Wyche Innovation Centre, Walwyn Road, Malvern, WR13 6PL, UK

+44 (0)1684 252 404 info@innovatemalvern.com


Malvern Science in the Park 2018

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Alfresco Family Event

 Saturday 30th June 2018

 Priory Park, Great Malvern


Thank you to everyone who came along to Malvern's premier hands-on alfresco science event.

This page serves as an archive of the day's participants and activities. You can also read about the day in the Malvern Gazette.

We were delighted that Harriett Baldwin MP, Member of Parliament for West Worcestershire, kindly opened the event at 10:30am.

Take a look at last year's programme in our archives.

#InnovateMalvern, #ScienceInPark


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Year of Engineering

The Year of Engineering is a UK government campaign which celebrates the world and wonder of engineering during 2018. From spaceships to ice skates, the bubbles in chocolate bars to life saving cancer treatment, engineering touches every part of our lives. However, not enough young people – especially young girls – think it’s a world for them. As a result, the industry is struggling to recruit future talent. What’s more, young people are missing out on the chance to make a positive difference to both their futures, that of the planet and everything that calls it home.

YoEgovuk, #YoE


Activites for all the family

Experiments, games and demonstrations showcasing science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, is committed to making IT good for society. They champion the global IT profession and the interests of individuals, engaged in that profession, for the benefit of all. The impact of IT on modern society is greater than ever, it's down to all of us to ensure it is positive.



Cancer Research UK funds scientists, doctors and nurses to help beat cancer sooner. Their ambition is to accelerate progress and see three-quarters of people surviving the disease within the next 20 years. The registered charity also provides cancer information to the public. Come along to take part in some exciting activities that will help explain what cancer is and the research that is being done to tackle it.


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Cheltenham Science Group are a community interest company seeking to inspire a new generation to love science, technology, engineering and maths. They will be bringing along a number of hands-on science experiments and demonstrations for students to investigate.


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The Herefordshire & Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust is a charity that aims to record, protect and promote geology and landscape, and to raise awareness of this Earth Heritage by engaging the public in educational programmes. At the event, they will have rocks and minerals on display, and some geology-related activities to keep you busy including encouraging you to be a dinosaur detective.  Vernon the velociraptor will be there weather permitting!


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Local paleontologist from e-fossils, Dr Mark O'Dell, will show some of his fossil finds from the west of the Malvern Hills and in the Cotswolds. He'll also crack open a few nodules with the hope of finding some freshly exposed fossils, and he can answer questions you might have about your own fossil samples.

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Throughout the day Fizzy Dizzy and Solar Stu from Fizz Pop Science will enthuse you with hands-on science activities, including chemsitry experiments of turning a liquid into a solid with slime.


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Flux Moving Science explores innovative ways of translating scientific principles into theatrical form. They provide a platform to educate, communicate and discuss scientific ideas, research and theories within local communities, in a way which is captivating and engaging, formative yet accessible.  Their pioneering approach to science communication and education has been recognised and supported throughout the UK. Their team will be encouraging you to participate in fun science-related dance workshops in the park throughout the day.



For over 140 years the Institution of Engineering & Technology (The IET) has been inspiring, informing and influencing the global engineering community; supporting technology innovation to meet the needs of society. Come to complete the assembly of a Mediaeval siege engine experiment before trying it out to see how well your finished design works.



Institution of Mechanical Engineers works with leading companies, universities, and think tanks to create and share knowledge, fresh thinking and authoritative guidance on all aspects of mechanical engineering. At the park, the IMechE will be hosting a model bridge building competition and demonstrating a manually operated hydraulic robot arm.

@IMechE, @IMechE_Worcs

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Institute of Physics is a leading scientific society; a charitable organisation with a worldwide membership of more than 50,000, working together to advance physics education, research and application. Join them at the event to take part in various hands-on physics experiments including blowing large bubbles, understanding bouncing balls, exploring the way slinkies travel down steps, trying out balloon helicopters, testing ‘exploding’ lolly sticks, as well as investigating pendula, rope waves, and grass whistles.

@iophwc, @PhysicsNews


Komatsu (formerly Joy Mining Machinery in Worcester) are a worldwide leader in high-productivity mining solutions. They manufacture and market equipment and services for the mining industry for use above and underground. At this event they will be demonstrating the use of table-top trebuchets to launch soft projectiles at a target.


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Join the Met Office team on fun experiments to learn more about the effects of air pressure, how clouds form and forecasting. Hopefully there wont be any dark clouds forming at the event, but if there are, you'll be able to understand how and why!


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Steve Dawes, a STEM Ambassador and regular contributor to the monthly family and adult Malvern Raspberry Jam Pi computer sessions at the Wyche Innovation Centre, will demonstrate a working Raspberry Pi weather station in the park. Hopefully it will be measuring a high ambient temperature, high air pressure, and no precipitation!

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MRATHS tells the stories of Malvern's science heritage through exhibitions, talks and visits to schools. They will have a sports Doppler radar on display to measure how fast you can run. Will you be the fastest?

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Chris Hamlett, a STEM Ambassador with the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Lecturer in Chemistry at Nottingham Trent University, will lead some hands-on experiments exploring the water soaking properties of different materials, the wettability of different surfaces, and how surfactants affect the stability of bubbles. Expect to get a little wet!

@hamlettcae, @RoySocChem

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Schoolasaurus provides a fun-filled educational service that aims to give young people a unique, creative experience whilst they learn about rocks, minerals, dinosaurs and fossils that are found in their local area.



STEM Ambassadors use their enthusiasm and commitment to encourage young people to enjoy STEM subjects. They open the doors to a world of opportunities and possibilities which come from pursuing STEM subjects and careers. STEM Ambassadors not only inspire young people, they also support teachers in the classroom by explaining current applications of STEM in industry or research.

