Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Exciting Year Ahead

Hello and even though the holidays are a distant memory, welcome to a new school year.

We have some great things happening and wanted to share them with you so that you will be in the loop especially when it comes to your planning.

Over this school year we will be running special discounts for certain shows starting with a treat for the second half of this term.

Sorry to mention the C word but as a Christmas treat we are offering primary schools 20% off Inside the Rainbow our show all about light ( the room looks likes Santa's Grotto so it is very appropriate plus we will include some seasonal coloured demos)


February is our birthday month - we will have been running as a company for 7 years so we are offering 25% off any booking made for that month


March 8th - 17th 2019 will be British Science Week and we will be running our incredibly popular 50% off the special themed show for primary schools - the British Association have chosen the theme JOURNEYS for 2019 so we will be putting our thinking caps on and coming up with a brand new show and workshop(s). As soon as we have something to share we will let you all know!
We will also be offering this discount throughout the whole of March because we get so booked up that we can't fit everyone in


Wednesday, 15 August 2018

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Today is Helen's birthday and I thought it would be a great way to celebrate by sharing some of her best moments from our time together as science presenters.


We started working together in 2007 as part of the education team at Catalyst Science Discovery Centre

and then in 2011 we jumped off a cliff together to create Science2U to share science with schools throughout the North West and N. Wales.





Helen is our organiser - she makes sure we have all our ducks in a row especially as far as finance is concerned. She makes sure we get paid by schools and she pays the bills.












She also has a brilliant talent for hunting out a bargain as far as kit is concerned. She scours the shops looking for things we can use  in the shows and often gets quite funny looks at the stuff she buys ( her mini baths are a famous part of the bath bomb experience)

Often in the shows it will be Helen that actually does the demonstration and I will do the talking so most of the pictures that get taken are of her.












She has such a gentle way with little ones that they love coming out to volunteer ( she usually chooses our volunteers and is famous for not being bribed by chocolate!)

She loves getting out into the audience to interact with everyone




She is great at working out routes to the gig and finding out exactly how to get into schools - not always the easiest thing to do.

She liaises with the school office to make sure everyone is expecting us

So Happy Birthday Helen and thanks for being one half of our exciting adventure.







Monday, 23 July 2018

What a Super Book!

A friend who is a book reviewer shared this wonderful little gem with me this week and I couldn't resist spreading the word!



Min is a microbe. She is small. Very small. In fact so small that you'd need to look through a microscope to see her. Or you can simply open this book and take Min on an adventure to amazing places she's never seen before - like the icy glaciers of your tooth or the twisted, tangled jungle that is your shirt




Written for children of all ages but especially suitable for the youngest this book explores microbes in such a charming way that you get totally wrapped up in the adventures of Min.


Every place you explore with Min is well known to everyone especially little ones and as they are encouraged to touch their teeth, their shirt even inside their belly button we discover who is probably living there and why.


At the every end of the book we see that even though our new friends are little cartoons their shape and behaviour is not random but based on real microbes.

And if you simply cannot resist actually licking the book? Right on the back cover is a small shiny circle just for you!

A beautiful idea sharing the amazing world of the Scanning Electron Microscope and microbes all around us.
Written by Idan Ben-Barak with  images by Julian Frost and SEM images by Linnea Rundgren




I loved it and will certainly be buying my grandson a copy and we will get my microscope out!





Monday, 23 April 2018

GDPR

As many of you know new rules about data protection and collection come into force at the end of May.
We will have to comply with the rules along with many other small businesses and this could affect those of you subscribing to our newsletter.
Messages have been sent to everyone on our mailing list which is and has always been an opt in/by your request only list - we have never just sent it out blindly.

We have changed our website to encourage people to download it directly and so avoid the need to sign up to anything and for us to keep data.

We have also updated our privacy policy and made it easily available to read/download.

Official message over....back to normal business.....enjoying great science! 

Monday, 26 March 2018

A Review of our British Science Week 2018 adventures

March 9th - 18th 2018
This year we decided to create a brand new show to go with the British Science Association chosen theme Discovery and Exploration
Our show "Where Shall We Go Next?" looked at inventions, scientists and engineers in recent years with a focus on trying to share diversity.

So Monday morning bright and early we set off for Hayfield Special school to spend the day with KS1. They had a short version of our Science Magic show followed by 6 short classroom sessions.
We packed up a box of exciting goodies for some hands on science and moved from classroom to classroom sharing the fun.
Some of the children have very profound needs so sometimes our science was sensory and quite simple but some of the children are exceedingly interested in science - a feature of their autism and we had to be on our toes because they know so much about their favourite subject!

