UCLA’s free science festival, Exploring Your Universe, returns in a virtual format on Sunday, Nov. 7, from noon to 3 p.m.

For the second year, the festival will be offered online — not only for the safest possible experience, but also to enable families from around the world to participate.

Via Zoom, the event will offer more than 45 hands-on science experiments and demonstrations hosted by two dozen UCLA departments and organizations. Participants of all ages can follow along at home as UCLA scientists lead experiments on everything from archaeology to bees to kitchen chemistry to black holes.

Visitors from all over the world will be able to take part in do-it-yourself guided science experiments using common household supplies while interacting with real-life scientists on a wide range of subjects.

Each activity will have its own virtual meeting room and all participants will have the opportunity to not only learn from but also talk with real UCLA scientists. As always, attendance is free for all, but registration is required on the Exploring Your Universe website, which also provides:

  • The full schedule of activities.
  • A list of easy-to-obtain supplies that families can gather ahead of time for the at-home experiments.

Among the event’s most popular activities are the “Ask a Scientist” Q&A sessions, which give attendees a chance to chat directly with experts in astronomy, chemistry, geology, epidemiology and other fields.

Guests will also be able to watch 15-minute talks on topics including ocean pollution, gravity’s role in the structure of the universe, Earth’s magnetic fields and the world of plastics. The talks will be given by UCLA experts but tailored for general audiences of all ages.

The festival has been held at UCLA since 2009. Traditionally, the program was held in person, bringing thousands of children, parents and other members of the community to campus.

Exploring Your Universe is organized by UCLA graduate students and run by student and faculty volunteers. The event is made possible by the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences; the Mani L. Bhaumik Institute for Theoretical Physics; the Campus Programs Committee of the UCLA Program Activities Board; the UCLA Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences; the UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy; the UCLA Galactic Center Group; and the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.