Each Skirting Science workshop is delivered by a science professional and gives girls the chance to try a science career. The girls take part in hands-on activities and have any questions answered by the presenter. This experience allows them to make informed decisions about science careers; not those based on misconceptions.
The workshops vary from year to year and in 2015 , Skirting Science was please to be supported by a number of very stimulating workshops – click on: Skirting Science Draft Programme 2015 v2.
Below are descriptions and photos of the 2012 workshops.
AN INSIGHT INTO DISPENSING AND OPHTHALMIC OPTICS
Mrs Liz Bell, Mrs Paula Wilkins
Bell and Stenton, Conway Opticians
Learn how to take facial and spectacle measurements. Handle different sorts of contact lenses. Look in the back of the eye and see how the eyes work together.
PAIN FREE VACCINATION
Dr Marc Pearton, Mr Chris Martin
Many medicines and vaccines have to be administered to patients across the skin, often by the dreaded hypodermic needle! There are many disadvantages of using hypodermic needles, not least the frequent pain, discomfort and fear felt by patients on the receiving end. Currently there is much interest in researching and developing novel ways to deliver drugs across and into the skin. One such approach is with microneedles. Join us in an interactive workshop to discover how scientists at Cardiff University are developing microneedle technologies in order to deliver medicines and vaccines. Learn how new microneedles are being developed that can dissolve in the skin aiding the delivery of medicines and vaccines. This workshop offers a unique opportunity to investigate an emerging technology that is predicted to impact in the clinic in the near future.
Professor Chris McMahon
University of Bath
Can you imagine what it is like to try to use a mobile phone or a television controller if your eyesight is very poor or if you have arthritis in your hands? “Inclusive design” involves the redesign of products to make them easier to use by people of all ages and physical abilities. In this exercise you will work in teams to explore how inclusive design ideas might be applied to a range of everyday objects.
HOW DOES YOUR BRAIN COPE WITH THE WORLD?
Dr Sarah Beck
University of Birmingham
There’s a huge amount of information out there in the world that your brain needs to process every day. In this session we’ll explore what strategies your brain uses to solve this problem. We’ll run our own experiment investigating how we go about remembering the important things. We’ll also try out some demonstrations that show us just how much work the brain does and how its strategies sometimes have very surprising results.
STOPPING APPLE DISEASE CIDER SCIENCE IS FUN
An introduction to growing apples (orcharding) and controlling the bugs that grow on them. How does Science help the ancient art of making fruit juice and turning it into cider. We show you how to tell when the apple is ripe for picking and using. See the microbes that help us and those that cause distress, see how we change the environment in cider to encourage the good ones and discourage the bad ones. Actually see the amount of carbon dioxide produced during fermentation. Smell the aromas we can make when we produce juices and ciders and become an expert flavour evaluator without touching a drop!
THE CHEMISTRY OF PERFUME
Dr Gan Shermer and Dr Lynne Thomas
University of Bath
Ever wondered what makes an orange smell like an orange? This interactive workshop explores our sense of smell and some of the chemistry behind designing fragrances. You will get the chance to extract essential oils from different natural materials and use them to blend your own perfume to take away with you.
HOW TO WIN AT MONOPOLY
University of Bath
You will do a cost-benefit analysis of the different properties in Monopoly and decide the best strategy of which ones to buy. This has applications in the area of mathematical biology, where we have to balance cost with benefit of strategies to prevent and treat disease, protect biodiversity or conduct efficient experiments.NANOMATERIALS: SMALL SCIENCE, BIG IDEAS
University of Bristol
What have geckos and sticky tape got in common? Nanomaterials! Nanomaterials are all around us: in nature, in clothes, even in sports equipment. Come along to the nanoscience workshop and find out how we can take nanoscience ideas from the natural world, and turn it into cool things in everyday life. Discover how we can see, build and use nano-sized objects which are too small to see even with a normal microscope.
UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL MOBILE TEACHING UNIT – THE SCIENCE OF BEING ALIVE!
Dr Lauren Hughes, Dr Caroline McKinnon
The University of Bristol
Find out more about the medical sciences of biochemistry and physiology in this interactive workshop where you will discover what keeps us alive. Meet scientists who will help you explore the smallest building blocks of life with the opportunity to extract your own DNA and learn how cells in the body come together to create the organs that help us breathe and pump blood around our bodies. This workshop will include hands-on experiments and demonstrations to explore how the body works.
Julie English and Melanie Watson
NHS Blood and Transplant
It’s in my blood!! A workshop introducing the study of blood cells for disease and the use of blood components and products to treat disease and trauma. Find out about careers in Biomedical Science in an NHS Pathology laboratory and NHS Blood and Transplant services.
University of The West of England
We’ll look at the how the logical thinking skills learnt in mathematics can be applied to a wide range of activities from planning the Olympics, to writing the computer code that runs our world or in this case making the perfect cup of tea. Maths isn’t just about sums!
RACING AIR ENGINES
Have you got what it takes to work as a team to build and complete a winning air engine? Find out how engines work and then create your own to power your vehicle across the finishing line. The winning team will win a small prize.
The Open University
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘codes’ – Dan Brown’s book, The Da Vinci Code? Most people do think about spies but codes have been used for thousands of years to protect communication systems. In the digital world in which we live we need codes that will protect the electronic transfer of business information and money, for example. This workshop will look at some simple codes that you might meet in your everyday life.
BUILDING YOUR FUTURE IN CIVIL ENGINEERING!
Catriona Turnbull, Keke Makaginsar
We are two female civil engineers, and we love engineering so much that we even do it on our holidays! Last summer we went to a small village in Ghana to help build a new community centre – now we would like your help with designing a new building for the village. You’ll need to think about the community who will use the facility, sustainability, how much it will cost, and how you might design some elements of the structure. During the workshop you will discover why women make great civil engineers!
VISION, SOUND AND TOUCH
Dr Priscilla Heard
University of The West of England
Find out more about your senses. See your own blood vessels inside your eye. How fast can you react to things? Do you always notice big changes in what you are looking at? Can you always trust your senses or do you sometimes see, feel and hear illusions? We will experience some strange phenomena and consider how our brain is processing information from the world.
THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF PRESSURE – HOW TO BUILD A SOLAR CELL
Physicists are looking at ways to create environmentally friendly, renewable energy and one of the promising solutions to energy production is using the sun’s light. This workshop will look at what it takes to build a solar cell and why gas pressure is important to my research. Teamwork and problem solving will be used to explore the concepts behind Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology tools that are used to make solar cells and exotic materials.