The winners of Dundee Science Festival Molecular Model Hunt; Abby Baxter, Newport Primary School; Allie Nelson, Grove Academy and Shona Lee, Balmullo were presented with their prizes by Brian Carroll, Chairman British Science Association Tayside & Fife Branch, and Alan Aitken, Chairman of Royal Society of Chemistry Tayside Section. They correctly identified the locations of 16 molecular models of chemicals which had been placed in shop window displays in the Wellgate Centre Dundee.
The competition was organised as part of Dundee Science Festival by the Tayside and Fife Branch of the British Science Association & the Tayside Section of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Branching Out Into the Community
Menzieshill Community Centre Family Fun Day
Branch volunteers and staff from Dundee Science Centre provided a variety of hands-on activities on Saturday 25th August 2012. Several hundred members of the community attended the event.
Making slime in lurid colours form p.v.a. glue enthralled the youngsters and some not-so-youngsters!
VegArt challenged the creative skills of younger children to create faces by sticking pieces of vegetables to a paper plate. There was a quiz to match the vegetable pieces to the whole vegetable.
Dundee Science Centre staff organised series of activities including water rockets on a grassy area outside the hall.
This venture was supported by the award of a Strategic Grant from the British Science Association.
Dundee Community Support Group
At Burnside Sheltered Lounge, Lochee on 16th October and Charleston Community Centre on 18th October 2012 Branch volunteers provided themed presentations and hands-on activities for youngsters aged 6 to 12 years.
There was a short talk on selected fossils including the legends associated with them. The youngsters were able to handle specimens including shark coprolite (shark poo!) and were given sharks teeth to take home.
“The fossils were funny. It was weird seeing things that have been dead for millions of years.”
“It was great. I liked making the slime the best.”
Some optical illusions were demonstrated including seeing through a hole in the hand.
The fourth set of activities were linked to flight. The Bernoulli effect was demonstrated and the youngsters found out how to keep a table tennis ball hovering in mid-air using a hair drier. They also made paper helicopters and flew model gliders.
“I liked everything. Science is cool.”
These activities were funded using the residue of the grant from the Leng Charitable Trust, see article below.
If you would like the Branch to work with your organisation contact us here.
220 Dundee pupils met Antarctic Scientist in May 2012.
As part of the continuing programme of events to mark the centenary of Captain Scott’s expedition to the South Pole pupils from St Paul’s Academy, Craigie High School, Grove Academy and St John’s High School attended a special talk at Discovery Point to find out about science in the Antarctic.
Dr Sonja Heinrich of the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St Andrews explained the unique polar ecosystem and its wildlife, the impact of climate change and the importance of Antarctica to the planet as a whole. She described her experiences as a scientist working in this extreme environment. A most intriguing aspect of this talk was to hear how seals are helping scientists to gather the information they need.
The pupils also had the opportunity of visiting the exhibitions at Discovery Point and touring the RRS Discovery.
The event was organised in conjunction with Dundee Heritage Trust and funded by a grant received from the Leng Charitable Trust.
Robots visit to Forfar Academy with Professor Barbara Webb in March 2011
The Forfar Academy was pleased to host two workshops organised by Branch and presented by Prof. Barbara Webb (Edinburgh University) on robots for a total of 84 pupils (1st-Year General Science and 3rd-Year Physics classes). The event was sponsored by the Institute of Physics Scotland and was a splendid demonstration of multidisciplinary science.
The pupils worked in teams to construct robots that responded, positively or negatively, to light depending on how they chose to wire up the wheel motors. The event concluded with a demonstration of the abilities and limitations of the robotic dog ‘Nao’ and the humanoid ‘Aibo’.
Science and a Snack – during National Science and Engineering Week
Dundee Science Centre was open with free admission after 3pm and provided a healthy snack to participating families during March 2011’s National Science and Engineering Week. For 6 days University of Dundee researchers participated in the events, sharing their scientific work with young children and families. Funding was secured from the Scottish Government in an application led by Dundee Science Centre in partnership with the University of Dundee.
SciScreen – 2001: A Space Odyssey with Dr. Iain Murray on 29th June 2010
The Branch held another SciScreen Event at Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) with funds allocated from the Scottish Government through the Science Engagement Grant Scheme. The classic science fiction film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ was shown at DCA and then an informed public discussion took place.
Our past Branch Chairman Dr Iain Murray, discussed the features of the HAL9000 computer and how during the last 40 years computing technology has lived up to; the visionary writing of Arthur C. Clark and the direction of Stanley Kubrick in terms of intelligence, speech recognition, vision processing, speech synthesis and speech reading. 80 people enjoyed the evening screening and discussion.