Robotic Racing

IF OXFORD SCIENCE AND IDEAS FESTIVAL opens this week, with something for everyone; from serious science nerds to gamers, theatre-buffs, walkers, families, environmentalists and so much more. So take advantage and get involved in the 100+ events and activities.

First up: Teenagers and young adults – Here are six great events to ignite their interest!

  1. POKÉMATHS: THE NUMBERS BEHIND THE VIDEO GAME’, 11 October, 7pm; New Road Baptist Church, Bonn Square, Oxford. How many Pikachus does it take to power a lightbulb? And why does the world of Pokémon seem to ignore the basic laws of physics? Dr Tom Crawford, looks at the maths one of the world’s favourite video games, making it understandable, relevant and fun. BOOK HERE

2) You’ll also find Tom behind the mic at IMPROBABLE RESEARCH: SCIENTIFIC ANSWERS TO RIDICULOUS QUESTIONS. 17 October, 8.30pm, The Bullingdon, Cowley Road, as he shares some of his favourite ‘Ig Nobel Prizes’, awarded to celebrate unusual and seemingly trivial achievements in scientific research from constipated scorpions to obese politicians! BOOK NOW

Improbable Research

3) BRAINTASTIC! YOUR IRRATIONAL BRAIN, 27 October, 5pm, Oxford Playhouse. This interactive game show uses demos, experiments and quizzes to show how brains trick us into making irrational decisions every day. Get your voting device ready and navigate the quirks of your brain. Join neuroscientist Ginny Smith and discover how we can use science and the scientific method to investigate and understand why people think and behave the way they do. BOOK HERE

Braintastic goggles

4) RECLAIM YOUR LIFE IN A TECH-OBSESSED WORLD, 14 October, Somerville College Chapel, Oxford. Feel like you’re being controlled by technology? Are we as helpless as we assume? Author Elaine Kasket, an expert on the modern challenges and opportunities brought about by technology, is joined by computer scientist Ulrik Lyngs, a prize-winning researcher in digital self-control who has been helping students take back control of their time and attention on smartphones and laptops. BOOK HERE

5) SCIENCE WONDER DISCOVERY EVENING, 10 October, 5pm, The Farmhouse, Begbroke Science Park, Oxford. Discover the research and innovation that’s helping to create a better world in this exciting festival zone for teenagers and adults. Meet lots of very different scientists in pop-up labs and hear about emerging technologies from wildlife conservation to pandemics, environmental biotechnology, sustainable energy, clean water and making fuel from thin air. BOOK HERE

Science Wonder

6) Robot Racing, 29 October, 11am, Iffley Road Sports Centre. Robot racing for all the family! Control mini robots in races and watch bigger machines tackle obstacles on the running track with scientists and engineers on hand to tell you why and show that playing Jenga is a useful skill when working with cutting-edge fusion technology. BOOK HERE

Robot Racing

IF OXFORD Science and Ideas Festival runs from October 6 until October 29. For more information on the 100+ events go to