Facilitators Venue
5-6.3.2016
(Sat & Sun)
10.00–17.00  Outreach team of
School of Physics
and Astronomy,
Cardiff University
Lower Piazza,
Hong Kong
Science Museum
12-13.3.2016
(Sat & Sun)
Outreach team of
School of Chemistry,
University of Nottingham

Science drama show: Feel the force

Sir Isaac Newton and Phil the Stunt Frog join forces in this fast-paced action-packed extravaganza. Join us on a trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Highland Games of Scotland and even the Moon, as we take a closer look at the forces that shape our world.

Curriculum links:

General Studies curriculum P1-6: Strand 3 Science and Technology in Everyday Life

Date Time Performers Venue
11.3.2016 (Fri) 11.00–12.00 
14.00–15.00 
16.00–17.00
Outreach team of
London Science Museum
Lecture Hall,
Hong Kong
Science Museum
12.3.2016 (Sat) 11.00–12.00
13.30–14.30
13.3.2016 (Sun) 13.30–14.30
16.00-17.00
  • Conducted in English (with Cantonese interpretation)
  • Suitable for primary (P1-P6) students, families and the general public on a first come, first served basis. 
  • Schools can register as audience members online through the Training Calendar on the Education Bureau website. Teachers will receive supplementary materials.
  • The general public can register online here as audience members.
  • This show will reserve a portion of the seats for walk-ins.

Science drama show: Extraordinary me...

Join us on a journey to reveal the amazing world inside our own bodies. How do our bodies get useful stuff out of our food, and what makes our bones and teeth so strong? Explore the seemingly impossible tasks our bodies do every second of the day without us even thinking about it. Find out why our bodies sometimes make gas, and whether there is anything you can do about it! Discover how technology can help replace bits of our body, and whether science could ever make us live forever...

Curriculum links: 

General Studies curriculum P1-6: Strand 1 Health & Living

Science curriculum S1-3: Unit 12 A Healthy Body

Date Time Performers Venue
5.3.2016 (Sat) 11.00-12.00
13.30-14.30
Outreach team of
Science made simple
Lecture Hall,
Hong Kong
Science Museum
6.3.2016 (Sun) 11.00-12.00
13.30-14.30
7.3.2016 (Mon) 14.00-15.00
16.00-17.00
  • Conducted in English (with Cantonese interpretation )
  • Suitable for primary (P1-6) and secondary (S1-3) students, families and the general public on a first come, first served basis. 
  • Schools can register as audience members online through the Training Calendar on the Education Bureau website. Teachers will receive supplementary materials.
  • The general public can register online here as audience members.
  • This show will reserve a portion of the seats for walk-ins.

Family workshop: Build your own circuit board

MadLab is a unique, hands-on electronics workshop for families. Smartwatches, robots, and TV remotes all have the same thing in common – circuit boards! In this workshop you will solder electronic components onto specially-designed circuit boards. The excitement of MadLab is learning how to use a soldering iron, and actually being able to make and take home a working electronic circuit. Soldering irons aren’t scary. We’ll show you how to use them safely and there is a lot you can do with these skills!

Curriculum links: 

General Studies curriculum P1-6: Strand 3 Science and Technology in Everyday Life

Date Time Facilitators Venue
5.3.2016 (Sat) 16.00-17.00 Outreach team of
Science made simple
Laboratory,
Hong Kong
Science Museum
6.3.2016 (Sun) 16.00-17.00
  • Conducted in English (with Cantonese interpretation).
  • Suitable for primary (P4-6) students and parents.
  • Each child must be accompanied by only one adult to participate the workshop.
  • Each session has 40 seats for 20 children and 20 adults.
  • Registration starts one hour before the workshop outside the laboratory on a first come, first served basis.

Family workshop: Slime time

Slime is a strange substance. Left to its own devices, it oozes like a liquid; give it a push or a pull, and it’s stiff like a solid. This workshop looks at materials in how they change and transform and it also involves making slippery slime.

Curriculum links:

General Studies curriculum P1-6: Strand 3: Science and Technology in Everyday Life 

Date Time Facilitators Venue
12.3.2016 (Sat) 16.00 – 17.00 Outreach team of
London Science Museum 
Laboratory,
Hong Kong
Science Museum
13.3.2016 (Sun) 11.00 – 12.00    
  • Conducted in English (with Cantonese interpretation).
  • Suitable for primary (P4-6)  students and parents.
  • Each child must be accompanied by only one adult to participate the workshop.
  • Each session has 40 seats for 20 children and 20 adults.
  • Registration starts one hour before the workshop outside the laboratory on a first come, first served basis.

