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If you've ever wondered about the role of the muscle, come and meet us at IF Oxford - the Oxford science and ideas Festival on Saturday 8th & 15th October, when our researchers will be challenging members of the public to play our "Muscle Switch" game and exploring why strength differs between us.

About IF Oxford 

IF Oxford  is an independent charity which runs a cultural programme that inspires communities across Oxford to create an annual science and ideas Festival in October for thousands of people to enjoy.


This year, Prof Carlo Rinaldi (and his colleagues Ambra Speciale, Theodora Markati, Hanifi Muhammad, Antonio Garcia Guerra and Anna Kordala) from the department of Paediatrics, are looking forward to engaging with the public about how muscle promotes overall wellbeing, what makes us strong and why strength differs between us.


Muscle Switch Game ScreenshotThe public will be invited to play “Muscle Switch” an interactive video game where a user grips a hand held dynamometer and by doing so, their strength powers an astronaut in space, to collect space prizes with ultimate aim of spaceship taking off. It's not just for gym enthusiasts and athletes, everyone can play! Users can expect to gain an important understanding of muscle damage and repair and consider whole-body wellbeing alongside what is considered ‘normal strength’.



MA MD PhD Carlo Rinaldi - Associate ProfessorProf Carlo Rinaldi who led the development of the Muscle Switch game commented: Our innovative game lasts about 1 min and the idea is to have a brief explanation at the beginning about the concept of transcription and regulation of muscle mass, followed by playing sessions – this could be a tournament for example, or simply kids playing one after the other. The concept of the game is that you have to apply maximum force to a dynamometer to move the astronaut and collect the pieces of its spaceship. Each user will be invited to play twice, the first go will be using their maximum strength and the second go will apply varied strength so a user can see, feel and understand what it means to be strong and learn how biology plays its part in developing different muscle strengths."





How to find us

Saturday 8th October 2022, from 11am - Explorazone -Wesley Memorial Methodist Church, New Inn Hall Street, Oxford OX1 2DH

For one hour, from 11am, Explorazone will be open just for adults and children and the families of those who are within the autistic spectrum or who have other neurodiverse conditions. Join the researchers to explore and discuss science and ideas in a quieter and less-crowded space. You can arrive at any time during your half-hour arrival slot, then stay for as long as you like. Last entry 4.30pm, event closes at 5pm. Book here


Saturday 15th October 2022, from 11am -TechWorks Oxford Works (beside Oxford Factory), Oxford Business Park, South, Oxford OX4 2SU

The Festival is taking over Oxford’s growing knowledge quarter for the first time! This family-friendly zone is special cluster of extremes, taking on the largest, hottest, most detailed and carefully constructed science for you to see. Visit Oxford Works and meet the experts at the heart of science and innovation in the city.Free parking and refreshments available to purchase. Book here


Pay what you decide 

Please note IF Oxford uses Pay What You Decide (PWYD) ticketing so you can choose to pay whatever you want, or can afford. You can make your donation during booking or after the event and the amount you pay is up to you. A suggested donation of £5 per person for each event enjoyed will help secure the future of the Festival. IF Oxford is run by The Oxfordshire Science Festival (charity #1151361) and your donation may be eligible for Gift Aid, where a charity can claim back an extra 25% of your donation at no cost to you. Find out more here