Winchester Science Centre
Following on from the success of previous events, this year's Old Road Campus Research Building NDM Units summer school-holiday outing was to Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium.
On the 12th August 2014, scientists and their families travelled by coach to Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium. When the 24 adults and 21 children arrived at the centre they were then free to explore the wide variety of activities on offer over the two floors.
With over 100 hands-on exhibits that explain the fundamental principles of science and technology, there was plenty of fun to be had by everyone. Highlights included the science behind some Olympic sports, parachuting toy soldiers, mirror drawing, moving a ball using only your mind and making bubbles in different liquids.
Eneida Parizotto, a research assistant in the Jenner Institute said of the visit, "Our daughter Gabriela said it was the best 'science day' ever."
There were also interactive science shows including the science of the seaside and a hair-raising demonstration of a Van der Graaffgenerator. Workshops were available during the day to make weather vane headbands and UV bracelets that change colour in sunlight.
After a couple of hours of playing with the activities on offer, it was time to catch a show in the planetarium. Peering up at the projected stars, families were taken on a trip of our solar system with each of the eight planets visited. It was also explained why Pluto is no longer a planet and how to identify planets in the sky. The show was full of fun facts including that on some planets it rains diamonds and that Uranus is full of methane, or as the presenter put it 'fart gas'.
After the planetarium there was more time to explore the centre, catch a science show or visit the gift shop before taking the coach back to Oxford.
John Minogue, Logistics Manager for CCVTM said, "A great day, fun had by all." This thought was echoed by Yihua Wang, a post-doctoral researcher in the Ludwig Institute, who said that the day was "Lots of fun! My daughter and I really enjoyed it."