Science in the Square

Visitors took part in a range of activities and demonstrations

3,000 turn out for Science in the Square

More than 3,000 people joined scientists from the University of Exeter for a fun-filled day in Falmouth last week.

Experts shared their knowledge of a range of subjects – under the theme “Why on Earth?” – including why animals make friends, why some have weapons and why sea turtles cross oceans.

The event, called Science in the Square, is part of Falmouth Week and takes place each year to give people of all ages a hands-on experience of science and a chance to meet researchers from the nearby Penryn Campus.

As well as hearing short talks throughout the afternoon, visitors became scientists themselves by taking part in a range of activities and demonstrations.

“The turnout was absolutely fantastic this year,” said Professor Stuart Bearhop, of the University of Exeter.

“Now in our sixth year of Science in the Square, it’s a real pleasure to see the level of enthusiasm and engagement grow year upon year towards the science we carry out right here in Cornwall at our University of Exeter Penryn Campus.

“By engaging with children in events such as this, our scientists can give them the confidence to question their environment, develop key basic scientific theories, increase their observational skills and, most importantly, have fun while they do so.”

Richard Gates, Falmouth Week shore-side chairman and Falmouth Town Manager, said: “The Science in the Square event is now a well-known established activity on the Falmouth Week calendar.

“It is great to link the community with the Penryn Campus for such a fantastic hands-on experience, with the chance for all ages to explore science at this free-to-attend event.”

Among the activities was Earth Zone, where visitors got to grips with landscape formation via an interactive sandbox.

In Marine Zone, people came face-to-face with marine creatures which can be found on Falmouth’s rocky shores, and they discovered what barn owls eat by dissecting their pellets in Live Zone.

In a live interactive Skype session, final-year student Ben Porter spoke to the audience from Bardsey Island, off the coast of Wales, about his research into the secret lives of Manx shearwaters. Young audience members were encouraged to both answer and ask interesting questions about this special seabird.

More than 100 staff and students from the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus volunteered to take part. Photographs from the event are available on the Science in the Square Facebook Page.

Science in the Square will be back again next year with more free, fun and educational science for all.

Science in the Square website

Date: 17 August 2017

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