Wednesday, 18 November 2009

STEM Ambassador for Manchester

I am now officially a STEM Ambassador for Manchester. This is a voluntary role of which I'm quite rightly proud. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. I will stay on the STEM database as long as I've participated in at least one 'event' every 12 months. That for me is the Manchester Science Festival though I will happily participate in any event which needs me in which I feel I can do and I have time for. This is a national programme and part of the British Science Association and obviously I represent Manchester as its where I live ;D.  Our role is to promote and communicate the public understanding of science to non-scientists and to show children that it is is fun and exciting and not all boring equations etc. Hopefully it will encourage some to think about taking up a career in science in their future. I had a lovely tuesday mornings worth of training back in mid September which was great fun. We were taught and practised some science experiments which can easily be done at home with household objects. We would be performing these when out on the streets science busking! The festival itself ran from sat 24th Oct until Sun 1st Nov. On the run up to this though were plenty of events going on to promote the festival. A week before it started I enjoyed 2 science busking sessions in Stockport and Manchester Piccadilly train station respectively. All kids who walked by and stopped seemed to enjoy themselves, I had a blast although abit cold towards the end. In between these 2 days I spent a whole day as a volunteer with the schools programme. This took place in a nightclub and we had 4 schools, i.e. 200 kids! In the morning I ushered them into an auditorium to see a fun chemistry lecture given by Dr Steve Rossington of Salford University. Lots of blowing up of things! Then I ushered them out and steered them in the right direction. After a lovely and free lunch it was time for the experiments. They were on a rota system and I didn't get to see them all but did manage to walk around and talk to experts at the various exhibits. This is the first time I saw 'Baby'. Apparently it is nearly but not quite the original as most components have had to be replaced over the years. Still very impressive though, I'm happy to have seen it. The most fun thing I got involved with was CSI Manchester lol. Yep some brilliant young scientist had been murdered in his lab with his own retort stand and we had 4 suspects. I had a DNA sample taken so now I know how thats done. Of course it hasn't been tested/characterised! In the end the kids and adults all had a great day. It was nice to see smiling kids enjoying science  xxx

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