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Physics busking with a twist

Inspiring pupils in the Bodmin Partnership: “when I grow up, I want to be the world’s most famous experimental physicist!”

Published: 7 June 2022

Last term, 30 science ambassadors from six schools in the Bodmin Partnership visited Discovering 42 – Cornwall’s award-winning science and art museum – to learn how to busk. They each had a go at eight activities and after plenty of time to hone their busking skills they used their newfound presenting talent to wow the rest of the group – excellent practice for when they did it back in their own schools!

Activities included sticking a straw into a potato, making a cup cluck, skewering balloons without them popping and moving a can from one cup to another without touching it. Physics explained it all and the children had so much fun describing the ins and outs to their peers.

“Discovering 42 provided the perfect venue,” enthuses Sally Fulford, Ogden regional rep who joined the visit to lead the busking lessons. “A small museum opened after lockdown, it is crammed full of hands-on physics activities.  So, as well as busking, the children were able to get completely immersed in the world of physics and experience for themselves exhibits ranging from a reverse waterfall, a rainforest mirror room, and magnetic marble run to a bike-powered record player and a mechanical wall,” continues Sally.

“It really was a great morning and a fantastic way to reward the hard work of the science ambassadors for carrying out their role throughout the year,” Sally concludes.

“This was a wonderful event for everyone involved,” agrees Simon Rowe, Science Subject Leader for Kernow Learning’s Teaching Hub and co-ordinator for the Bodmin Partnership. “It was very powerful with all of our schools coming together for this, allowing children and adults alike to work collaboratively and have fun with science! The venue was perfect to inspire everyone who attended, and the children showed huge enthusiasm for the activities they learned.

“I’m thrilled to hear about how successful the science busking has been in every school following this event,” adds Simon.  “Many of the schools even say their children are asking for this to become a regular thing in their playgrounds rather than something for science week – you can’t ask for better than that!”

I loved it! It was so much fun to have a go at all of the science tricks and activities and try to think about how they work. It was great to do them back at school and we had lots of other children really excited to have a go. I also really liked the science museum we went to, I want to go back again with my family soon! When I grow up, I want to be the world’s most famous experimental physicist!
Maggie, Year 6

Discovering42 is using art and traditional hands-on interactivity as a catalyst for engaging adults and children with physics, engineering and environmental issues. Visit their website to find out more about Cornwall’s award-winning science and art museum.

a group photo of school children with accompanying adults

The Bodmin buskers!

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