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Malvern Science in the Park 2017

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New Family Event

 Saturday 1st July 2017

 Priory Park, Great Malvern


Thank you to everyone who came along to Malvern's new hands-on alfresco science event. 

This page serves as an archive of the day's participants and activities. You can also read about the day in Worcester News.

#InnovateMalvern, #ScienceInPark


Activities for all the family

Experiments, games and demonstrations showcasing science, technology, engineering and mathematics.


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BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, is committed to making IT good for society. They champion the global IT profession and the interests of individuals, engaged in that profession, for the benefit of all. The impact of IT on modern society is greater than ever, it's down to all of us to ensure it is positive.



WATTS UP With Your Energy?
Gordon Coppock is a STEM Ambassador, renewable energy advocate, and a director of two local Solar Community Energy Cooperatives. He will be providing his energy bikes for people to ride that generate electricity from pedal power to light up bulbs of different types, power kettles and smoothie makers, pump water and fry eggs. A pair of riders will be able to experience a simulation of being two power stations on the National Grid. Drop by to understand more about watts, amps and volts and get a better appreciation of how much effort is needed to power household appliances and where your energy comes from when you turn on a switch.

Here is the BBC program Bang Goes the Theory that Gordon was involved with in conjunction with his employer Wind and Sun Ltd on this bike project.


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Local paleontologist from e-fossils, Dr Mark O'Dell, will show some of his fossil finds from the west of the Malvern Hills and in the Cotswolds. He'll also crack open a few nodules with the hope of finding some freshly exposed fossils, and he can answer questions you might have about your own fossil samples.

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The Herefordshire & Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust is a charity that aims to record, protect and promote geology and landscape, and to raise awareness of this Earth Heritage by engaging the public in educational programmes. At the event, they will have rocks and minerals on display, and some geology-related activities to keep you busy including encouraging you to be a dinosaur detective.  Vernon the velociraptor will be there weather permitting!


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Throughout the day Fizzy Dizzy and Solar Stu from Fizz Pop Science will enthuse you with hands-on science activities. Explore the chemistry of turning a liquid into a solid with slime, the engineering required to make and launch rockets, and the physics of making and catching bubbles - which washing up liquid makes the best?



Flux Moving Science explores innovative ways of translating scientific principles into theatrical form. They provide a platform to educate, communicate and discuss scientific ideas, research and theories within local communities, in a way which is captivating and engaging, formative yet accessible.  Their pioneering approach to science communication and education has been recognised and supported throughout the UK. Their team will be encouraging you to participate in fun science-related dance workshops in the park throughout the day.


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Institute of Physics is a leading scientific society; a charitable organisation with a worldwide membership of more than 50,000, working together to advance physics education, research and application. Join them at the event to take part in various hands-on physics experiments including blowing large bubbles, understanding bouncing balls, exploring the way slinkies travel down steps, trying out balloon helicopters, testing ‘exploding’ lolly sticks, as well as investigating pendula, rope waves, and grass whistles.

@IOPMidlands, PhysicsNews


For over 140 years the Institution of Engineering & Technology (The IET) has been inspiring, informing and influencing the global engineering community; supporting technology innovation to meet the needs of society. Come to complete the assembly of a Mediaeval siege engine experiment before trying it out to see how well your finished design works.



Institution of Mechanical Engineers works with leading companies, universities, and think tanks to create and share knowledge, fresh thinking and authoritative guidance on all aspects of mechanical engineering. At the park, the IMechE will be hosting a model bridge building competition and demonstrating a manually operated hydraulic robot arm.

@IMechE, @IMechE_Worcs


Komatsu (formerly Joy Mining Machinery in Worcester) are a worldwide leader in high-productivity mining solutions. They manufacture and market equipment and services for the mining industry for use above and underground. At this event they will be demonstrating the use of table-top trebuchets to launch soft projectiles at a target.


