Science showoff

October 4, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Posted in Events | Leave a comment
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Got something scientific you want to shout about? Science Showoff is the perfect opportunity – it’s an open mic night for scientists, science communicators, science teachers, historians and philosophers of science, students, science popularisers and anyone else with something to show off about science. Happening on a monthly basis at the Wilmington Arms in Clerkenwell, there’s every chance that this free event will have something for everyone!

The first night takes place on 4th October, and keep an eye on www.scienceshowoff.org for future dates and more information.

7.30-10pm @ Wilmington Arms, 69 Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4RL

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The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

July 6, 2011 at 11:32 am | Posted in Do, Events | 1 Comment
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Celebrate science by heading to the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition and see how science is shaping our world and question other UK scientists about their work. With over 20 exhibits, ranging from Airport Security and Bats & Bugs to Hearing Shapes and Rotten Fish & Fossils – there’s going to be something for everyone.

Entry is free, more information at royalsociety.org/summer-science/2011

5-10th July | 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London

The ETA Aquarid Meteor shower

May 17, 2011 at 9:37 am | Posted in Events, Watch | Leave a comment
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Look up to the skies for the ETA Aquarid Meteor shower, the first of two showers that occur each year as the Earth passes through the dust released by Halley’s Comet. The Eta Aquarid meteors – visible from mid-April to late-May – appear to radiate from the constellation Aquarius and will peak between 5th and 7th of May. Estimates suggest we’ll be able to see around 10 meteors an hour, but make sure you’ve got the coffee and blankets out – Aquarius tends to rise an hour or so before morning twilight.

Yuri Gagarin – 50 years on

March 30, 2011 at 7:53 am | Posted in Competition, Events, Read | 1 Comment
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On 12 April 1961, Yuri Gagarin made the first human flight in space – this year marks the 50th anniversary of his flight and to celebrate YuriGagarin50.org are aiming to get as many people as possible to ‘launch’ a rocket at 12 noon on 12th April.

They’ve got instructions on how to make an air-powered rocket here. The National Space Centre is also joining the YuriGagarin50.org initiative and their site has instructional videos to make a blow rocket and fizzy flyer – so there really is no excuse for not joining in with the fun.

YuriGagarin50.org contains lots of fascinating information about the Russian astronaut, his space flight and his visit to the UK in 1961 and pulls together other people’s memories of the day.

In celebration, Vix Southgate has also written and illustrated a comic-book style book detailing the flight as it happened. More information and a preview of the book – plus teacher/parent resources – are available at www.vixsouthgate.co.uk.

Vix has been lovely enough to offer a copy of her book as a prize for one lucky reader – to be in with a chance to win, just email your name, address, institution or organisation to kerry.taylorsmith@laboratorynews.co.uk – as ever first out of the hat wins!

It’s Climate Week

March 23, 2011 at 10:05 am | Posted in Events | Leave a comment
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It’s Climate Week – the week we should be spending thinking about how to save our planet and encouraging people to think about climate change. It coincides with Earth Hour on Saturday – between 8.30-9.30pm, everyone is encouraged to switch of their lights and sit in the dark for an hour!

The focus of Climate Week is on how we can combat climate change, and will include events all around the country to focus attention on the challenges of climate change, highlight the solutions and create chances to share ideas and inspire action. It’s even got support from likes of Tesco, Aviva and EDF Energy.

We want to know what you’ve got planned? Al Murray is hosting a pub quiz, Blue Peter is going green and we can all purchase a Climate Week t-shirt. Leave us a comment and let us know what you, your lab or organisation, or your community plan to do for Climate Week.

For more information visit:

Climate Week: www.climateweek.com
Earth Hour: www.earthhour.org

Big Bang 2011 – the video

March 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Posted in Events, Lab News videos | Leave a comment

We took loads of pictures and even a few videos while we were at the Big Bang last week and we’ve put them together in an Animoto video for your viewing pleasure!

Now this is a first attempt – let us know if you have any feedback…

Big Bang 2011

March 14, 2011 at 11:00 am | Posted in Events | Leave a comment
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Arriving at the Big Bang I was greeted with a lot of noise – and that was just the science!

Bang Goes the Theory

Bang Goes the Theory

I was amazed at the sheer size of the event – and the amount of schools that had packed up for the day and made their way to London’s ExCeL. The reception alone was a bustling hub of activity, and as I made my way into ICC Capital Hall I was blown away.

Primary school children were making models with clay and exploring Wallace and Gromit’s World of Invention road show. Also in the BBC Zone were representatives from Bang goes the Theory telling kids about the inside of body armour and hitting their fingers – covered in the orange-gooey innards of the armour – with a rubber mallet. To the children’s surprise, the mallet just bounced off and their fingers unharmed – that’s the way to get them interested in science!

McLaren had also set up shop here – complete with a Formula1 racing car! Needless to say there was a lot of interest in that, and the racetrack where children could shoot two mini-race cars out of their block in a race.

Next I headed downstairs and began to work my way around some of the stands where secondary school children were showcasing their entries into the National Science and Engineering Competition. From a human hamster wheel to testing whether the cocoa content of chocolate affected it’s melting in the mouth – there entries were incredibly diverse.

Mini-rovers from UKSA

Mini-rovers from UKSA

The entries were split up into four sections – Body Talk, Energise, Go Global and The Next Factor – with each interspersed with stands and experiments from the likes Diamond Light Source and Isis, The Natural History Museum and the UK Space Agency.

Minus the few uninterested kids who just seemed happy to be out of school for the day, most attendees embraced the event and got involved in the science happening all around them. The queues for the race cars, to sit in the simulated cock-pit of an RAF jet and to talk to a robot are testament to that. However, the exhibits like Welding with Chocolate – basically building with Milky Bars – and making your own snot appeared to capture the most interest from adults and children alike!

There are more images from the day on our Flickr page

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