Imperial College London

ImpFest 2018 introduces new interactive family zone


CBeebies' mascot Messy Monster gives the thumbs up

CBeebies' Messy Monster will be front at centre at the Breathing Together exhibit

A new fun and interactive Hands On Zone for families with children aged up to 12 years old is being introduced at Imperial Festival 2018.

The Hands On Zone will be an interactive space for all young people attending the Festival – Imperial College London’s annual celebration of science and creativity, held from 28-29 April in South Kensington.

The Zone will include activities run by researchers and communicators from across the College as well as ‘Breathing Together’, a special exhibit exploring childhood asthma.

Imperial Festival is free and open to the public. Register to attend the Festival.

Breathing Together: Science fun for toddlers

This event aims to highlight some very important health messages in a fun and engaging way Professor Andy Bush Lead researcher, Breathing Together

The science of what kick-starts childhood asthma will be explored in Breathing Together.

The interactive exhibit is led by some of the world’s top researchers and OKIDO – the people behind the popular CBeebies TV programme, Messy Goes to OKIDO. It will feature characters including Messy Monster who will join forces with his creators and leading UK scientists to make the science of healthy breathing fun.   

Breathing Together will include a host of fun and interactive activities, including:

  • a series of games and activities exploring the theme of regulating breathing
  • a digital section where visitors can play within a special interactive projection
  • and lively performances will be on show to visitors through the whole weekend.

The event is part of the five-year Breathing Together research project currently run by a consortium of clinicians and scientists from the UK and Australia. The project aims to understand how asthma and breathing problems develop in young children. The public event will be the only one of its type held in London by the Breathing Together consortium. 

Messy Monster mascot interacting with childrenProfessor Andy Bush, lead researcher on the Breathing Together project said:

“This event aims to highlight some very important health messages in a fun and engaging way. Asthma is the most common long-term disease affecting children today – with one in 11 children in the UK affected – but we do not have a cure. Breathing together is a partnership between top clinical and basic scientists, funded by the Wellcome Trust, and parents and young children.

"Together we want to understand why some infants develop wheezing and lung damage which stays with them for life, and to stop this happening.”

Fun for kids of all ages: About the Imperial Festival ‘Hands On Zone’

The Breathing Together interactive exhibit is part of Imperial Festival’s new Hands-On Zone for young families with children aged up to 12-years-old.

Highlights of this new zone include:

  • Science Toy Award 2018 in which fun, interactive and informative toys are aimed at triggering young people’s curiosity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
  • A showcase of innovative technology and equipment used in surgery, including the 'intelligent' iknife that can sniff out cancer cells, and also a special hands on game of ‘Operation’.
  • Exploring the importance and benefits of urban trees with researchers from our Centre for Environmental Policy.
  • Dress-up like a real scientist and learn about the elements of the periodic table.

The Zone and full Festival will be held at the College’s South Kensington Campus. The wider Festival will offer something for all ages during the weekend celebration, with activities across 10 zones giving the public the chance to:

  • go behind-the-scenes and explore the latest research and innovations from the College through interactive demonstrations, workshops and live experiments
  • enjoy live music, theatre and dance performances
  • eat delicious food from some of London’s top vendors

Breathing Together will be held at Imperial Festival, Saturday 28 - Sunday 29 April. The free event and Festival will be open 12-6pm on Saturday, 12-5pm on Sunday at Imperial College London’s South Kensington Campus, Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2AZ.

Imperial Festival is free and open to the public. Register to attend the Festival.

  • A scientist interacts with a young boy

    The new Hands On Zone at the Festival is for children from toddlers to 12-year-olds

  • A young girl wears a lab coat and eye goggles
  • A female volunteer gives a young boy a balloon

    Festival volunteers will be on hand to help visitors make the most of their day

  • A girl gets her face painted
  • Young children look down at a science exhibit on a table
  • A young girl tries out a technological glove
  • A young girl dressed in a medical outfit
  • A young girl looks interested in a science exhibit



Andrew Youngson

Andrew Youngson
Communications Division


Strategy-share-the-wonder, Outreach, Events, Child-health, Imperial-Festival
See more tags

Leave a comment

Your comment may be published, displaying your name as you provide it, unless you request otherwise. Your contact details will never be published.