@STEMLearningUK (@STEMNET previously)

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‘Transition’ describes practical changes we can make, both as individuals and in our communities, to cope with the twin challenges of climate change and the end of cheap oil. With this demonstration, you can learn how electricity is created through wind power with this home-made wind turbine.


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The Department of Oncology from the University of Oxford undertakes clinical and basic cancer research through multidisciplinary collaboration and scientific interaction with the ultimate goal of increasing cancer cure rates. Their outreach team will be joining us to explain, through interactive activities, the science of proton beam therapy and how MRI scans can help to successfully target cancers.

@OCTO_Oxford, @UniofOxford


Worcester Astronomical Society was founded in 1984 by a group of local amateur astronomers to promote astronomy. They hold meetings throughout the year, with many special events including exhibitions, observing evenings and visits to places of astronomical interest. At this event, they will demonstrate the hydrogen-alpha telescope to see solar prominences, and another telescope with a solar filter to see Sun spots (let's hope it is sunny!).



Science buskers

Be captivated by explanations of the scientific world around us, delivered from the bandstand.


Sarah Cosgriff. Forces & Flight.

Science communicator Sarah will talk about different forces and the science of flight, exploring the physics behind taking to the air in a plane or a rocket. She'll also be running hands-on workshops during the day in which you can build your own balloon rockets and fizzy rockets. Sarah has a Masters in Systems Biology from the University of Warwick and now works as Gender Balance Officer at the Institute of Physics.



Dr Chris Hamlett. Surface Tension.

Chris is a lecturer in Chemistry at the Nottingham Trent University, will demonstrate and explain surface tension, hydrophobic surfaces, hydrophyllic surfaces and the importance of chemical surfactants.




Dr Sean Elvidge. Space Weather.

Hear from Sean, a scientist from the University of Birmingham, as he explores the causes of space weather and the potential repercussions (and likelihood) of a superstorm. The impact of major space weather events are currently being discussed at the highest level of governments and is an active area of research. The potential damage of a solar superstorm to our national economy, communications network and electricity grid is a real threat. Such storms can cause the loss of GPS (with many more consequences than just not being able to find the way around Malvern), alter the orbits of satellites and could cripple the electricity grids around the world.



Dr Mark O'Dell. Fossils - a Window into the Past.

Local paleontologist Mark will talk about the tools he uses to find, extract and clean-up fossils. He's found interesting samples to the west of the Malvern Hills and a little further afield in the Cotswolds.

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Richard Henson FBCS, as Professor George Boole.

Professor George Boole FRS was an English Mathematician who is largely considered the forefather of logic and digital computing. Notably, he invented Boolean Algebra. If his Tardis works, we hope to welcome him to the bandstand!



Nicky Thomas. Fun with Dry Ice.

Experienced science teacher Nicky will talk about some exciting physics topics. Nicky also works for the Institute of Physics's Diversity department, with schools in the West Midlands and South West.



Matt Ward. An Excursion into Medical Physics.

Matt is a junior research physicist in radiation oncology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. His work focuses mostly on adaptive treatments that offer a reduction in acute and long-term toxicities to patients. He'll explain how new developments in image guided radiotherapy are providing dramatic health benefits for patients afflicted with some cancers such as those found in the lung and abdomen.


Dr Adrian Burden. Carbon Carbon Everywhere.

Adrian, the lead organiser of Malvern Science in the Park, used to research carbon using electron microscopes. To help ensure we have enough science buskers to fill the programme, he'll dredge up some interesting facts from his hazy memory about the element carbon and how it forms various different allotropes like graphite, diamond and C60 fullerenes.




Prof. Chris Lintott? In case you were hoping to see astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Chris explain some of the wonders of the universe, unfortunately as we warned might happen, he was called away at the last minute to be on duty with BBC's The Sky at Night. Hopefully the stars may align for next year! @chrislintott


Science trails

Seek out scientific facts, figures and artefacts hidden in the park.

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Dinosaur detective trail: No longer Priory Park, but Jurassic Park! Find the eight hidden dinosaurs and complete the prehistoric quiz.


Interplanetary trail: Tour the park looking for the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and minor planet Pluto. Can you also find the asteroid belt, some comets and one or two man made probes? Just how far will you have to walk?

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Materials around us trail: Can you find examples of metals, polymers, ceramics, glass, and composites within Priory Park? Answer our quiz questions to better understand why some materials are well suited to certain uses whilst others simply are not.

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Microscopy trail: Equip yourself with a fresnel lens and pack of colouring pencils from the information desk, and scout around the park for specimens to examine closely and sketch.


Microbe hunt: Can you spot the generally nasty (but also furry!) viruses and bacteria dispersed around the park? Try not to catch a cold or chicken pox, and definitely avoid ebola. And can you emulate Dr. Alexander Fleming and find the one good guy, penicillin? 


Photo call

All you Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram fans can take a piccy at our photo booths and share for fun with the hashtag #ScienceInPark

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The Big Bang Theory: One day we'll try to get the real actors, but in the meantime, you'll have to make do with our life-size cardboard cutouts. Featuring Amy (neuroscientist), Bernadette (microbiologist), Howard (aerospace engineer), Leonard (experimental physicist), and of course Sheldon (theoretical physicist).



Mad Lab: Scientists aren't really all mad, but you can put on an Einstein wig, labcoat and safety specs to look a bit crazy if you'd like.



Thanks to Dr Alan Smith CPhys, FInstP from West Midland Branch of the IoP for his help with the organisation of this event.


2018 Malvern Science in the Park Sponsors & Supporters