Physics activities at the Midlothian Science Festival

The School of Physics and Astronomy was delighted to take part in the Midlothian Science Festival in October where we offered two physics-themed activities.

Escape room – locked in and clued up

Over 50 adults looked for clues to be able to escape from our specially designed physics lab within the time limit. The event was at times a bit stressful (on purpose!), but participants enjoyed the challenge.  Many of the ‘prisoners’ in our lab were impressed to have been able to solve physics-related problems, with one participant reporting she "never would have thought she would have so much fun doing physics".

The escape room was designed by Cristina Cortes and Robbie Peal, undergraduate students who are members of our Physics Outreach Team, and our Ogden Outreach & NBIC Outreach Officer, Dr Jean-Christophe Denis.

Microbe mania

Our ‘Biofilms: Welcome to microbe city’ workshops attracted 60 children aged 6 to 10 and their families. Participants had the opportunity to undertake some biophysics research - a strong research strand in the School - through the National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC). Workshops included designing the best combination of sticky tracks to avoiding rolling bacteria infecting a cathether, having a go at trying to remove ‘fake biofilms’ on giant mouth models, drawing what a microbial city might look like, and observing real biofilms under the microscopes. Apprentice biophysicists loved meeting researchers and learning about their work.

The event was designed and delivered by Dr Jean-Christophe Denis, and researchers, Prof. Cait MacPhee, Dr Gavin Melaugh and Dr Susana Direito, with the help of physics undergraduate students.