Enthusiastic participants aged between 4 and 14 were invited to get hands-on with a range of different experiments led by a team of RSSL scientists and STEM ambassadors.
Each workshop session covered eight different topics, carefully chosen to give a scientific perspective to everyday situations. Handwashing became the story of microbes, while recycling tackled the problem of why plastic is filling our oceans. Basic scientific principles were also addressed including chromatography, surface tension, gases and fire - with props, equipment and examples all used to great effect.
In each case, content and material were tailored according to each age group - either 4-10 years or 11+ - in order to encourage engagement and understanding.
“This is an exciting initiative for us and the first of what we hope will be a series of roadshow dates. The aim is to give young people the opportunity to explore science in a format that sparks their imagination and curiosity - and judging from some of the questions received on the day, we certainly succeeded!” says Kate Goodfellow, scientist at RSSL.
The roadshow certainly seems to have had an impact. James aged 10 took part and reports: “This morning was epic, I loved everything! My favourite part was the science of fire experiments – I didn’t know we could do all of this. I am looking forward to learning more about science at school.”
The science roadshow is the latest initiative in the consultancy’s collaborative Science Outreach Programme, which was launched in 2017 to promote greater engagement among young people at different stages of their educational journey.
“We want to encourage young people to see science in a positive light; not only as an interesting subject to study but also a potential career path in the future,” adds Kate.
RSSL’s dedicated programme of activity includes visits to schools, work experience opportunities, employment and training for 18 year old school leavers, an intern programme for undergraduates, regular attendance at careers fairs, as well as STEM presentations at various educational institutions on a local and national level.
The Science Roadshow was organised in partnership with the Earley Crescent Resource Centre; a voluntary organisation dedicated to supporting the development of an integrated community.