Family workshop: Make a moisturiser!

This hands-on, practical experiment provides an introduction to formulation science, and shows you the chemistry of how an everyday item is made. Create your own moisturiser to take home with you, work together to investigate what you think makes a good moisturiser, and bring out your inner entrepreneur by calculating how much profit you could make selling your new product! 

Curriculum links: 

General Studies curriculum P1-6: Strand 3: Science and Technology in Everyday Life

Date Time Facilitators Venue
12.3.2016 (Sat) 14.00-15.00 Outreach team of
School of Chemistry,
University of Nottingham
Laboratory,
Hong Kong
Science Museum 
13.3.2016 (Sun) 14.00-15.00
16.00-17.00
  • Conducted in English (with Cantonese interpretation).
  • Suitable for primary (P4-6)  students and parents.
  • Each child must be accompanied by only one adult to participate the workshop.
  • Each session has 40 seats for 20 children and 20 adults.
  • Registration starts one hour before the workshop outside the laboratory on a first come, first served basis.

Family workshop: Digital fabrication for young makers!

What are 3D printing and laser cutting? With advancement in technology, digital fabrication machines that used to be found in industrial environments can now be found on your desktop! They are easy to use, even kids can master them! We will introduce two digital fabrication machines most used by makers in their innovative projects – the 3D printer and the laser cutter. Kids and parents will be able to see these machines at work!

Date Time Facilitators Venue
5.3.2016 (Sat) 10.30-12.30
13.00-15.00
MakerBay Laboratory,
Hong Kong
Science Museum 
6.3.2016 (Sun) 10.30-12.30
13.00-15.00
  • Conducted in English (with Cantonese interpretation).
  • Suitable for primary (P3-S1)  students and parents.
  • Each child must be accompanied by only one adult to participate the workshop.
  • Each session has 40 seats for 20 children and 20 adults.
  • Registration starts one hour before the workshop outside the laboratory on a first come, first served basis.

FameLab Hong Kong grand final

The FameLab competition is being held for the seventh year in Hong Kong. It aims to find the most talented science communicators in Hong Kong. Contestants will present a scientific topic in an exciting, captivating and innovative way in three minutes, in order to inspire and excite public imagination towards science. Secondary 4 to 6 students and secondary school teachers are welcome to attend the final and select their favourite presentation for the Audience Choice Award.

Date Time Venue
12. 3. 2016 (Sat)  16.00-18.00 Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Science Museum

Student debate

The modern world would not be what it is today if it weren’t for the study of science. From the discovery of the atom to the invention of penicillin, science is everywhere.  It's both infinitesimally small as well as boldly in plain sight.  But has it helped or hindered our very survival as a species? Will it be what saves us or the very thing that destroys us?  Students will attempt to get to the bottom of these questions and more. Science: Humanity’s Friend or Foe? 

Date Time Venue
16. 3. 2016 (Wed)  16.30-18.00 Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Science Museum
  • Conducted in English
  • Suitable for senior secondary students (S4-6) and their teachers and the general public
  • Schools can register as audience members online through the Training Calendar on the Education Bureau website. 
  • The general public can register online here as audience members.
  • This show will reserve a portion of the seats for walk-ins.

Science Interactive lecture: The dark side of the universe

Billions of years ago the Big Bang sent everything flying apart. In theory, gravity should stop galaxies from moving apart and matter should eventually re-collapse on itself. Surprisingly, we have learnt that galaxies are actually moving apart with ever-increasing speed. Nothing in our current knowledge of physics can explain this, but theorists are developing a solution: dark energy. Roughly 70% of our universe is comprised of dark energy and yet so little is known about it, but satellite and laboratory experiments are under way. Dr. Clare Burrage will describe what we currently know about the nature of dark energy, how it affects other matter in the universe and what plans we have for observing this mysterious force.

Curriculum links:

Physics curriculum S4-6: Topic 6 Astronomy and Space Science (Elective Part)

Date Time Speakers Venue
14.3.2016 (Mon) 16.00-17.15 Dr. Clare Burrage,
University of Nottingham
Lecture Hall,
Hong Kong
Science Museum
15.3.2016 (Tue) 14.00-15.15
  • Conducted in English
  • Suitable for senior secondary students (S4-6), teachers and the general public
  • Schools can register as audience members online through the Training Calendar on the Education Bureau website. Teachers will receive supplementary materials.
  • The general public can register online here as audience members.
  • This lecture will reserve a portion of the seats for walk-ins.