On Tuesday we returned to Hayfield for a day with KS2. This time we took dry ice which gave our show a real WOW! factor. The classroom sessions were a little longer and for some groups quite intense as far as the actual science. The range of questions and statements of fact were amazing.

Back home to unpack and repack for a totally different third day

We were off to some good friends at Bidston Village CE school to deliver our new show. We were all very excited because this was the first time we had done the entire show.
The show is divided into four stories and the forensic one was certainly the most popular with KS2. Our dead body caused quite a stir as did dressing up in a bullet proof vest and a Tyvek scene of crime suit.
In the afternoon we worked with year 4 looking at plastics all around us. The classes were amazed at our "Not a plastic cup" made from corn and really enjoyed getting up close and personal with the hydrogel balls.

Day four and we were off to a tiny and very old ( 1600s) school Woodchurch CE.
Again the show went down extremely well and our colour change umbrella was very popular as was the car windscreen wiper from the rainy day story.
In the afternoon we worked with class sized groups exploring plastics and seeing just how much water a disposable nappy would hold.






Day 5 saw us going over to Warrington to St Benedicts CPS and having a super time especially playing the pirate game discovering the link between sailors, Vitamin C and the cold virus.
We were the special guests at the golden tables at lunchtime (children earn a place at a special table by good behaviour in break times).
In the afternoon we stayed in the hall and year 2 followed by year 6 came to us. They especially enjoyed exploring the thermo moulding plastic and putting hands into the hydrogel ball container.

Day 6 - yes we worked on Saturday too -  we were off across country to Alsager to take part in a Big Bang@ school event. Families, friends and feeder primary schools had all been invited to a day of activities and we were the big show in the main hall.
We did three shows during the day with lots of fire, flame and dry ice. One of the AllAboutStem team Liam took some amazing pictures which you can see here:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheBigBangNorthWest/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1776803325696868



Day 7 - we couldn't fit everyone in so spilled over into a second week!
This time we were at Oakdene primary in Rainhill with our show and a couple of brilliant dead bodies and then working with year 5 & 6 who knew lots about pollution and plastic.

Finally we were done!
An absolutely brilliant BSW2018 with a great new show which we will tweak and then put into our permanent programme.

Probably the best quote of the week - " I liked it when you killed Riley and drew round him" one of our dead bodies in the forensic scene.

Definitely the best image of the week from BB@Alsager by Liam at AllAboutStem.


Here is a montage of all the fun







Monday, 12 March 2018

BRITISH SCIENCE WEEK 2018 IS HERE!!


 FINALLY BRITISH SCIENCE WEEK IS HERE!

After all the preparation and anticipation we are finally here.

Whether you are doing something hands on - maybe from the activity packs




or joining in the citizen science project by analysing environmental plastics
or getting STEM Ambassadors in to talk and demonstrate to your pupils
 or like some of our friends you are getting a company in to do incredible science shows
SHOUT OUT to
Hayfield Special school       Bidston Village primary school        Woodchurch CE school
Oakdene primary       St Benedicts primary       Alsager  School

Then we hope you have an amazing time and we will post all about our adventures in a couple of weeks time hopefully with some great images to share.

See you soon!!




Friday, 9 March 2018

BRITISH SCIENCE WEEK 2018 Activity packs review 3


Secondary Pack
The range of activities suggested in this pack covers science, geography, archaeology and design technology.
Some of the activities could be theoretical if practical is not suitable - some of the designs and data research.
Most activities are quite short but could well be incorporated into a longer project.
Growing seeds over a hidden wall to create a crop marker and looking in detail at a local water source all have the opportunity to link to the locality.
Designing polar food with a calorific value but a low weight to carry with you on an arctic adventure
Designing a pengrip for ergonomic use to aid strain when writing those loooong essays!

One of my favourites is the ever popular Squashed Tomatoes from the charity Practical Action.
 The challenge comes from real life in Nepal where mountain tomato growers need to get their produce down the mountain to market undamaged. There is supporting resource in posters, video and powerpoint plus teachers notes and worksheets but the real event is to build a contraption to carry the tomatoes down a slope undamaged without throwing them or making  them "fly"!
If you don't want to use real food you could use soft red playdough which shows any damage easily.



The second activity I like is Colours to Dye For examining natural and man made dyes supported by the Textile Skills Academy

The activity itself is quite simple - comparing depth of colour in different weight fabrics but I would extend it to explore natural dyes - onion skins work well so do nettles and other greens plus you could try any red vegetable or fruit. There is opportunity to research online for other natural dyes.
Different fabrics take up dyes differently so you could try a range of fabrics and compare  using man made dyes.
With older pupils you could explore salts and mordants - quite a bit of nice chemistry.


Whatever you choose have an amazing British Science Week and we will see you all on the other side!!