Inspire, create, and explore at Be Curious 2023

Be Curious, the annual University of Leeds family open day, is back for 2023.

On Saturday 13 May, 10am-4pm, the University will be open to the public for a day of free family-friendly activities. From fossils to microscopes, triangles to trees, there will be over 40 features in the programme this year, meaning more to explore. 

Professor Simone Buitendijk, University of Leeds Vice-Chancellor and President, said: “We’re delighted to once again welcome everyone to join in our popular Be Curious event. We value our position at the heart of our local community, and Be Curious is a fantastic opportunity for young – and not-so-young – people to learn more about the work that we do at the University of Leeds.

“While we hope Be Curious will educate, we really want the event to entertain and inspire. Everyone at the University is committed to supporting and engaging with young people across our city and region, giving them the opportunity to be creative and develop critical thinking skills.”

As a part of the day’s activities, Be Curious will hold a fun and interactive theatre workshop open to anyone aged between 9-16, held by stage@leeds young company. The organisation is an inclusive and accessible creative space for young people. 

In addition, the Marks & Spencer archive will be open, giving the opportunity to discover the amazing collection with exciting hands-on activities and the chance to meet Percy Pig. 

Dr Alexa Ruppertsberg, Head of Public Engagement with Research, said: “Be Curious is the highlight of our year. We love opening the doors to the University and welcoming families from across the city.

It gives young people a chance to interact with different new ideas and topics in a really hands on way, hopefully inspiring them to think outside the box. It is a fantastic opportunity for researchers to share their important work and the impact it will have on lives.”

Dr Alexa Ruppertsberg, Head of Public Engagement with Research

The programme is split into four areas of the University:

This year, Be Curious is delighted to be a Child Friendly Leeds Ambassador. There is no need to book, and all activities are free. The full line-up of events can be found on the Be Curious website.

Arts, Humanities and Culture Programme Highlights 

Parkinson Court 

Who is a Witch?: DIY Spell Books from Macbeth to Harry Potter

What do witches do? How do you know who is a witch? Come and explore the idea of witchcraft and also get the chance to make your very own DIY spell book!

Women in film: Behind the scenes with Leeds Animation Workshop

Have you heard about Leeds Animation Workshop? This women’s collective has been making progressive films about social issues since the 1970s. Come and explore their unique archive and get hands-on with some filmmaking processes! 

Photo-graphy stories

Using old, damaged photographs that have bits missing, we are going to make new pictures. From memories and old stories, we are going to make new stories that build into an ‘exhibition in a day’.

Baines Wing

Building Reading: Foundations, Families and Fun!

Using construction brick models, we’ll explore what’s really going on in our heads when we read. You’ll also have the chance to try out fun reading tasks and decorate a bookmark to take home with you. 

Board reading? 

Do you always understand what you’re reading? Sometimes you need to know a lot of things to understand what the words mean. We’re going to share some games that can help you become a word detective- finding the meaning behind the words in your books. 

Michael Sadler Building

Star*ts music and spoken word performance

Star*ts is an immersive experience with music and spoken word performances. Its creation is inspired by the origins of the universe. Performances will happen throughout the day so drop by and stay as long as you want! This will be held throughout the day in the Banham Theatre. 

Further information

Picture Credit: Simon and Simon Photography. 

For more information, please contact Corporate Communications Officer, Rebecca Hurrey on