Science Interactive lecture: The Power of the Sun

Solar power is a hugely important area of renewable energy technology research. Solar energy offers a low-carbon and sustainable route to meet the worldwide energy demands of the future as a serious way to tackle climate change. There are many ways to harvest the sun’s energy to power our homes, from solar thermal and photovoltaics (PV) to artificial photosynthesis to make solar fuel. Dr. Paul Coxon will explain how these work, bring you up to date on the latest ground-breaking developments in PV research, and describe how we are using the chemistry of materials to make photovoltaics cheaper, more efficient and more sustainable.

Curriculum links:

Biology curriculum S4-6: Topic 1 Cells and molecules of life (Compulsory Part)

Chemistry curriculum S4-6: Topic 8 Chemical reactions and energy (Compulsory Part)

Date Time Speakers Venue
17.3.2016 (Thu) 16.00-17.15 Dr. Paul Coxon,
University of Cambridge
Lecture Hall,
Hong Kong
Science Museum
18.3.2016 (Fri) 14.00-15.15
  • Conducted in English
  • Suitable for senior secondary students (S4-6), teachers and the general public
  • Schools can register as audience members online through the Training Calendar on the Education Bureau website. Teachers will receive supplementary materials.
  • The general public can register online here as audience members.
  • This lecture will reserve a portion of the seats for walk-ins.

Science Interactive lecture: Tissue engineering: made-to-measure organs

Imagine a time when scientists can grow any organ needed using cells in a petri dish, or even 3D print tissues in the laboratory. Well, this time could be closer than you think. New methods in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine have made ideas of the future a reality. In this lecture, Dr Helen Colley will explore the current status of tissue engineering and will describe how modern techniques in 3D bio-printing will enable us to create tissues that are made to measure. 

Curriculum links:

Biology curriculum S4-6: Topic 13 Biotechnology (Elective Part)

Biology curriculum S4-6: Topic 9 Health and Diseases (Compulsory Part)

Date Time Speakers Venue
9.3.2016 (Wed) 16.00-17.15 Dr. Helen Colley,
University of Sheffield
Lecture Hall,
Hong Kong
Science Museum
10.3.2016 (Thu) 14.00-15.15
  • Conducted in English.
  • Suitable for senior secondary students (S4-6), teachers and the general public.
  • Schools can register as audience members online through the Training Calendar on the Education Bureau website. Teachers will receive supplementary materials.
  • The general public can register online here as audience members.
  • This lecture will reserve a portion of the seats for walk-ins.

Science Interactive lecture: The science of superheroes

Superheroes capture the imagination of young people all over the world, with movies and comics known and loved by many. However, as science continues to advance, many of the abilities which we characterise as ‘superpowers’ are becoming closer to reality. This interactive lecture examines some of the most popular superheroes and demonstrates what we can learn from their fictional abilities. Covering a number of STEM topics designed for junior secondary and with audience participation from start to finish – students can expect a super science experience!

Curriculum links:

Science curriculum S1-3: Unit 4 Energy 

Science curriculum S1-3: Unit 9 Space Travel

Science curriculum S1-3: Unit 11 Sensing the Environment

Science curriculum S1-3: Unit 15 Lights, Colours and Beyond

Date Time Speakers Venue
13.03.2016 (Sun) 11.00-12.00 Dr. Christopher See,
The University of
Hong Kong
Lecture Hall,
Hong Kong
Science Museum
  • Conducted in English
  • Suitable for senior secondary students (S1-3), teachers and the general public
  • Schools can register as audience members online through the Training Calendar on the Education Bureau website. Teachers will receive supplementary materials.
  • The general public can register online here as audience members.
  • This lecture will reserve a portion of the seats for walk-ins.

Student workshop: Madlab – Super soldering circuit boards

MadLab is a unique, hands-on electronics workshop for students. Smartwatches, robots, and TV remotes all have the same thing in common – circuit boards! What would you find if you took them apart? In this workshop you will solder electronic components onto specially-designed circuit boards. The excitement of MadLab is learning how to use a soldering iron (or perfecting your skills), and actually being able to make and take home a working electronic circuit.

Curriculum links:

Science curriculum S1-3: Unit 8 Making use of electricity

Date Time Facilitators Venue
7.3.2016 (Mon) 11.00-12.00 Outreach team of
Science made simple
Laboratory,
Hong Kong
Science Museum
  • Conducted in English (with Cantonese interpretation)
  • Suitable for secondary students (S1-3) and teachers
  • The workshops aim to have teachers and students learn together. Priority will be given to teachers who bring 1 – 9 students with them.
  • Schools can register as participants online through the Training Calendar on the Education Bureau website. Teachers will receive supplementary materials.

