Sunday, 30 October 2011

Gunpowder Treason and Plot!

We have just finished Autumn half term holiday week at Catalyst which is usually one of our busiest weeks of the year. This time was no exception.
I have created a show on the theme of Bonfire night so all about gunpowder, fireworks and generally blowing thinks up. As ever I tweak the basic show because I get very easily bored so won't do the same thing over and over. This time I added some spectacular indoor fireworks - I am not sure I would ever use them inside my home - I am sure they would set fire to the place!! but they worked fantastically in the show room.
In the show I talk about fuel which leads onto the custard factory explosion - so then I can do some dust explosions. HSD loss prevention consultants have loaned me a piece of kit - a Hartman tube which they use to test dust explosions.
So I set off icing sugar and because the kit is very safe I can get a volunteer to come and set it off. This time I also added the classic demo where you sprinkle something like coffee whitener over a flame and it was certainly impressive. The finale is the whoosh bottle which always gets a round of applause .
We had full houses for nearly every show and it certainly went down well.

We are taking the show out on the road next week to  Liverpool so I hope they turn the fire alarms off!!!

Friday, 7 October 2011

How many senses have we got?
Really funny week with very little ones!
We have just finished a week of themed activities with mainly younger children based around Healthy Humans. One of the workshops was tasty toothpaste where we make our own bicarbonate of soda based toothpaste and try it out against shop bought ones. It always makes me laugh how many of the little ones offer to let me brush their own teeth with it! We don't of course - we use ceramic tiles with flowers drawn on in permanent marker and they brush the tile but.....
They love making up weird colours - as soon as they realise that the colour really doesn't make the toothpaste work any better they all want purple or brown or orange.

One of the other sessions we have been doing is called Our Super Senses so of course the first question is how many senses do we have....well that is a debate and a half. One little girl was sure we had 9 because we breathe and we have knees - you try responding to that one without grinning!

Today we had 5 groups - 150 little ones aged between 5 and 7 all trying to identify mystery smells and work out what objects were hidden in the shakers. It was really super to see a visually impaired lad be the best in his class and working out the answers - without good eyesight his other senses truly are SUPER!

So I have sent them all home to see what happens if you hold your nose while you eat.... I can imagine some interesting conversations at the dinner table this weekend!