Guest blog post by @JacquiPybus
Hands up if you’ve heard about Researchers Night? If you have, that probably means you either work in a University, or follow me or colleagues on Twitter where we’ve been bleating on about it . . .
It’s now less than two weeks till the University of Huddersfield hosts the first Researchers’ Night in the region (23rd September). There are literally hundreds of other similar events happening all over Europe at the same time – all part-funded by the EU – designed to make people more aware of what research is, what KIND of research is happening, what kind of people researchers are, and what kind of an impact their work has on all of our lives. The other key idea behind researchers night is to encourage young people to aspire to do research as a career.
What’s this got to do with CultureVultures? ( yes, I can hear the muttering from here . . . )
Well, we know that if we were to put on a series of lectures this would be fascinating and entertaining for quite a few people, but that it wouldn’t exactly thrill your average family group, and certainly would be difficult to capture the imagination of many young people.
So what we’re planning is designed to be entertaining as WELL as informative, and to appeal to a wide age and interest range. There are some lectures, but there are also demonstrations, workshops, exhibitions and hands-on activities to keep the whole family entertained for the evening.
Topics range from the evolution of underwear (!?) to the amazing science of spider silk; from the psychology of women’s footwear to the importance of neutrons. Many of the talks and demos are inspired by the historic links between the University of Huddersfield and the local textile and chemical industries. These include a demonstration of wool spinning (and a Guinness world record attempt!), the science of dyeing, and the opportunity to learn how to design and customise clothes. Sculptor Rob Ward has created a new piece as part of the event – come along and find out about the manufacturing process. Find out about 3D imaging in Art and Sculpture, materials for engines and car design and
Digital technology, DNA and forensics are also highlighted, and visitors to Researchers’ Night will get the chance to experience things I bet you didn’t even know we had – like a virtual hospital ward, complete with robotised ‘patients’.
Budding boffins who are still at school will find plenty to entertain them, especially when a team from the Eureka! children’s museum in Halifax sets up its stall and invites youngsters to take part in experiments involving custard and cornflakes – and the chance to make and launch mini-rockets.
For one night everyone can be a scientist – come and play!
PS – and yes, weather permitting, there’ll be some sheep here to say hello too . . . .
Click here for the Full Programme 23rd September 4-9pm
Twitter – @UoHResNight – #HuddsResNight