Mad scientists at Dunedin science festival
Tue, 03 Jul 2012 10:08p.m.
By Dave Gooselink
Explosions, flames, and a rapping scientist are livening up the international science festival in Dunedin.
The show's called Bang!, and it certainly lives up to its name.
Part of the International Science Festival in Dunedin, the aim of the show is to get kids of all ages excited about chemistry.
“Absolutely. We're getting them at a young age and warping their minds so they're basically going to say, yes science is cool,” says mad scientist Andrew Scott.
The actors have dug out their favourite chemical reactions for the stage show about trying to make gold.
“There's lots of bangs, lots of flashes,” says mad scientist director Steve Ting.
“Chemistry's not just about that, but it's a fun side that we can actually show people, and say that we're not just all about test tubes and lab coats.”
The wider festival is also aiming to engage people who usually think of science as a bit boring.
Turning the human body inside out was the idea behind one of the demonstrations. The average person has about 640 muscles, and seeing them on a body-painted model makes the biology easier to understand.
“Oh totally, and you can see them move of course, because he's got a toned physique it's possible to see those actual muscles move when you ask him to do things,” says Professor Mark Stringer of the Otago University Anatomy Department.
Tom McFadden is another keen to share his passion. A Fullbright scholar, he has spent the last year travelling around schools performing his unique blend of science rapping.
“To me this is such exciting stuff that I want to make music about it, I want to write songs about it, and it's not hard to capture that energy and excitement in the song,” he says.
And he's hoping to inspire a young protege, with a competition this week to find New Zealand's own ‘Science Idol’.
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4/07/2012 12:31:00 a.m.
terry graham wrote:
i used to love this sort of stuff back in primary school. Wish i'd kept it up, things going bang is right up my alley :)
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