It's a no-brainer
In the past the Zika virus used to stick around the patch of jungle where it evolved. In the past humans used to stick around the town or village where they were born. Then our brilliant brains worked out how to fly to distant resorts.  Lovely, but there was an unexpected consequence: Zika* could hitch a lift back home with us. So now we must find a vaccine quickly, before Zika messes with our brains, our brilliant brains. Start your child on the journey at Bright Sparks, making Marvellous Medicine, where they can build their own medicine and test how well it works; with the University of Sussex Drug Discovery Centre, one of the only academically-based drug discovery centres in the UK. They’ll show you how to turn an idea into a clinical treatment.
(* and HIV, Ebola, SARS, West Nile, MERS, Dengue and Chikungunya).

But leave time for the other thirty activities on show.
Bright, Sparky hints:
Book in advance. Arrive first thing to avoid the rush around lunch-time. You may have to park some distance away - it's on-street parking - so add walking time.

Where are we not?
Bright Sparks and the Hands-On half Term should be on every website about things-to-do-at-half-term out there. Is there anywhere we aren't? Tell us, and help to plug the gaps. (Reply to this email).

Vegan whale
A courgette, a sliver of cabbage, and voila: a whale. Make towers from spaghetti, explosions from lemons, volcanoes from vinegar, ice cream from liquid nitrogen, bread from microbial farts, spooky monsters from custard. Play With Your Food is on Sunday February 21.

Tentacular Spectacular
If ‘being more squid’ sounds right up your street, then you’ve already taken a side in the Battle of the Cephalopods – a no-holds-barred scuffle with a panel of cuttlefish connoisseurs and octopus advocates making the case for the greatest of all the underwater invertebrates. There are over 800 cephalopods, including some which can fly up to 50 metres through the air using jet propulsion.
 (* Turn up early to the Tentacular Spectacular and you can see round the Sea Life centre as well, at no extra charge.)

Whilst the vision of most cephalopods is very powerful, the eye of a nautilus is basic, and operates very much like a pinhole camera.

If you want to make your own nautilus eye / pinhole camera, Nick Sayers will show you a cool way using an old drinks can attached to a south-facing object. Over the course of the next six months it'll map the paths the sun takes as the seasons turn from winter to summer. (See below).  To avoid any confusion, we are not recommending attaching a nautilus to any objects, south-facing or otherwise, unless you genuinely know what you’re doing. 

Nick's Solargraph workshop is on Tuesday the 16th.

Nick is also making plankton out of drinking straws for the Onca Gallery's Trash or Treasure exhibition and activities all week.

More than 60 events at half term for  young people

Many of them are free or dirt cheap, many are drop-ins, so that you won't be short of something to do during Hands-On Half Term, or short of money at the end of it.
Here are the ones that  fit that bill - but don't neglect the high quality in all the rest:
CHI-SCI - Chichester College
Aquila BINvention
Toying with science 
Exploring Geoscience
More Science for Winter Aft
Fun Learning
Water and Fire
Pocket Science Festival
Play with your Food
Shadow Studio workshop


If you are looking for something more fulfilling to do at half-term, you could volunteer. Over-twelves plus parents can be brilliant at helping to make events go smoothly. Just reply to this email with 'vol' in the subject line

Our passion
for emotions

Something for all the family (over 12 y/o). On Tuesday 16th The film 'Inside Out' will be the starting point of an investigation (Inside 'Inside Out') into our emotions - presumably including calm, curiosity and satisfaction, and avoiding anger, panic, fear, bewilderment, boredom or regret. 
special screening of Inside Out is on Sunday 14th

Here is the next in our thread of interesting emotions from Tiffany Watt-Smith's 
Book of Human Emotions:

Cyberchondria:  Anxiety about 'symptoms' of an 'illness' fuelled by internet 'research'


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