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.

About In the Zone

Inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Games, in 2012 the Wellcome Trust is supporting activities to engage the public with the science of how their body works during sport, exercise, movement and rest. This includes leading a major UK-wide initiative - In the Zone - incorporating free experiment kits for every UK school, a family exhibition touring open-air venues and festivals, an In the Zone pop-up touring London 2012-themed community events, and 'Science Junkie: In the Zone', a live show with demonstrations and audience participation touring schools and festivals around the UK. The Wellcome Trust is delighted to have gained the London 2012 Inspire Mark for the In the Zone initiative and to feature in the official London 2012 education programme Get Set+.

About In the Zone: Touring exhibition

A free interactive experience will tour from March to September 2012 around the UK, visiting all four nations. The exhibition, designed and delivered by At-Bristol Science Centre, will engage people of all ages with the science of our amazing human body relating to sport and movement.

The exhibition includes five high-tech interactive exhibits, a live and responsive show with audience participation, and the opportunity for visitors to share data, images and video after the experience via social media.

The content of the exhibition and show covers the major human body systems relating to sport, activity and movement, with exhibits including:

Power Zone - investigate how high you can jump and how softly you can land Blood Zone - view your veins and measure the hardworking pump at the centre of it all Strength Zone - put your body through its paces to explore muscles, energy and fatigue Reaction Zone - test your reaction times against friends and family Speed Zone - measure your speed off the starting line and race down our very own running track.

About Science Junkie: In the Zone

Science Junkie: In the Zone’ is an interactive, action-packed live science show that explores the physiology and sports engineering that make an Olympic and Paralympic athlete a champion. Presented by BBC Three Science Presenter Greg Foot and Astronomer & Adventurer Huw James, the show will be delivered at schools and festivals throughout 2012.

About At-Bristol

At-Bristol is a leading science centre in the UK and a major player in the science centre movement. At-Bristol makes and develops new exhibitions for Science centres and schools worldwide to purchase and hire. The centre aims to be world-class in making a distinctive, valued and recognised contribution to science learning and public engagement with science. As a registered charity, At-Bristol has hosted over four million visits since its opening in June 2000 and continually strives towards making science accessible to all. The charity receives no direct central government funding and support from visitors, members, corporate partners and donors means it can continue to make science relevant and fun for future generations.

About Get Set

Get Set is the official London 2012 education programme for schools and colleges across the UK. It provides free learning resources for students aged 3-19 to find out more about the Games and explore the Olympic Values of excellence, friendship and respect and the Paralympic Values of determination, inspiration, courage and equality. It also offers access to exciting prizes and opportunities through participation in competitions and partner programmes. There are over 22 500 schools and colleges registered with Get Set.

In the Zone is part of Get Set+ and is featured within the Practical Learning theme.

The Get Set network is the London 2012 reward and recognition scheme for the active community of schools and colleges across the UK that are demonstrating a commitment to living the Olympic and Paralympic Values. Members of the network gain the right to use the London 2012 education logo, and are given priority access to the most exclusive prizes and opportunities.

All schools participating in In the Zone are eligible to receive even greater reward and recognition from London 2012 by joining the Get Set network. Visit the Get Set website for more information.

About the Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust's breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.