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Families have fun building bridges in Buxton

by Guest Blogger 29. March 2010 15:34


Buxton Museum and Art Gallery recently hosted their first family construction day, with the support of Derbyshire Education Business Partnership (DEBP), and attracted over 500 people from across Derbyshire. The event coincided with National Science and Engineering Week 2010 - and also formed part of a new bridges exhibition that will open in April. It allowed children of all ages to explore and create their own models using the range of construction activities provided by the museum and DEBP.  

While the overall theme was based upon bridges, the children had great fun making a wide variety of models and toys from a range of popular construction systems.  Some made intricately complex structures from paper, and others built large suspension bridges and giant tetrahedrons from canes and rubber bands.   Ed Byrne, one of Derbyshire’s STEM Ambassadors also provided expert advice on the day about what it is like to have a career in the STEM industry. Dr Bill Longshaw, who runs the Enlightenment! programme, said, "Today's event has been a great success for us. Enlightenment! is all about inspirational inventions in Derbyshire in the 18th and 19th Century - hence our bridges exhibition in April. It is good to see the spirit of enquiry alive and well in the county today!”   

Lawrie Peck, DEBP Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) manager said “This has been a fantastic opportunity for families to explore some of the basic concepts of the STEM subjects in a fun and relevant way.  We work with many of Derbyshire’s schools to help inspire an interest in these subjects from an early age and events like these are key to getting families involved.”

Guest blogger: Derbyshire Education Business Partnership

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'Top-secret' experiment brings science to schools... on a lorry

by Guest Blogger 5. March 2010 13:51


We have just launched a new spy-themed experiment on Lab in a Lorry in the East Midlands. This experiment has been developed by staff at the University of Nottingham's School of Physics and Astronomy thanks to funding from East Midlands Development Agency (emda). Excited pupils at Djanogly City Academy Nottingham were the first to experience this new activity. They became secret agents, using the equipment to eavesdrop on an enemy and communicate secrets to other agents.

I have been volunteering for the Lab in a Lorry for several years now and I’m delighted that the opportunity arose for us to develop this new experiment. It reflects the research going on around magnetic data storage and allows school pupils to explore modern computing power and data access/storage. I’m also pleased that this has given us the chance to start a link between Djanogly City Academy and my University which I hope will lead on to many more STEM activities for the school’s pupils. 

The new experiment will be on board the Lab from now on as it continues on its three-year tour of the East Midlands.


Guest Blogger: Chris Staddon, Senior Experimental Officer, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham


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The views expressed in this Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the East Midlands STEM Partnership, its partners or funders, including East Midlands Development Agency.


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