Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Cheshire Tour

WOW! We have had an amazing couple of weeks touring Cheshire and Merseyside delivering Christmas Science shows.

A frosty Tuesday morning bright and early we headed over to Sefton for a Chemistry at Work evet sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry and organised by MerseySTEM.

Numerous companies - STEM ambassadors - shared their work, science and for us gadgets and gizmos with groups of 14 and 15 year olds. We explained the role of science presenters and how we design our shows and share science concepts. But probably the favourite bit of our session - no freebies here - you make your own BATHBOMBS to take home!

The next day - a very foggy and extremely cold morning - at about 6.00 - we were off to Macclesfield  As the sun rose over the countryside we had an incredible view of frost covered trees and fields. When we arrived at the school it was so cold the gate locks were frozen! The hall hadn't really warmed up and the poor students were so cold from their journey to school that the volunteers couldn't change the colour of the thermochromic plastic straws! Still, we soon warmed them up and even the reluctant year 10 students soon joined in and began to volunteer. I think it was the dry ice bubbles and Helen's persuasiveness that did it.

Next stop - Crewe - Ruskin school with it's amazing Victorian school hall decorated for Christmas and looking like something from a Dickens tale. Unfortunately we were in the sport hall - we needed the fire alarms off - but we had a great audience all ready to join in, including the teachers!

Next day - is it Thursday? Up early again - we are off to Sandbach girls school - and what a welcome we received there. This time we were in the main hall up on the stage with over 200 girls all eager to enjoy themselves so certainly no reluctance to volunteer this time. The girls were great - they knew their science and we wowed them with our demonstrations especially the WHOOSH bottle which really did whoosh in the warm hall - almost destroying the Christmas decorations!! OOOPS!

After a quick coffee and mince pie - thank you very much - we were off again this time to Warrington Lysander school and a drama theatre with silver glitter backdrop and spotlights - we've always been a bit dramatic! The audience was younger this time - year 7 - so lots of the science was new to them and for some almost like magic.

All too quickly we were at the end of the day and making our way home.
Tomorrow would be totally different - a full day in a primary school... watch this space.........

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Christmas Rush

Well what a surprise! There we were gearing down for the holidays so to speak - with 2 more bookings to do - when suddenly out of the blue we have 5 schools in the next week!

We are off on a grand tour of Cheshire next week - Macclesfield,  Crewe, Warrington and Sandbach. Topped and tailed by a day in Sefton and one in Maghull.

So I have just put the finishing touches to a seasonal secondary show based around chemical reactions. This is funded by the RSC so I have used our usual secondary show - I Wasn't Expecting That - dropped most of the biology and physics and boosted the chemistry plus added a few seasonal demonstrations and changed around colours to add a more Christmas feel - plus lots of instant snow!

The day in Maghull is at a primary school and will be more hands on in the classrooms so we will need to create some practicals for the really young ones - the older ones can make slime and bath bombs but I need to have a good think about what we do with reception - all good work towards our new session at the NW ASE conference next March!

We will also be going to MMU at Didsbury just after the Christmas holidays to work with student teachers on being creative with the science curriculum.

It's all go!!

So hopefully there will be pictures galore and a write up of our adventures -  watch this space.....