School of Earth and Environment

Earth and Environment Blog


Saltaire Festival Science Fair

Saltaire Festival Science Fair

by Kirsty Pringle

The Saltaire Festival is an annual celebration of music and art run by volunteers, but this year it wasn’t just art on show – Kirsty Pringle (SEE) and Tay-Yibah Aziz (STEM Public Engagement Intern) decided to inject a bit of science into the event by running a successful science fair.

Lindsay Bennett (NCAS, SEE) showed that all the best science experiments go “Bang!” with the loudest stall. Her topic was Meteorology and she showed enthralled kids and adults how to form a cloud in a bottle – all you need is water, some aerosol particles and a sudden reduction in pressure (hence the loud bang!). Atmospheric scientist Jim McQuaid (SEE) talked about how clouds form and showcased his work with the BBC CloudLab program. Finally from SEE, Hannah Price (SEE) had a neat turbo power experiment, which demonstrated how water power can be used to generate electricity.

Jennifer Edwards (Biology) combined science and art with striking electron microscope images of human tissues and Tay-Yibah Aziz and Jake Ellis spent the day making models of neurones out of pipe cleaners and giving people the chance to try their hand at chromatography and Gel Electrophoresis.


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The University of Bradford ran a chemistry stall with fizz! They showed how a combination of ingredients found in the kitchen cupboard can be used to make bath bombs. There was also a ‘Universe’ stall with two STEM ambassadors demonstrating how spectroscopy can be used to discover what stars are made of and, for an up-close look at space, they brought along some samples of rocks from the moon. Finally, for a taste of engineering on a grand scale, the Institution of Civil Engineers helped willing volunteers build a giant tetrahedron with just sticks and elastic bands!

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