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QinetiQ offer their customers world-class expertise in advice, services (particularly test and evaluation) and innovative technology-based products. They operate primarily in the defence, security and aerospace markets and their customers are predominantly government organisations. With a key site in Malvern, they'll be at the event with some hands-on activities and demonstrations.



Today’s modern Royal Air Force (RAF) is the UK’s aerial, peacekeeping and fighting force. RAF Engineers play a vital role in allowing the RAF and wider Defence to deliver its outputs. Engineer Technicians ensure the maintenance operation of highly technical equipment, be it aircraft, support equipment or the wide range of information systems which a modern Air Force needs to operate successfully. RAF Engineer Officers lead teams of highly skilled Engineer Technicians, manage high-tech equipment and budgetary resources, as well as exercise professional engineering judgment in direct support of operations. In the Park, they'll have a Meccano build challenge with a test assault course.

@RoyalAirForce, @rafyouthengage, @RAFEngineering


Dr Rowenna Fletcher-Wood from Science Gecko will lead workshops throughout the day. One workshop will uses jigsaws and stories to explore different aspects of science including pollination, the sun, crystallography and liver cells.  Another workshop will provide a short history of medicines, from ginger to rosemary to hemlock, examining samples of natural plants whilst chemical and biochemical properties are discussed and explored.  Drop by on the hour to participate.



STEM Ambassadors use their enthusiasm and commitment to encourage young people to enjoy STEM subjects. They open the doors to a world of opportunities and possibilities which come from pursuing STEM subjects and careers. STEM Ambassadors not only inspire young people, they also support teachers in the classroom by explaining current applications of STEM in industry or research.

@STEMLearningUK (@STEMNET previously)


Worcester Astronomical Society was founded in 1984 by a group of local amateur astronomers to promote astronomy. They hold meetings throughout the year, with many special events including exhibitions, observing evenings and visits to places of astronomical interest. At this event, they will demonstrate the hydrogen-alpha telescope to see solar prominences, and another telescope with a solar filter to see Sun spots (let's hope it is sunny!).


Science buskers

Be captivated by explanations of the scientific world around us, delivered from the bandstand.



Ian B Dunne, "The Professor", will entertain you during the day with talks and demonstrations about science. Originally a chemist, now a lapsed pyrotechnician, he's also an author and enigmatic showman. In his words "Science is everything".



Science communicator Dr Rowena Fletcher-Wood from Science Gecko will discuss the elements and stories of alchemy, as well as explore the science and complexities of crystallography.



STEM Ambassador and Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society Dr Adrian Burden will explain microscopy by using volunteers from the audience to build a human light microscope.



Local paleontologist Dr Mark O'Dell will talk about the tools he uses to find, extract and clean-up fossils. He's found interesting samples to the west of the Malvern Hills and a little further afield in the Cotswolds.

DSouthey Sir Isaac Newton (aka STEM Ambassador and Chairman of the local IET, Don Southey) will seek shelter from falling apples in the bandstand and explain some of the physics we see around us.


Science trails

Seek out scientific facts, figures and artefacts hidden in the park.

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Dinosaur detective trail: No longer Priory Park, but Jurassic Park! Find the eight hidden dinosaurs and complete the prehistoric quiz.


Interplanetary trail: Tour the park looking for the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and minor planet Pluto. Can you also find the asteroid belt, some comets and one or two man made probes?

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Materials around us trail: Can you find examples of metals, polymers, ceramics, glass, and composites within Priory Park? Answer our quiz questions to better understand why some materials are well suited to certain uses whilst others simply are not.

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Microscopy trail: Equip yourself with a fresnel lens and pack of colouring pencils from the information desk, and scout around the park for specimens to examine closely and sketch.


Thanks to Dr Alan Smith CPhys, FInstP from West Midland Branch of the IoP for his idea to hold a science event in Priory Park and for his help with the organisation of this event.


2017 Malvern Science in the Park Sponsors & Supporters