About Us:

Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom
The British Science Association (BSA) is a charity, founded in 1831. Our vision is of a world where science is at the heart of society and culture. We aim to support, grow and diversify the community of people interested and involved in science; and to strengthen their influence over science's direction and place in society. The Norwich Branch was established in Autumn 2016 and is run entirely by volunteers. Please get in touch if you have ideas for events or would like to be involved!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Science Treasure Hunt - Part 2

Hi everyone!

This week I'll be finishing off my summary of the activities we had at the Science Treasure Hunt - don't forget to check out the post from last week to read about Microbial Fuel Cells, Amazing Animal Adaptations and The Chemistry of Smell. 

LOCATION 4 - Solar Scopes and Planets

The Clue: This place shares a name with one of Norwich's shopping centres. Flowers are grown here! (11,7)

For this stall, we teamed up with members of the Norwich Astronomical Society to talk about space and astrophysics. There were solar scopes - special telescopes for safely viewing the sun - available for visitors to use, although the cloudy weather made it slightly difficult to offer this activity all day. Fortunately our volunteers were still able to discuss interesting facts about stars and the planets of our solar system - e.g. Mercury has the fastest orbit in the solar system at 50 km per second and Saturn is the only planet in the solar system which is less dense than water!


LOCATION 5 - The Science of Sound

The Clue: A place for performances; regular events include live music and the Clutter City craft fair. There are lots of bells nearby! (7,4,6) 

Here we focused on sounds and vibrations to give everybody an idea about how our ears work and how different instruments are used to make music. On the stall, we provided equipment to make a DIY record player using a pin and a sheet of paper rolled into a cone; visitors could listen to a recording by running the pin along the grooves of a vinyl record and amplifying the vibrations. Additional activities included visualising the propagation of sound waves with springs and comparing how vibrations travel through solid materials and air.


LOCATION 6 - Turning Tea into Ink 

The Clue: This house has impressive iron gates and is close to the Theatre Royal. Afternoon tea is served here! We're in the music room. (3,8,5) 

On this stall, we wanted to highlight some of the interesting and surprising properties of tea. The main activity here was a quick experiment for turning tea into ink by mixing it with crushed iron tablets. This forms a dark-coloured precipitate because the iron reacts with naturally occurring compounds in the tea called tannins (which are also found in red wine). Other activities involved the use of tea as an acid-base indicator and a discussion about the properties and health benefits of other common chemicals in tea such as caffeine and polyphenols.


Well that brings me to the end of what I wanted to say about our science-themed activities at the Science Treasure Hunt. All that's left for me to do is thank the venues for hosting us and the various contributors for supporting us with the activities and donating to the prize draw. Lastly, this event wouldn't have been a success without the energy and dedication of all our wonderful volunteers! We estimate that we engaged with a total of 600-800 people during the day, which is an excellent result for our first major event. We hope everyone who took part had a great time and we look forward to planning more science events in Norwich soon. :)


Photo credit: Alfie Kirk (http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/people/alfie-kirk).

As always, if you have any thoughts or feedback regarding events, social media activity and blog posts from BSA Norwich then we'd love to hear from you! Also, please get in contact if you'd like to volunteer. :)

2 comments:

  1. What an amazing event! Thanks for all the ingenuity and work that went into it - can't wait to see what you next (once you've recovered!)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Heather - great to hear your feedback :) Overall, we're really pleased with how successful the Science Treasure Hunt was and how enthusiastic + hardworking all our volunteers were! We'll be circulating some emails soon with information about our events coming up over the next few months.

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