Imperial Festival brings science to the fore in South Kensington

Imperial College London took South Kensington by storm at the weekend, with its annual celebration, Imperial Festival.

The two-day festival, held at the university's South Kensington campus, featured a wide range of talks, demos and hands-on activities across the college's key areas – science, health, engineering and business.  The festival is a highlight in the college's annual calendar, with over 500 scientists on hand to talk to visitors. From the Health and Body Zone to the Energy and Environment Zone, the Imperial Festival allows people to get up close and personal with science and technology.

In the College Main Entrance was the Robot Zone. Here, visitors could meet the Imperial College robot crew, including the fabulously-named robot De Niro. Experts were on hand to talk about the latest in robotics, drones and how these technologies could impact on daily life and society.

Right across the other side of the campus, the Superbugs Zone looked to be a roaring success, with queues out the door all weekend long. Each visitor was assigned their own bacteria, which they had to follow throughout the exhibition to learn about evolution, infection and antibiotics resistance. With giant Lego bacteria, stickers and plenty of hands-on laboratory activities, it was sure to spark curiosity in adults and children alike.

The Discovery Zone was a space interactive activity, which challenged visitors to think about the physics of gravity, space exploration, and there were even some competitions which pitted the human mind against the power of computing.

The Contemplation Zone provided a different atmosphere, and a chance to stop and reflect on how science, technology and new discoveries affect us and the world around us. From art, to radio podcasts and TV documentaries, the Contemplation Zone was designed to encourage new ways of thinking and personal reflection.

As well as having more than 80 live demonstrations and hundreds of exhibits, Imperial Festival also hosted a range of expert talks covering topics from The Bionic Man, to the benefits of music. Speakers answered questions and many were also interviewed after their talks to delve further into their areas of expertise.

Throughout the weekend, visitors also got to enjoy live dance and music performances from talented members of the university's student body. There was also a huge array of street food, an outdoor bar and plenty of pop-up performers to keep everyone entertained.

If you missed this year's event, don't despair! The festival is an annual event, so keep an eye out for next year's program. You can find out about Imperial Festival on their website.

Crowds at the 2017 Imperial Festival in South Kensington
Crowds at the 2017 Imperial Festival in South Kensington

Making molecules with marshmallows at Imperial Festival 2017
Making molecules with marshmallows at Imperial Festival

Visitors were able to see microorganisms up close in the Imperial Festival Superbugs Zone
Visitors were able to see microorganisms up close in the Superbugs Zone