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Get hands – on with science at this session’s Family Fun Day! In partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the periodic table, so expect a fun interactive day all about the elements!

Family Fun Day activities are suitable for 7 – 12 year olds though older and younger siblings are also very welcome. All under 18 year olds must be accompanied by an adult.

All activities and talks are run throughout the day, so you do not need to arrive at 11am. There is sometimes a queue when we first open, so you might find it easier to arrive a little later, and you will still have time to see all the talks and try out all of the activities.

Dan Plane – A Periodic Puzzle: Finding the Pieces
11.20am, 1.15pm, 3.15pm; 30 minutes
When Dmitri Mendeleev first created his periodic table he had to leave gaps for his undiscovered elements. Dan has a periodic table, and like Mendeleev’s, it has some gaps. Dan’s got the missing pieces of the puzzle, and with your help, he’ll be testing them to try and figure out what elements belong where on the table, along the way he’ll tell some of the stories behind the elements and the people behind them. In this interactive show, the audience will help test properties such as melting point, reactivity, and just maybe, flammability!

Sarah Haigh – Carbon: the greatest element in the world?
12.15pm and 2.15pm; 30 minutes
Carbon is an amazing element, from dazzling diamonds to the graphite in your pencil, but what is it that makes it so special? Join Sarah Haigh to explore this amazing element, which is not only one of the most abundant on earth, but also makes up almost 20% of your body. As a pure substance, diamond shows amazing variety ranging from super hard diamond, to the two dimensional ‘wonder material’ graphene. Combined with other elements like oxygen and hydrogen, carbon produces thousands of other amazing compounds including almost all plastics and rubbers. Carbon such a useful element. You’ll never look at a pencil in the same way again!

Activities at this session’s Family Fun Day are all exploring the wonderful world of the periodic table, in partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Watch crystals be made of bismuth metal in front of your eyes, explore the weird world of magnetism and Lenz’s law, burn pure hydrogen in the palm of your hand, hunt for the odd elements in the human body and even find some rogue radioactivity hiding in normal everyday items. This is just a taster of what is on offer; there will be a building full of hands – on science for you to explore on the day.

As well as activities from the Ri and the Royal Society of Chemistry, we are happy to welcome along The Royal Veterinary College, Chelsea Physic Garden, The Geological Society, and UCL Department of Cognitive Neuroscience.

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the periodic table!

Dan Plane is a Science in Schools presenter for the Royal Institution and has worked in education for nearly 20 years. He’s been a science communicator for the last eight years and his interest in all areas of science is ever growing. Dan is all about getting everyone, kids and adults alike, to explore the past, present, and future of science, and is especially proud to be a part of the rich history of science communication here at the Ri.

Sarah Haigh is Professor of Materials Characterisation at the University of Manchester. She currently juggles (in no particular order) the UK’s largest electron microscopy centre, a research team of 13 students, teaching crystallography, advanced atom bothering and raising a small baby.