To Infinity and Beyond!

23 April 2018

During British Science Week earlier this month, (9–18 March) Scott Walker, Ogden Outreach Officer at Keele University, teamed up with The The Rotary Club of Crewe to deliver his 'To Infinity and Beyond!' lecture to over 100 Year 5 & 6 pupils at three different primary schools across Crewe. 

The Rotary Club of Crewe runs an annual Rotary Science event during British Science Week, to enthuse young people and demonstrate to them how science affects their everyday lives. This is primarily achieved by arranging for scientists from academia and industry to visit local schools and deliver engaging science sessions.

"To Infinity & Beyond! is a Royal Institution inspired demonstration lecture exploring how astronauts travel to space and then survive this hostile environment," explains Scott. "Physics fundamentals such as Newton’s laws of motion, gravity and pressure are tackled head on in an exciting format, engaging the audience at every opportunity with a range of eye-catching practical demonstrations." The demonstrations include:

  • Whoosh Bottle Rocket
  • Expanding Marshmallow Man
  • Hydrogen Balloons
  • Stomp Rocket
  • Liquid Nitrogen Freezing

The one-hour lecture has more than 10 opportunities for members of the audience to undertake short science experiments to demonstrate a variety of key scientific principles. The lecture starts with an overview of recent scientific discoveries (highlighting the fact that science is a continuously evolving subject) before kick-starting with the detonation of a hydrogen balloon. This usually has the effect of waking the audience up and giving them a flavour of what is to come! 

The opening lecture was very well received by pupils and teachers alike. But Scott didn’t have time to soak up the applause, as the kit had to be packed away and transported to the next venue. With the clock  ticking…

“One of the most rewarding aspects of my job,” explains Scott, “is being able to share my passion for science with young people, and to highlight to them how important science is to our everyday lives. It was so pleasing to hear back from one of the schools I recently visited - pupils were so inspired by the lecture, that they had each written a poem about what they had learned”.

Following British Science Week, Scott has already visited another school in Crewe to deliver two lectures, as well as visiting Rugby High School to deliver a further four lectures to more than 120 pupils in Year 7!

“TIAB continues to be a very popular choice of outreach activity for many schools in the region (both primary and secondary),” says Scott. “I am looking forward to delivering the lecture to several more schools before the end of the school year and I am hoping to develop a brand new demonstration lecture over the summer to be introduced at the start of the new academic year, so keep your eyes peeled!”

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