Bruce Morton and the scientists 'big pal' and 'wee pal

Panto Science – Oh yes it is…

Pauline helping at Glasgow Science Festival - balloon kebabsAs a STEM Ambassador the activites you get involved with are always fun and very inspiring – and this one was no different … “oh yes it was” … Well for a start, as you can guess it was a panto – a science and experiment-based panto of course – plus I got to don my first ever white lab coat and play with balloons and sticks as part of the pre-show experiements to help the school children get up close and personal with science. Not a bad day out of the office.

Now in it’s 9th year, the Glasgow Science Festival is the largest UK science festival.The Christmas event – “Panto Science: The Periodic Fable” – was written by comedian Bruce Morton and conceived by the Festival’s Public Engagement Coordinator Dr Zara Gladman, and held in the Barras Art and Design venue (BAaD), a regenerated building in the heart of the Glasgow Barras Market near the famous Glasgow Barrowlands.

The panto premièred at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, telling the story of two scientists are transported to Panto Land by their ‘evil supervisor’ who is trying to steal their big red book with all their experiments. Can they get back and present their experiment in time? … “Oh yes they can” (apologies if I’ve ruined the ending), and it does so with some good songs and jokes along the way…

During the panto different experiments are used – static electricity, GPS, cloud formation in a bottle, astronomy, and elephant’s toothpaste (very foamy peroxide) – to inspire an interest in various sciences, explain what it means to be a scientist, promote positive scientist role models – and of course, help the scientists get home. In complement, the pre-show experiments run by STEMNET and university volunteers demo-ed acid battery electricity, bio luminescence, fossils, plasma lights and surface tension – I’m very proud of my balloon kebabs! And more importantly the kids loved it!

You don't need a beard to be a scientist song

Making real clouds and snow

Don't press the big red button!

Who wants to be our brave scientist?

It was fun day all round for volunteers, teachers and school children alike And my lasting catch memory is the song – “You don’t need a beard to be a scientist”…

Why not become a STEMNET Ambassador and/or download your own Panto Science DIY Kit and get experimenting? It’s great fun!

Posted in News & Newsletter.
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