Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Science on Sea

 Last week we went to a fantastic free interactive Science Workshop for kids organised by the Hastings Pier Charity.

Hastings Pier was burned down by arsonists a few years ago and the rebuilding effort is being paid for through fundraising by this charity, but as well as working on the pier project, they are also delivering brilliant community sessions including arts and crafts and now science.

The show was run by American born, Sussex based 'science dude' Brad Gross and was the first of a series of monthly science events.

The photos I have taken don't do justice to the activities, but it was tricky getting shots without OPCs (Other People's Children) in the picture.  For better images from the event taken by the organisers follow the link from here and look at the post from the 13th December 2014.

The first part of the show was a lively interactive mixture of science concepts, mainly based around understanding our solar system and an introduction to constellations, but also with a nod to the science of the pier including weathering of the structure.  Each segment had activities for children to volunteer to take part in and lots of audience interaction.  Ollie and Toby had the chance to be planets orbiting the Sun (Ollie is Venus in the picture, Toby was Uranus).

After the first part of the show, the kids then took part in make and take away activities.  The boys had fun producing their very own star chart of the constellation of Orion with stickers and buttons and there was also a beach layering activity using breakfast cereals to try.

Brad paced the show very well for his young audience and hit that sweet spot of getting information across in a fun and memorable way to the children while at the same time making the adults laugh.  The venue was perfect too, accessible, comfortable and with panoramic views of the sea and the work in progress of the pier.

Places are limited at these free but book-ahead shows, so we'll definitely be putting our names down for future shows and hoping to get a place.  Hopefully the success of these shows will highlight the thirst for science education in the local area and we'll be seeing a lot more of these kinds of opportunities springing up in the future.

Science is fun and exciting, and the hard work of staff and volunteers preparing and delivering these kinds of events helps to spread that message to the next generation, so why not have a look to see what is already being delivered in your local area and make sure you go along to everything that you spot, because nothing says 'thank you, we want more like this' than bums on seats.