Student workshop: Red Dwarfs and Blue Supergiants: the life and times of stars

Have you ever wondered what happens to stars in the night sky as they get older? These cosmic giants can live for billions of years, so we only see a snapshot of their lives. But with Star-in-a-Box and robotic telescopes you can explore the entire life-cycle of stars, from dramatic birth to violent end, and discover what a star’s mass can reveal about its past and its future.

Curriculum links:

Science curriculum S1-3: Unit 9 Space Travel

Date Time Facilitators Venue
7.3.2016 (Mon) 13.30-15.30
16.00-18.00
Outreach team of
School of Physics and
Astronomy,
Cardiff University 

Laboratory, 
Hong Kong
Science Museum

  • Conducted in English (with Cantonese interpretation)
  • Suitable for secondary students (S1-3) and teachers
  • The workshops aim to have teachers and students learn together. Priority will be given to teachers who bring 1 – 9 students with them.
  • Schools can register as participants online through the Training Calendar on the Education Bureau website. Teachers will receive supplementary materials.

Student workshop: Hydrogel, a smart material

What connects hair gel, contact lenses, and nappies? Hydrogels are used in all of these items and absorb huge amounts of water. We will investigate these polymeric smart materials by doing two experiments: firstly, can you dissolve a hydrogel without using heat? Secondly, how much water can be absorbed by a nappy? A combination of accurate measuring and maths could give us surprising results!

Curriculum links:

Science curriculum S1-3: Unit 14 Materials of modern world

Date Time Facilitators Venue
14.3.2016 (Mon) 13.30-14.30
16.00-17.00
Outreach team of
School of Chemistry,
University of Nottingham
Laboratory,
Hong Kong
Science Museum
  • Conducted in English (with Cantonese interpretation)
  • Suitable for secondary students (S1-3) and teachers
  • The workshops aim to have teachers and students learn together. Priority will be given to teachers who bring 1 – 9 students with them.
  • Schools can register as participants online through the Training Calendar on the Education Bureau website. Teachers will receive supplementary materials.

Student workshop: Superheroes Laboratory

This interactive session is designed to expand students’ curiosity and interest in the science behind what they see on the big screen. Small groups of students will work around four super-hero experience ‘stations’ for them to try out different tasks which give them some insight and knowledge into superpowers. Seeing through objects, vanishing and memory tricks are just some of the tasks to be undertaken. Designed to stimulate a questioning approach to life experiences, students will get the chance to be a hero for the day!

Curriculum links:

Science curriculum S1-3: Unit 4 Energy 

Science curriculum S1-3: Unit 9 Space Travel

Science curriculum S1-3: Unit 11 Sensing the Environment

Science curriculum S1-3: Unit 15 Lights, Colours and Beyond

Date Time Speakers Venue
15.3.2016 (Tue) 14.00-15.30 Dr. Christopher See,
The University of
Hong Kong
Laboratory,
Hong Kong
Science Museum
18.3.2016 (Fri) 11.00-12.30
  • Conducted in English (with Cantonese interpretation)
  • Suitable for secondary students (S1-3) and teachers
  • The workshops aim to have teachers and students learn together. Priority will be given to teachers who bring 1 – 9 students with them.
  • Schools can register as participants online through the Training Calendar on the Education Bureau website. Teachers will receive supplementary materials.

Teacher development workshops

This practical half-day workshop provides primary and secondary science teachers with creative approaches for engaging young people to explore science. The workshop will showcase effective teaching tools for arousing students’ curiosity, making science relevant to their lives, building inquiry and science skills and challenging the way they view science. The focus will be on transferable techniques and teachers will bring back truly useful ideas and resources for the classroom and beyond.

Date Time Facilitators Venue
For primary school teachers Teacher training team,
London Science Museum
Laboratory,
Hong Kong
Science Museum
8.3.2016 (Tue)
9.3.2016 (Wed)
10.00-12.30
14.30-17.00
For secondary school teachers
8.3.2016 (Tue)
9.3.2016 (Wed)
10.3.2016 (Thu)
14.30-17.00
10.00-12.30
14.30-17.00
  • Conducted in English
  • Suitable for science teachers of primary and secondary schools
  • Schools can register as participants online through the Training Calendar on the Education Bureau website.
  • Each session has 20 seats and registration is on a first come, first served basis.