Celebrating Christmas with a Big Bang

Posted by er134 at Jan 02, 2014 12:34 PM |
Leicester scientists share festive flavours of ice cream at local school festival
 Celebrating Christmas with a Big Bang

© Redmoor STEM club

On Friday 13 December, a group from our Department of Chemistry attended the Big Bang at Redmoor Academy to provide fun workshops to primary school children.

Redmoor Academy is a small school in Hinckley, Leicestershire, with just over 500 pupils enrolled and this was their first experience of running a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) festival.

In fact, this was the first event of this type to be held in a school and the organisers had set out to ensure that their young visitors had a genuine 'Big Bang' experience. The event was supported by Engineering UK who are promoting these smaller events to ensure that every school child in the UK has access to the aims and ideals of the Big Bang, namely to promote STEM careers to young people and to promote engineering, in its myriad of formats, as a future career for girls and boys alike.

Organiser Jo Cox said of the event: "Our aim was to ensure that all our visitors gained some experience of how science, maths, technology & engineering link together. We wanted them to see that these STEM subjects are relevant to their everyday lives and perhaps spark a genuine curiosity in where their studies might lead them in the future."

ice cream
© Redmoor STEM club

There were almost 400 pupils on site, from 18 Leicestershire schools, who were treated to a day of Christmas-themed STEM activities. The 'Cool Chemists' were running an activity called ‘Colder than the North Pole’ where they demonstrated making a range of Christmas-themed ice creams, including Christmas pudding ice cream and Rudolph’s Surprise, using liquid nitrogen. Not only was this great fun but also gave the budding scientists a clear demonstration of some spectacular kitchen science and served up over 300 ice creams over the course of the day.

Carrying on the winter theme, Corey Evans, Senior Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at the University, put on an interactive demonstration lecture as Frosty the Snowman where the young audience were able to freeze soap bubbles, shatter flowers and shown how to create a hammer out of a banana and liquid nitrogen.

It is hoped that the event will be repeated next December. For more information about the Big Bang at Redmoor Academy please contact J.Cox (STEM coordinator) or for information about the Big Bang in general, please refer to their website.

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