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Questions of science unravelled in fun learning at festival
Bath bombs, slime, musical clowns and magnetic motors were all the order of the weekend as Bradford Science Festival came to an end.
Demonstrations at Bradford University attracted hundreds of youngsters and their parents to see how mixing bicarbonate of soda, citric acid, olive oil and cornflour makes a bath bomb.
Custard powder was also made solid using science to show youngsters how its texture could change from liquid to solid. The Festival ran from October 17 to yesterday.
Josh Dolan, a chemistry student at Bradford University who was helping with demonstrations, said: “Science is all around us and without science you haven’t got anything, so yay for science!”
A human patient simulator called Stan was also on display so people could check his pulse and see how medicines affected the heart rate.
Tarantulas, cockroaches, millipedes and snakes were also at the event, aimed at educating youngsters on how to look after such pets and how to reduce their fear of such creepy crawlies.
Millipedes called Brian and Matilda, Lily, the Brazilian Tarantula and Minnie the rabbit were all on show for the youngsters to handle. An interesting fact is that cockroaches can survive for a week without their head because their brains are scattered all over their body.
Marie Conway, from Animals in Tuiton, said that it was really important children learned how to handle animals.
“They can learn how to look after them and care for them and we do lots of school visits and science fairs to show people different sorts of animals,” she added.
Mohammed Kesser, ten, from Bradford Moor enjoyed the event at the university. “It is very good and very educational,” he said. “I enjoyed making the slime and that has been my favourite bit so far and I held the cockroaches and the snakes.”
Alexander, nine, who goes to Hipperholme Grammar Junior School, said that he enjoyed Stan the most.
Nazira Karodia, the director of Science, Technology, Engin-eering and Mathematics, (STEM) at the university, said that people thought there was a mystery to science, but that was not the case.
“We are using magnets to illustrate how a motor works to make it less complicated and have toddlers here to learn about science,” she said.
“We have magnifying glasses, plastic spiders and UV beads to demonstrate to them different ways of using science. Many of our alumini have gone on to become directors and inventors.”
Meanwhile, Gary the musical clown was at the Hand Made in Bradford shop, showing youngsters how forces of nature work.
Demonstrating with balloons, plates and funnels, the essential tools of the clown, he said his mission was to educate children.
He added: “It is very important for us to reach young children and I believe this enhances their environment and that is what my guise is about.”
Keith Edmondson was also at the shop showcasing his art- work using UV light including his picture of Sir Ken Morrison made with stamps.
Helen Barraclough, who leads the Space Connections team which organised the festival, said: “What we are excited about is taking science into unusual places, and we are trying to show how science is embedded in all aspects of life, it’s not just something we do in a lab, science is everywhere.”
Scientist Steve Allman showed people how to levitate, make objects invisible, glow in the dark and slow down time –proving science fact is often stranger than science fiction.