Enter the Science Fair at Science in the Park


Are you a future scientist? You are invited to the Science Fair at Science in the Park 2018!!

The BSA science fair will be held as part of Science in the Park at Wollaton Park on 10th March 2018 11-4. The Science fair is open to all students up to Year 11. Participation certificates for all entrants and prizes for the best in each category.

There will be age three categories

  1. Primary (up to Year 6)
  2. Key stage 3 (Year 7-9)
  3. Key Stage 4 (Year 10-11)

Within each category students are invited to use their creativity to create a science project that they can display. This could include creating a model or designing an experiment and making a poster.

All students wishing to take part should email scienceip@hotmail.com by the 2nd March so we can provide a space to display your entry for judging.


Science Project Guidance of Science in the Park Science Fair 2018


Students can make models out of any household materials.

Dimensions of model (must be free standing and fit on a table top of dimensions 1 x 1 metre) Students with models will be asked about them so they might want to research something about them too.

Examples of models are:

  • DNA,
  • The difference between animal and plant cells,
  • Energy efficient homes,
  • The solar system
  • An engine


Choose something that interests you and ask a question

The question should contain one factor (variable) that you can change in your experiment and at least one factor (variable) that you can measure and you should try to make the experiment fair and stay safe.

For example:

  • Which biscuit is the best dunker? (The thing that you change is the type of biscuit; you measure the number of dunks before the biscuit falls apart; to make it fair, the tea should be kept at a constant temperature, each dunk should last the same length of time; don’t scold your fingers on the hot tea.)
  • What effects the rate at which cress grows (change the growing conditions – full sun, partial shade, complete darkness; measure the height of the plants, to make it fair, the plants should all be given the same amount of water and be kept at the same temperature)

Experimental results should be presented as a poster.




What a great pub quiz!!!!!!

Our annual science pub quiz was a great event, raising £80.50 for our
flagship ‘Science in the Park’ event.

Despite the unfortunate traffic problems, it
was great to see that so many people persevered and made it to the pub! The science and drinks were flowing and with Gav as quizmaster, everyone was thoroughly entertained!

Congratulations to our winning team, Unicum Challenge, who not only won overall but also got top marks for the ‘women in science’ picture round resulting in a grand total of a bottle of wine and a gallon of beer, kindly provided by the Johnson Arms, to share between them.

A big thank you to the Johnson Arms for allowing us geeky scientists to intrude for the evening and to everyone who took part; we look forward to next year! And thank you to Laura for organising the evening.

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Mansfield Fun Palace


What a science-packed day we had at Mansfield Fun Palace on Saturday 6th October! With approximately 520 visitors and a range of space-themed activities from theatre productions to exploring Mars and making rockets, everyone had an ‘out of this world day’!!!

On the BSA Nottingham stand we explored the constellations though ‘make your own dot-to-dot constellations’ (the gold stars stickers were a big hit!). From there we ventured even further out of our own galaxy to the pinwheel galaxy, found in the big dipper constellation. Here we made pinwheels of the pinwheel galaxy which both children and adults enjoyed alike. After all this, we returned with many keen individuals looking forward to gazing up at the night sky.

Thank you to Mansfield museum (well worth a visit) and Sally for hosting the Fun Palace and creating a brilliant event. And to Chris from iGEM synthetic biology, Jess from MarsCAPE and Alastair from Engineering at the University of Nottingham, for bringing their activities along.

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Worksop Fun Palace

What a wonderful and sunny day it was at Worksop library’s Fun Palace. The library was packed full of a wide variety of creative, art and science activities from finger knitting to microbit coding!!!  Over 2,000 people came, buzzing with creativity, to enjoy the activities and some fantastic performances on the live stage.

At the BSA stall, we had 3 different science activities that the children could actively get involved with allowing them to take their science creations home with them. Making colour chromatography butterflies was a particularly popular activity; watching the separation of different colours along the filter paper fascinated both the children and parents leading to ideas about homemade hair bows using this technique. The homemade lava lamp was also a big hit with the children allowing them to visually understand the reaction of bicarbonate with water to form carbon dioxide bubbles, and if enough carbon dioxide bubbles could be produced the solution would then spill over the top- it did get rather messy!!! Finally, the making of your own optical Muller-Lyer illusion baffled the children and subsequently their parents and siblings when they showed off the new trick they had learnt!

Many thanks to Fun Palace for inviting us along, we had a fantastic and hope everyone else did too!

