FUTURES2022 voyage of discovery event. Volunteers talking to children.
  • The Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Plymouth, PL1 2BJ

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Due to an incredible response, all online tickets have now been sold. For those still hoping to attend, we invite you to join us anytime between 10:00 and 15:30 and entry will be subject to available space. Thank you for your support!
Discover the wonder of science, technology, and art: an engaging interactive showcase for all ages! Immerse yourself in hands-on activities and demos guided by research experts, and even meet our delightful talking robotic pets. Join us for an unforgettable experience!
All are welcome to join us at the historic Plymouth Guildhall, just drop in at any time throughout the day.
The event is free to attend. Please book in advance if possible so we can do our best to make sure there are enough activity supplies for every child.  
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Embark on your voyage of discovery and unlock the opportunity to interact with leading experts!

Discover the hidden treasures of early marine and freshwater life: with Dr Jamie McCoy, Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre.
Step into a world of scientific wonder with our advanced video microscopes, revealing how animals adapt to climate change. Get up close with live embryo views and take control for an interactive journey, or why not test your skills at matching diverse underwater species. Witness the magic unfold on the TV screen, featuring a fascinating collage of enchanting early life stages, from snails to jellyfish.
Botanical survival guide: unravelling the secrets of plant growth: with Chloe Betts, PhD student in the School of Biological and Marine Sciences.
  • Why are plants important?
  • What do plants need to grow?
  • How do plants adapt themselves to grow better?
Learn all about plants including how they develop and survive by planting a seed, looking at cacti and succulents under a microscope and seeing what happens to plants in a drought. 
Beneath the waves: exploring ocean marvels and conservation: with Dr Becky Nesbit and Jenny Hickman from aMER.
Dive into ocean marvels at the Applied Marine Ecosystems Research Unit. Immerse yourself in captivating underwater footage and embark on a VR journey through the depths. Witness seabed transformations via Marine Protected Areas while experts unveil marine monitoring, protection, and cutting-edge research. Get hands on with the diverse artefact collection and conquer the interactive fishing impact game, perfect for all ages. 
Join us to unveil ocean secrets and fuel your passion for marine conservation!
Explore Mindful Art Club: where relaxation meets creativity. 
Visit our table to explore the seamless blend of mindfulness and art, and unlock the calming potential of creative mindfulness.
RAF Harrowbeer: an interactive WWII exhibit: with Rob Giles, Dr Harry Bennett from the School of Society and Culture and Michael Hayes – Archivist at RAF Harrowbeer Archives, Education and Heritage Centre.
Travel Back to 1943 and witness the World War II RAF Harrowbeer airbase. This interactive exhibit showcases the authentic infrastructure and daily operations of this historic site. Step into the past and experience history first-hand.
Game Changers: Probability in the World of Play: with Dr Lauren Ansell from the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics.
Join us for an interactive session that delves into the intriguing world of probability in gaming! Experience our simple yet mind-bending game that showcases the role of probability in decision-making. But that's not all! We're taking it a step further with immersive computer-based apps that bring probability to life. Dive into simulations and challenges that will test your understanding of chance and strategy. 
The Human Robot Connection: how social and agricultural robots are coming to help: with Jake Shaw-Sutton from the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics.
Join renowned robotics expert – Jake Shaw-Sutton, with Pepper - the world’s first social humanoid robot.  Pepper can recognise faces, basic human emotions, and was designed for human interaction, engaging with people through conversation and his touch screen.  
Jake is also showcasing ELLIE, the robotic dog.  She will be “off the lead” and showing off her skills to her favourite audience – you, the public!  
Joining Pepper and ELLIE will be our robotic pets – the very realistic Golden Pup, Tabby Cat and PARO – the very cute robotic seal.
Visionary Voyages: exploring the future of eye care: with Dr Daniela Oehring from the School of Health Professions.
Step into the future of eye care with interactive demonstrations of cutting-edge equipment. Experience fun visual tests, games, and educational materials that demystify intricate optometry concepts. Our mission is simple: to make the science of eye care accessible and engaging. So, whether you're young or young at heart, prepare to embark on an eye-opening adventure that promises to change the way you see the world. Don't miss this opportunity to explore the future of eye care with us.
Discover the Living Seawalls in Plymouth phenomenon
Learn more about the UK's largest Living Seawalls project that’s happening right here in Plymouth! Meet the experts behind the project as they share the incredible journey of its creation as well as insights into the ecological function of the installation.
Led by the University of Plymouth with global support, this project aims to enhance biodiversity on new and existing seawalls, providing benefits to nature and human society alike.
Visit the stand and immerse yourself in a miniature aquatic world. Witness exhibits and posters featuring crabs, snails, and vibrant seaweed. This is your chance to get up close and personal with marine life!
VR for Wellbeing: Using new technologies to support healthier lives: with Dr Rory Baxter and Dr John Downey from the Centre for Health Technology.
Join the Centre for Health Technology for an immersive showcase of cutting-edge VR. Explore physical activity games that make exercise fun and engaging through a captivating VR demo. Then, explore heritage remotely and bring history to life. Don’t miss this opportunity to try out the latest VR innovations!
Symmetry, Chaos and Chance: beautiful mathematics: with Dr Martin Lavelle and students from the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics.
Find out what chaos means to a scientist (including weather forecasters) and discover strange and beautiful patterns. 
Explore the shapes of soap films and see how they can produce circles and other beautiful forms. You can even predict some shapes that soap films take up. This is all to do with minimising shapes. In a world where we want to minimise waste and maximise information flow, this mathematics is extremely important. Soap films will let you see symmetry, which many things we find beautiful exhibit.
In a world of data see how more and more experiments can together provide predictable patterns even when a single measurement seems random. 
FUTURES2023 logo - text says FUTURES a festival of discovery, purple text, grey background


FUTURES is a free festival of discovery taking place across the South West during the last weekend in September. With events for all ages, FUTURES is an opportunity to find out more about the innovative and world-class research taking place at universities across the South West. Join us at venues in Bath, Bristol, Devon and Cornwall, and online.
There are a wide range of brilliant events and activities on offer, with something for the whole family. Find out what’s happening near you.

Event photography and video

Please be aware that some of the University of Plymouth's public events (both online and offline) may be attended by University staff, photographers and videographers, for capturing content to be used in University online and offline marketing and promotional materials, for example webpages, brochures or leaflets. If you, or a member of your group, do not wish to be photographed or recorded, please let a member of staff know.