Discovery day 2017, making kaleidoscopes inspired by the patterns in cells.

Discovery Day

For a taste of what to expect, check out the video from Discovery Day in 2017.

Pop into the Crick this summer for a day of discovery. Meet our friendly scientists and technicians and get hands on with fun activities for all the family.

From sensational science shows to pop-up talks and hands-on activities, there’s something for everyone.  

Highlights include:

  • Cook up your own cell types
  • Go whizz, pop, bang and discover the science of fireworks
  • Hear from a DNA detective
  • Pose for a selfie in our virtual lab
  • Join the Mosquito Mayhem
  • Discover how you can block a tickle!
  • And of course, a chance to meet our incredible scientists and technicians.

Plus, food, drink, talks and more…

Drop in activities

A visitor taking part in a marbling workshop at the Crick.

Containing Colour

Get creative with scientific objects in this marbling workshop led by professional artist Grace Holliday. Take your finished masterpiece home with you. 

Body Building

How does your body build all the different types of cells it needs to function? Grab a petri dish and follow the recipes to find out.

Demystifying Dangerous Diseases

Try your hand at our bug-tastic games – can you spot the difference between viruses, bacteria and parasites? Race your friends and family to build a virus against the clock!


Strike a science pose and get your photo taken in our virtual lab. 

Visitors at the science photobooth at an event at the Crick.

Children dressing up in scientific safety kit at the Crick's Discovery Day.

Dress for Science

Discover what it takes to kit yourself out for science at the Crick. Don some safety gear and pose for a selfie in the photobooth.

Mosquito Mayhem

Meet our live mosquitoes! Discover how they transmit malaria and challenge yourself to identify the different life stages – and even catch one! 

Immunology Ball Pond

Can you find the cancer cells? Dive into our ball pond and play the role of the immune system. 

Scientific stereotypes

Explore what really makes scientists tick and make a creative contribution to our collaborative lab coat. 

A lab coat with decorations about stereotypes of scientists made by visitors to the 2019 Crick Late.

Children learning in the Crick's discovery lab.


Celebrate the bottle washers who make the science happen with some interactive bubble fun. Enjoy blowing, chasing and catching these soapy creations! 

Hula Hoops

Can you spin your hips as fast as one of our centrifuges? Get some top tips from a professional, who’ll wow the crowds with spectacular tricks of her own.


The interactive pop-up science talk show where you decide the direction of the discussion. Take a seat and join the conversation. 

Craft & Graft

Visit our current exhibition for an eye-opening glimpse of the people behind the scenes: the fly breeders, laser guiders and tech fixers that make the science happen. 

Visitors at the family activities day at the Crick.

Spectacular science shows

Emily Grossman

Dr Emily’s Brain-Fizzing Facts

Did you know that you can block a tickle? Or that we share 50% of our DNA with a banana? Or that we make better decisions when we need a wee?! Join TV scientist Dr Emily Grossman for this fun and interactive science quiz show, as she explains some of the world’s weirdest science facts.

10:45-11:15, 12:15-12:45

Dr Emily Grossman is an internationally acclaimed science broadcaster, writer, educator and trainer. She is an expert in molecular biology and genetics with a PhD in cancer research. Emily was recently named as the second Honorary STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Ambassador, alongside astronaut Tim Peake, for her pioneering work in STEM education and as a role model to young people. She is best known as resident science expert on ITV’s The Alan Titchmarsh Show and Sky1's fact-based celebrity panel-show Duck Quacks Don't Echo hosted by Lee Mack. Her new book, Brain-Fizzing Facts, will be published by Bloomsbury Children's Books in September 2019.

Dan Plane

A Periodic Puzzle

When Dmitri Mendeleev first created his periodic table he had to leave gaps for undiscovered elements. Dan has a periodic table, and like Mendeleev’s, it’s got 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 fits where. Expect remarkable reactions and maybe even flames!

13:45-14:15, 15:15-15:45

Dan Plane is a science communicator with 20 years' experience in education, who has worked with organisations including the Royal Institution and the Science Museum to amaze and astound their audiences. Dan is fascinated by all areas of science and enjoys discovering and sharing new things. He is passionate about getting everyone, kids and adults alike, to explore the past, present, and future of science.

Timed activities

Meet a Scientist

Bring your curiosity and have a chat with some of our friendly scientists. Discover what life in the lab is like and get hands-on with some of the tools they use in their daily work.


Flashy Fireworks education workshop

Celebrate Discovery Day with a fiery investigation! Join the Crick’s Education team in the Weston Discovery Lab for flamboyant chemistry experiments and find out how fireworks get their spectacular colours. Most suitable for primary school-aged children. All children must be accompanied by an adult.  

Ticketed: tickets will be released from the information point in Reception on the day at 10:00, 11:00, 13:00 and 14:00

10:30-10:50, 11:00-11:20, 11:30-11:50, 12:00-12:20, 12:30-12:50, 13:30-13:50, 14:00-14:20, 14:30-14:50, 15:00-15:20

Pop-up talks

Culture Club

Hear how Fatemeh Abolverdi grows, feeds and looks after the millions of cells in her care, from skin cells to cancer cells.

11:05 - 11:15

A day in the life

From multi-colored lab coats to creating fake fires, join Leigh Jones to discover how you keep a building of over 1000 scientists safe.

11:35 - 11:45

Hide and Seek

How can we use the immune system to find and fight cancer cells? Hear from Duncan McKenzie on the latest research and the implications for the future of cancer treatment.

12:05 - 12:15

DNA Detectives

When cells act strangely, scientists across the Crick turn to Jimena Perez-Lloret to find out what is going on. Join her to hear about the chemistry behind the scenes.

13:35 - 13:45

Fantastic Mr Fixit

Hear how Pete Nash and his team maintain 30,000 crucial pieces of specialist scientific equipment.

14:05 - 14:15

A Complex Virus

Join Genevieve Barr to find out how HIV infects healthy cells, builds new viruses and makes people sick, and what is being done to fight back. 

15:05 - 15:15