From the 11-18th March 2017, the Bath Taps into Science festival engaged thousands of people in a flurry of science like never before. The festival saw 59 different events and reached out to almost 8,500 people across the week.
The week was packed full of free hands-on workshops, demos, activities and performances, rounding off the week with the Schools Fair on Friday and the Family Fair in Victoria Park on Saturday.
On Friday 17th March, 1,700 primary school students came up onto campus to interact with hands on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) exhibitions. There were 42 different exhibitions presented by researchers, secondary school students and local technology and engineering companies.
Students enjoying and interacting with the exhibits at the Schools Fair on Friday
There was a lot of positive feedback from the day, a teacher said “It’s my first time so it’s been brilliant for me to see my children walking around really independently especially what’s really lovely is my SEN children being able to independently access a lot of what is going on so it’s been fantastic”
Another teacher said “It’s really brilliant, the students are having a really good time it’s been really fascinating to see their knowledge already and how they’re developing it here and your guys are really helping them to do that it’s been brilliant, thank you”
At the Family Fair in Victoria Park on Saturday 18th March, the Bath Taps into Science events team welcomed 4,000 spectators throughout the day. There were 30 interactive STEM exhibitions to investigate, a planetarium show, roaming dinosaurs, a camera obscurer, liquid nitrogen demos, a STEM craft tent, a photo booth and plenty of coffee and food stands. There was also a cake sale that raised a fantastic £207.33 for Comic Relief!
When asked to describe the atmosphere one visitor said “It’s a lot of excitement and a lot of curiosity which is really great when it comes to science”
One of the chemistry exhibitors said “we are getting a lot of people in today, it’s going really well so far, we’ve spoken to lots of young kids they seem really keen and also parents too, it’s a really good day.” He summarised the day as “fun engaging and great”
One of our younger visitors said “I found out a lot of stuff that I had no idea about that I didn’t think could do it, I didn’t think fruit could make electricity”
Dinosaurs at the Family Fair in Victoria Park!
Throughout the week there were a number of workshops and activities in schools and across the university campus. Primary school students got stuck into chemistry by investigating the weird properties of slime, others were civil engineers for the day as they investigated the strongest shapes for building bridges. Other workshops across the week had KS2 students growing crystals, designing new particles, playing laser light pianos and building rockets. Secondary school students extracted their own DNA and took it home in a necklace, whereas others investigated probability with the Mathletes from the University of Bath.
Students making slime, building bridges, designing new particles and investigating the centre of mass during the workshops across the week
For the first time ever, Bath Taps into Science had a fantastic public programme of events. This included talks on gender in science and big data. There was a musical performance about women in science and a physics comedy about a scientist getting sucked into his experiment. This year the Family Talk was given by Professor Saiful Islam on Fuelling the Future. The audience of over 200 spectators enjoyed the explosions and fire whilst being guided through a story about energy.
When interviewed after the show some of the younger spectators said “I really like all the experiments” and “It was interesting and I like the explosions”. They described the show as “very interesting” and “amazing”.
Saiful demonstrating the energy in a hydrogen balloon on the left and spectators on the right after the talk
The Bath Taps into Science team are feeling exhilarated, and slightly exhausted, from such a fantastic week of events. The festival manager, Andrew Ross said “This year we reached nearly 8,500 people across the week through 59 different events. At the family fair we reached 4000 people alone. It is such a great opportunity to engage with schools and the wider community. We hope we have inspired children and families with the programme of events we delivered across the week.”
Keep up to date with the post-festival photos and videos on Twitter @bath_taps, follow Bath Taps into Science on Facebook and get involved with the conversation using the hashtag #bathscifest. Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter at www.bathtapsintoscience.com/events to ensure you hear about next year’s events first.