National Science & Engineering Week

Have you heard of the National Science & Engineering Week? This week I have been busy with a number of events; all organised to inspire the public with science.

I'm passionate about sharing knowledge and I hope to build on things around the city that would be educational. I do it for my day job, but I do believe it personally too. I believe in education as a community builder. Education is a bit of a big word and, no, it doesn't have to be formal. We are learning all the time and education should be part and parcel of our every day being.

Back to science, this week I've done a number of things...

I've been inside the Express FM studio almost every day this week, taking scientists to talk about their work. The theme this year is 'communication' so we were doing our bit using radio to communicate the wonders of science.

Today, I even spoke a little about the Cafe Scientifique series that I run in Portsmouth. Timothy Collinson was the 'main act' talking about his presentation next Tuesday on Twitter and other Social Media.

For the past few months I have been shaping a project to create a film about science, which was the brainchild of one of the academics at the University of Portsmouth, where I work. My tasks included 'matchmaking' some of our film students and staff with the scientists in the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation. It was a match made in heaven/stars/galaxy as we now have an amazing series of five film clips of cosmologists talking about their work and inspiring people about science.

More excitingly, the film is being shown on the Big Screen in Guildhall Square. It was something I was hoping for but dared not wish too loudly. Although as luck would have it, I met a number of people who were crucial to making the project a reality. Big thanks to them!

On Monday I was organising a photo shoot on Guildhall Square of the people involved in the project. Desperately hopeless with a camera and yet also excited by the possibility of spreading the news about these amazing science clips. Again, luck intervened - okay I did asked a million people on Twitter and hassled everyone I knew! - and someone with a brilliant camera skill stepped to the fore and took some amazing photos. I'm waiting for one to appear on The News, our local paper.

On Tuesday I witnessed one of the video clips on the Big Screen and was in quiet jubilation. People on Guildhall Square at that time must be wondering why this woman was snapping away at the Big Screen and making small excited yelps, grinning from ear to ear. That was me and now you know why!

Everything, literally everything, seemed to be kicking off on Wednesday!

At lunch time I was with a few scientists busking on Commercial Road. The 'Science Busking' was a success and there were more people with children than I expected wondering around at that time. It was great. Purple balloons everywhere.

In the evening the public lecture was very well attended and we were all really enjoying the talk on the Low Frequency Aray (LOFAR), built at Chibolton, and how scientists are attempting to 'listen in' to the radio waves in the Universe.

After the lecture I rushed to Gunwharf Quays hoping to catch another group of scientits who were showing people images of the sky on their telescopes. And I saw the moon and its craters! That's my biggest news of the week; my personal brush with science.

So can you blame me if tonight I'm having a bit of a break?

Still to come on the programme:

The Way Back Home - a children's show about a boy who found a plane in his cupboard and went on an adventure to the moon. It's showing this Sunday 20 March, 2pm at New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth.

Cafe Scientifique session on Tuesday 22 March in Le Cafe Parisien, Portsmouth. We will be discussing Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media between 8 and 10pm.

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