3 September 2014

Bug hunts, mushroom smelling and matching animals with their dung are a few of the fun activities on offer at the Lancaster University Community Activities Day on 13 September

In 2013 a team of young enthusiastic researchers set up Sex & Bugs & Rock ‘n Roll to celebrate the centenary of the British Ecological Society, and to talk about science and ecology with the public in a fun and accessible way.

After two summers of taking their roadshow to festivals, the researchers are bringing their big blue tent, bug costumers and popular games home to Lancaster, to educate and entertain adults and children at the University’s Community Activities Day.

Amongst the roadshow’s hit activities are:

  • The Who’s Poo game - matching photos of animal with fake (but very realistic) samples of their dung
  • The Ladybird game: using a ladybird helmet to collect (magnetised) aphids to feed a hungry ladybird (and learning about natural pest control at the same time)
  • The Mushroom game: learn how to identify mushrooms by their smell
  • Bug hunts: led by an expert

Dr Emma Sayer, who came up with the idea of the roadshow, will be joined by fellow researchers at the Activities Day, all enthusiastic to share their passion for ecology with members of the public.

“It’s been really popular at the festivals we’ve taken it to. It appeals to children of all ages, and to their parents too,” said Dr Catherine Baxendale, one of the blue tent’s roadies.

Outreach project Science Hunters, who aim to engage children in science using computer games, will also be at Community Activities Day. Dr Carly Stevens, who is developing the Science Hunters project, will be leading activities using the computer game Minecraft.

Lancaster University’s Community Activities day is the public’s chance to get a flavour of the amazing research and teaching taking place across the University, all made accessible and interactive to give individuals and families a free, fun and educational day out. 

It’s part of our 50th birthday celebrations and takes place on Saturday 13 September between 11am and 5pm.  Find out more about the other activities available on the day here.

Learn more about the Lancaster Environment Centre’s outreach activities with schools and the local community.