The University of Southampton

Blood on the Library Floor - return of award-winning event

Published: 9 March 2010

A murder has taken place in the Library – Who did it? How? and Why? – In an exciting and creative event for National Science and Engineering Week, schoolchildren from Southampton and the local region will be invited to solve the mystery.

Blood on the Library Floor takes place at the University of Southampton’s Science and Engineering Day on Saturday 13 March, and has been devised by Dr Reena Pau of the School of Electronics and Computer Science following the success of last year's award-winning ‘Blood on the Kitchen Floor’.

Actors from the Nuffield Theatre and graduate students will be working alongside Reena to create a unique event which allows children to identify the murderer by solving ‘clues’ using technologies such as robotics, solar power, codebreaking, audio technology and echo-location sound mazes.

The event will begin with a reconstruction of the events that led up to the murder intended to draw the children into the story and giving them the motivation and context to solve each of the clues. The inspiration for the event came from Reena’s work in schools as well as her passion for getting girls enthusiastic about science and technology. While interviewing schoolchildren for her PhD project she found that many didn’t understand how technology can be used in the real world. This suggested to her that merging theatre and technology would provide a narrative showing the real-world context in which science can be used.

‘The narrative is really funny,’ said Reena, ‘but has the serious purpose of drawing the children into the story. As they work their way round the different technologies, driving solar-powered boats or using robots to retrieve objects from forbidden places, they will be able to understand the importance of these important technologies and hopefully be excited by their potential.’

Blood on the Library Floor takes place on Saturday 13th March at the University of Southampton’s Highfield Campus. Blood on the Library Floor website; to book a place on the event, which runs three times during the day, email

For further information contact Joyce Lewis; tel. +44(0)023 8059 5453.

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