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What is Southampton Science and Engineering Festival?

Southampton Science and Engineering Festival, also known as SOTSEF, is the University of Southampton's annual interdisciplinary celebration of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). It is a 10-day series of events with online and in-person activities across the University and the city of Southampton.

The Festival takes place during British Science Week.

In 2022, Southampton Science and Engineering Festival will run from Friday 11th to Sunday 20th March. To be among the firsts to find out what's on this year, sign up to the UoS Festival mailing list or follow #SOTSEF on social media.

The Festival will have a hybrid format, with online resources and live events accessible from everywhere in the world and will also include a few in-person events.


What is Science and Engineering Day?

Science and Engineering Day is a FREE family-friendly day of discovery and exploration, packed with hundreds of interactive activities, workshops, live shows, art performances and laboratory tours.

During the day, you can meet and interact with researchers, local community groups, public engagement professionals and artists.

This year, Science and Engineering Day will take place on Saturday 7th May, from 10:30 to 16:30, at the Highfield Campus (SO17 1BJ) and Boldrewood innovation Campus (SO16 7QF). The event is free to attend but registration online is required.

More information about booking and programme launch will be announced at Southampton Science and Engineering Festival in March.


Is Southampton Science and Engineering Festival suitable for all ages?

Yes, our programme includes a range of activities to entertain a variety of ages from young children to adults. You can check the 'Age suitable for' information for each activity to find out more on this or select activities and events by age restriction in the 'What's On' page.


How accessible is Southampton Science and Engineering Festival?

We do our very best to make Southampton Science and Engineering Festival accessible to everyone whether it is our recent digital version or in-person.

The website has tools to enhance contrast, by inverting colours, and increasing/decreasing font size. All the activities have been coded for accessibility and age suitability.

If you have further questions concerning accessibility, please email the UoS Festival team at festival@soton.ac.uk


How can I participate in Festival events?

The majority of our online events are free and designed to reach international audiences from anywhere in the world. Most in-person events are also free. You can check the 'Price' information (next to the coins icon) for each activity to find out more on this.

To avoid missing an event you want to attend, you can save it on your calendar by clicking on its date and time - this will prompt the download of an .ics file compatible with most iCalendars.

Some events will have booking information attached to them. Booking or joining instructions are clearly set out within the description on our website - just click the 'Book your ticket' button and follow the instructions.


What are you offering specifically for teachers and learners this year?

All the Festival activities that support teaching and learning in STEM subjects - curated by our School-University Partnership Team will be pulled together for a dedicated 'Teaching and Learning' area on the website.

This will be released later in early 2022.


Why do I have to book tickets for some of the events, even if they are free?

We ask everyone to book a free ticket for some live events, it helps the UoS Festival team plan and ensure the best attendee experience.

If you register through Eventbrite you will receive an automatic confirmation email straight away, plus reminder emails 48 hours and, 2 hours and 10 minutes before the event starts.

We intend this to make sure you have all the key information in order to join the event on time. In some cases, a reminder email is sent few minutes after the event starts to make sure no one is left behind, in case previous emails have been displaced.


Is it OK if I book one ticket and then share my screen with others once I've joined an event (e.g. teacher sharing screen with class)?

Yes, this is absolutely fine, but we are keen to know how many people are doing this, so for bookable events on Eventbrite we have included a question about this in the order form. This will help us to review and make enhancements for next year.


How can I provide feedback for the SOTSEF live events?

We kindly ask everyone attending online live events to complete a short anonymous survey at the end of each event. The purpose of this is to help with planning and ensuring the best possible visitor experience during the Festival and at our future events, and your help would be greatly appreciated.

For any other feedback, please email festival@soton.ac.uk or use our dedicated contact form.


What similar events can I join in with my family?

The UoS Festival team at the Public Engagement with Research unit organises several family-friendly events across the year.

Our annual Southampton Arts and Humanities Festival is held every November, in parallel with Being Human festival, and the programme usually includes Hands-on Humanities Day, a free family-friendly event usually taking place at Avenue Campus, with interactive hands-on activities, workshops, exhibits and talks.

For Southampton Arts and Humanities Festival we now also contribute towards related special events including Black History Month (October), UK Disability History Month (November-December) and LGBT+ History Month (February).

The UoS Festival team also has a dedicated YouTube channel with video resources and recordings of events from past Festivals.

You could also follow us @UoS_Engagement on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram and request to join our UoS Festival mailing list to find out more and stay up to date with the latest opportunities.


I have another question - how do I get in touch?

Please send an email to festival@soton.ac.uk or use our dedicated contact form