Friday, 19 August 2011

So another week of holiday events ends! I wonder how many families will be having a go at the experiments this weekend? Sales of the booklet have gone really well plus lots of questions about further exploration. It is great to see families all having a go at the experiments not just the kids - I love it when grandma wants to get messy with the cornflour - that is what hands on science really is!!
Some other people expanded their horizons this week - huge thanks to all the helpers that took part - this was definitely not a one man band! Some of the Catalyst staff left their normal work and came to muck in... and made a brilliant job of it. Special mention to Nathan - the slime king!! and to Sian - queen of the gloop.

just one problem - who realised just how long it wold take to get rid of a tub of gloop after we had finished running on it!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

kitchen chemistry to the MAX

This week our family activity is kitchen chemistry. It is a brief demo session followed by about 30 minutes of intense hands on. We have had people walking on custard ( well cornflour really) and making slime plus home made indicator testing and so on.
One thing I forgot - summer is not the time for red cabbage but I managed to create a very passable indicator using blackberries which smells so much nicer than the cabbage and works just fine!
Everyone has to pitch in and help with this one as it is very staff intensive - and we are two staff down - one has moved on and one is off long term sick! What am I doing to folk!! So all the volunteers have been thrown in at the deep end - even someone who only wanted to observe Learning outside the classroom for two days - we don't do observing but we do roll our sleeves up and get involved! And boy Vikki has - brilliantly!
So more of the same tomorrow - plus sales of my book ( well booklet really!) have raised over £7 so far - which is not bad as it all helps to go towards the consumables!!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

It's been ages since I have been able to post anything and sincere apologies to those who follow this blog.
Life has been hectic both at home and at the science centre.
At home - we finally lost the battle to save our pusscat Smartie which left a huge whole in our lives. We had no intentions of getting more cats - this was to be the last in the long line of Halliday chocolate named cats. But the house was so quiet and if one of us was away we really noticed how silent the house was!
So we now have kittens - and there is a reason the house was quiet - quiet being a lovely description....and not what we have now. Cute and cuddly and mayhem is what we have right now. So no computers - they managed to break my laptop within a week! No jewellery making - beads are way too tempting and very little anything else..... and no blog!! The boys are called Theo and Bromo ( OK so think about it... all our cats have been named after chocolate bars....think "theobromocacao.......")

Add to this the fact that Carrie Anne long time education team member and Egyptologist finally took the plunge and launched into the big wide world of the National Trust! So Helen and I are running the place over the summer - and not really firing on all cylinders because we are so rushed. Helen only works part time so at the end of a day I am lying down in a dark room with a BIG drink!!

Summer holiday activities stared well with Musical Junk - you guessed it musical intruments from recycled rubbish - very Blue Peter!
Now we are into Bubble Trouble - bubbles of all sizes. This is a great day out for all ages but especially the little ones - as long as they don't drink the bubbles. When you are 3 it is hard to remember when to suck and when to blow!!

We also have a brilliant  project running in the lab to celebrate International year of Chemistry 2011. Working with Keele uni and RSC NW Trust we have created a molecule treasure trail around the building linking molecules to our exhibits and in the lab you can build molecules of all shapes and sizes from MolyMod.

It is Tuesday end of play and we have had two great days of bubbles - we are all damp but we have had good visitor numbers.
Next week is the science of your summer holidays so lots of sandcastles and liquid nitrogen ice cream.

All I need now is a little peace and quiet to finish off the I won't be doing it at home then!!!