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Chocolate and old newspapers to inspire pupils at national science fair

Posted onApril 27, 2012

Chocolate and old newspapers to inspire pupils at national science fair

Over 1,000 bars of chocolate are set to be unwrapped at a national science and engineering competition this Summer.

The white chocolate bars are being used during Scotland’s first ever Chocolate Welding workshops at The Big Bang Scotland whichis once again heading to Perth on Tuesday 12 June 2012. As well as competitors, showcasing their impressive array of innovations, inventions and investigations underpinned by Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), the event is open to any visiting schools, including primary seven pupils nearing the end of their primary education.

The chocolate welding workshops, run by The Welding Institute, will see pupils make two styles of bridge from melted chocolate, challenging them to work out which is stronger, and why. A fun way of demonstrating welding and engineering, pupils will weld chocolate bars together to create the bridge, pile weights on top and test it to destruction!

Lois Appleyard, Manager Professional Division, The Welding Institute said, “Welding with chocolate challenges out-dated preconceptions about the welding industry and inspires students to consider welding engineering as an exciting career option.”

Meanwhile, Perth eco-artist Lisa Earl of Create will present engineering, recycling and sustainability at its very best with her Stixx machine which rolls newspapers into incredibly strong poles ideal for building and sculpting. One of only two machines in Scotland, Lisa will be helping pupils roll their Stixx from a pile of old papers, join them with cable ties and build a chair that will, incredibly, take the weight of an adult.

Lisa said, “Pupils will be amazed at the fun they can have producing a chair with a combination of some lateral engineering thinking and a pile of old papers. I’m relishing the challenge of helping them produce some remarkable items which are far stronger than they might expect, combining the raw science of engineering, technology and maths along with recycling.”

Open to 11-19 year olds, the competition will be spread across Perth Concert Hall, the neighbouring Perth Museum and Art Gallery and, for the first time, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. It is expected to attract around 90 competing projects, with around 850 pupils, competitors and visitors attending from 65 schools.

Jennifer Smith, Tayside Manager of organisers TechFest-SetPoint, said, “We are once again very excited to be highlighting science in countless forms at The Big Bang Scotland. We never fail to be staggered, impressed and heartened by pupils’ interpretations of science, engineering, technology and maths and, in return, we are offering them some fantastic workshops which do not – at first glance – seem particularly scientific but which truly are. From delicious chocolate, to chairs made out of newspapers and a host of other fun slants on science, we are promising a fantastic and inspirational day out for Scottish pupils and their teachers.”

Schools with an interest in visiting on the day should visit www.thebigbangfair.co.uk/scotland or www.techfestsetpoint.org.ukas soon as possible and, in any case, by 11 May. Alternatively, schools can contact Jennifer Smith directly – telephone 01382 308571 or email j.young@abertay.ac.uk


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