More picture to follow

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Missed Public Lectures: Read about them here!!

Did you miss the recent public lectures? Don’t worry  thanks to Gav at the Nottingham Science Blog you can read all about them here:

March: Bits and bytes when horses meet computers http://nottinghamscience.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/talk-bits-and-bytes-when-horses-meet.html

Feb: Things that go bang in the night (sky)                     http://nottinghamscience.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/talk-things-that-go-bang-in-night-sky.html

Jan: Thinking outside the (pill) box: alternative drug delivery strategies                               http://nottinghamscience.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/talk-thinking-outside-pill-box.html

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Science in the Park: Science Fair 2017

by Harriet Allen

I had the honour of judging the 2017 Nottingham branch British Science Association science fair, with Dr Steve Sharples of the University of Nottingham. I’m a Psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist and Steve is an engineer so we each had our own take on the entrants.

We were both absolutely amazed by all the entrants. Every entrant received a bumper pack of books and every one could have been a winner. I took a few images on my phone to remember the day. I wish I was a better photographer!

Science in the Park 2017 – More images

Janice Pang took a walk around the Hall and gardens. This is what she saw:


What a fantastic Science in the Park

This weekend saw the ninth Science in the Park event find place at the grand venue of Wollaton Hall. Although the weather took a turn for the worse, the enthusiasm and passion for science was not dampened, with over 4000 visitors through the doors!

People of all ages enjoyed the science, technology, engineering and mathematics outreach event organised by the Nottinghamshire British Science Association (BSA) branch.

Thanks to Wollaton Hall, all the exhibitors, sponsors and of course, all of you for coming!

See you next year 🙂 


Our spectacular home for the day, Wollaton Hall


Ready to welcome our first visitors

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Fun on the lawn with the National Space Centre and The Scouts

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Alex White, 10 growing his own crystals whilst others take a look with a magnifying glass

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Learning all about insects and hunting for some worms

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Khai, Thao (left) Sam and Jake (right) looking pleased with their BSA ‘Science at home’ kits

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A ‘Sciencey High 5’ and a maggot masterpiece

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A hands on antibiotics demonstration with Ella, 7 looking at some dinosaur poo!

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Making loud music with tesla coils and having fun with UV light


Professor Peter Mitchell telling us all about how our eyes deceive us

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Lewis from the Coddington Beavers and a group of friends enjoying the ‘Physics Buskers’ Balloon kebab activity

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Having fun bending light

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Seeing how quick our brain learns and trying to beat the computer with the University of Nottingham’s Psychology group

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Becoming a formulation scientist making hand cream

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Abigail Flewitt, 8 donning a lab coat and Harvey Scott, 9 who even brought his own!

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Trying to make a tasty sports drink in the Camillia House

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Scarlett Oatts talking to one of the event’s robots whilst others enjoy driving and dancing

Reality and Images at Wollaton Hall

We teamed up with the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Museums to contribute to the ESRC Festival of Social Science.

by Harriet Allen and Anastasia Popova


The festival is a week long celebration of all things social science related so we teamed up with the university Psychology department to investigate perception.


The Reality and Images event was held on November 5th 2016 as part of ESRC Festival of Social Science.  416 members of the public came and saw us, from the young to the old, from the local to the international visitor. It was great also to get a write up from the Nottingham Science Blog


The show featured work from the Fovolab from the Cardiff School of Art and Design. They are developing new ways to show images. They suggest that the visual system distorts what we see in subtle ways, but this means that neither traditional linear perspective or ‘fish-eye’ lenses capture how we really see things. You can see some of their images and projections here:


Activities included demo by Dr Dani Ropar and Dr Harriet Allen demonstrating shape constancy effect.


Rebecca Hirst and Dr Harriet Allen demonstrated automatic processing of words, in the ‘Stroop’ effect showing that sometimes we just can’t avoid distraction. Rebecca was also collecting data for her PhD at the event, showing that all sorts of science can really be done in the ‘field’.


Anastasiia Popova demonstrated mirror drawing and motor learning. In fact, this is an activity you can still take part in. We’ve put all the materials up on our website: http://nottsbsa.org/mirror-drawing-activity/



We had some of the Nottingham museum collection available to handle. You could inspect the eyes of an owl or a gibbon or a sheep…why do they have eyes where they do?

And everyone enjoyed changing their perception with prism goggles and hyper scopes.