Press release

London 2012-inspired science experience debuts at Big Bang Fair in Birmingham

Young people from around the UK will get a hands-on insight into how their bodies work during exercise, movement and rest when the Wellcome Trust’s In the Zone initiative arrives at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham next week.

Inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Games, In the Zone is a national initiative that includes a touring interactive science experience, free science investigation kits for every UK school and a high-energy, action-packed live science show from the Science Junkies.

Looking at their own veins, sharpening their reaction times and racing down a running track are just some of the activities visitors can try out at the In the Zone exhibition. Designed and delivered by At-Bristol, one of the UK's leading science and discovery centres, the pop-up experience is designed to give people a chance to learn more about how their bodies work through five high-tech interactive exhibits.

The In the Zone exhibition will be 'popping up' in its entirety for the first time at the Big Bang Fair, after which it will begin a tour of the UK from May until September - bringing the excitement of London 2012 to all four nations. Free In the Zone experiment kits containing equipment and resources to conduct fun, curriculum-linked investigations into human physiology are arriving in schools throughout March and will be available at the Big Bang Fair for visitors to explore.

Five-time Olympic Gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave CBE has had an active role in the development of the In the Zone initiative. He said: "Athletic performance is not only about being in peak condition, it's about how to prepare yourself, the different mental pressures to overcome and understanding how your body works. In the Zone recreates some of these elements in an accessible way so that the whole family can enjoy and be inspired."

Also at the Big Bang Fair, an exhilarating new live show – 'Science Junkie: In the Zone' - will reveal the science and engineering behind London 2012. How does Usain Bolt's body unleash the explosive energy he needs to run 100 metres in a superhuman 9.58 s? How did Team GB's Mo Farah train to find the extra 1 per cent he needed to grab the 5000-metre world championship? And why are Paula Radcliffe's muscles perfectly suited to marathon running?

Featuring supersized experiments from the free In the Zone kits that are being sent to schools, the Science Junkie team will show what happens inside your body as you exercise.

They will also fire up a wind tunnel, live on stage, to show how sports engineers give Chris Hoy the edge over his fellow cyclists, discuss why high-tech swimsuits have been banned for London 2012, and look at the incredible technology behind Paralympian Oscar Pistorius' 'Cheetahs'. After launching at the Big Bang Fair, the show will tour schools and festivals around the UK throughout 2012.

Clare Matterson, the Director of Medical Humanities and Engagement at the Wellcome Trust, said: "London 2012 will be an inspiring time for both sport and medicine and offers a great opportunity to get people thinking about the capabilities of the human body. With In the Zone, we hope to create a science legacy that gives people of all ages a chance to learn more about how their own bodies work."

The In the Zone initiative has been awarded the Inspire Mark from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and is a key strand of the Practical Learning theme of Get Set+, the official London 2012 education programme.

In the Zone will be at the Big Bang science fair at Birmingham NEC, 15-17 March. For more information about the initiative, exhibition tour dates or details of the free experiment kits, visit the In the Zone website.