Children catapult red noses in the name of science

Children will send red noses flying at the Bath Taps into Science Fair, when they catapult them at targets to find out more about the laws of motion (Friday 18 March).

The annual hands-on science fair at the University of Bath campus coincides with Red Nose Day and the organisers are joining in with the spirit of the day to help local school children discover and enjoy science.

Students at the University will help children to use the two-foot catapult to fling red noses at targets, and explain the forces that affect the red nose’s flightpath and how changes to the angle of the catapult affect the result. The students will be collecting donations for Comic Relief.

Over 700 school pupils will visit the fair, which runs as part of National Science & Engineering Week (11-20 March), and have the chance to investigate slime, robots, microscopes, cryptography, whizzes and bangs through interactive and intriguing displays and demonstrations.

Twenty different primary and secondary schools from Bath and the surrounding area will visit the fair at the University. Families and shoppers can enjoy its second day at Bath’s Green Park Station on Saturday 19 March.

Some of the stalls will be manned by young people from local schools who have been trained as ‘expert presenters’, including Prior Park College, Oldfield School, and Marksbury School. A school from Spain will present an exhibit on volcanoes.

Mathematics professor Chris Budd said: “We’re delighted to put some science into Red Nose Day. How do the laws of motion affect flying red noses and why is Rudolph’s nose so red? It’s a good way of showing children that science is all around us and it’s great fun.  

“The involvement of local schools continues to be a real source of pride for Bath Taps. There is no other festival where children and young people can not only come to the fair as observers but are also expert presenters of science to their peers.”

Bath Taps is organised, run and supported by hundreds of volunteers from the University of Bath, Bath Spa University and the City of Bath College together with Keele University Earth Sciences Education Unit and organisations including the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, the University of the West of England, B&NES Waste Services, the Herschel Society, Wessex Setpoint, the Science City Bristol, the Clifton Science Trust and the University of Bristol’s Medical Students Society. 

On Friday 18 March the fair will be held at the University of Bath’s Founders’ Sports Hall (11am to 3pm). The second day will run at Green Park Station on Saturday 19 March (10am to 4pm). Entrance is free.

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