Thursday, 2 December 2010

science on a shoestring

The centre is becoming quieter as the holidays approach. Many schools are busy with nativity preparations and of course we have the snow!
So the Education Team are tackling some of those need to do jobs that we never have time for.
After trying to be very creative for a few days and come up with some new ideas for the holiday programme 2011 I think I have found a suitable balance.
What I didn't want to happen was what I did a few years ago when I advertised an almost totally brand new programme and as each school holiday approached I went into meltdown trying to write new shows and workshops. But as I said, last year I used all the old favourites so I need some new things for the coming year.
How about The Science of Your Summer Holidays - how does suncream work; what are freckles; can you make a great sandcastle; what makes the best sunglasses? And of course we will finish with ice cream - made with liquid nitrogen of course!
I also want to do a molecular trail around the building as part of the International Year of Chemistry 2011 celebrations. I have a little money to buy some great construction kits for making molecules but what I would really like to do is buy lots more and have a room full of people making molecules - it is actually good fun.
I need to come up with about 16 different events - 10 large and 6 smaller which is actually quite a supreme effort!
Of course we will make soap - we were a Victorian soap factory after all; and everyone loves the hands on bubbles workshop. Carrie Anne is going to create an Egyptian medicine show that will complement the Marvellous Medicine show so I think we will do that in February.
I don't think I can face another year of the chocolate show at Easter so I am going to create a slightly different take on sweet things - how about looking at why we like sweet things so much, what is does to our brains, can you taste without smelling too; chemical reaction sweets like honeycomb. I think that will go down well and of course we can always have the chocolate fountains at the end - it is after all easter!

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