Geared to the needs of both primary and secondary school pupils, the RSE Roadshow is held in different locations throughout the year. Offering a combination of talks and workshops, these events bridge the gap between primary and secondary school. There is usually an event for the wider community as well.
The RSE Spring Roadshow took place in Largs on 19 and 20 March 2009 and this year took a nautical theme. Dr Sabrina Malpede shared her knowledge about how sailboats sail by delivering a series of workshops to P6 pupils from several local Primary schools: Kelburn, Fairlie, Skelmorlie, Cumbrae and Brisbane.
The sessions for the Primary Schools were held at Largs Academy and the Roadshow concluded on Friday 20 March with an evening lecture for Secondary school pupils and members of the general public at Largs Sailing Club, Largs Yacht Haven, entitled How does a sail boat sail?
The lecture was delivered by Dr Malpede and covered not only ‘how sailboats sail’ but also the history of sailing and the evolution of sail boat racing, as well as a brief insight into her company's innovative technology for sail and mast design.
Dr Sabrina Malpede is the co-founder and Managing Director of SMAR Azure Ltd. For the past ten years, she has been involved in sail design, at first for her doctorate and then within SMAR Azure for the development of products and services required by the Industry. She was awarded an Enterprise Fellowship in 2003 by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Scottish Enterprise.
In 2004, she won the ‘SMART:Scotland’ Award for the development of an innovative technology for sail and mast design that is now part of the technology owned by SMAR Azure Ltd.
Dr Malpede is a graduate with honours in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Naples (Italy) and has a PhD in Sail Design from the University of Glasgow (UK).
SMAR Azure works closely with sail-makers, designers and racers to develop software programs that improve quality standards, manufacturing processes and the relationship with the final customers.
Their programs are recognised as the best integrated design and optimisation solution in sail design currently available in the market and allow for any kind of sail-shape and dimension, including gaff sails.
This year’s Autumn Roadshow took place at Wallacestone Primary School, Falkirk on 26 and 27 November 2007.
In addition to Wallacestone Primary which hosted the roadshow, the following schools also took part.
Shield Hill Primary
Workshops provided included:
A Hands-on Maths Workshop for P6/7 pupils delivered by Professor Jack and Teresa Carr
A Hands-on Bridge Building Workshop for P6/P7 pupils by Professor Miles Padgett
An Evening Interactive Talk for the general public, parents and carers, teachers and sixth-form students from the local High Schools. Does God Play Dice? by Professor Miles Padgett.
On the 27 and 28 February 2007 the RSE Roadshow visited the High School in Ullapool. During this visit maths workshops were delivered by Teresa Carr to P6/7 pupils from Ulla pool’s six feeder Primary schools. The workshops explored ‘How a board for rolling marbles can produce a magical triangle and how hidden patterns, as simple as 1, 2, 3 and as complicated as a famous fractal called Sierpinski's, are found in this triangle. Then a completely unrelated game, called "Chinese Nim", was played to determine yet more mathematical magic!’
All the Primary schools were also involved, on both days, in a ‘Chimp Challenge’, presented by Annie Graham, the Education Officer from Edinburgh Zoo. The pupils took part in an exciting, large scale board game which linked into the 5-14 Environmental Guidelines and Global Citizenship. They experienced a selection of tastes, smells, music, costumes and problem solving from real-life situations that the animals and people of the Budongo Forest, Uganda face. This challenge not only provided observation skills and conservation awareness of Ugandan life but also an insight into some chimp behaviour and all this resulted, in a highly interactive lesson.
Professor Alan Heavens, Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh, gave an astronomy talk to S5/6 students from Ullapool High School. Professor Heavens' research interests include exploring the properties of the Universe using light bending, the fireball radiation of the Big Bang, and the formation of the galaxies. His talk covered ‘What happens to stars?’ He explained how big stars are in a delicate balance and are kept alive by a big nuclear reactor in the middle but that when the fuel runs out some stars explode violently into a supernova explosion while others may collapse dramatically into a Black Hole.
Professor Heavens also explored the strange properties of curved space around Black Holes and dipped the students’ toes into wormholes, time travel and the physics in the movies.
On the afternoon of 28th February there was an interactive talk provided by Annie Graham, for S4-S6 students, which offered the chance for them to explore the role of modern zoos and learn about how studbook keepers use computer dating to maintain genetic diversity within a captive population. Annie also introduced the important research and in situ projects that zoos support around the world, to help in the conservation of wild animals.
Professor Heaven’s talk from the afternoon was then adapted for an evening lecture. The lecture was extremely popular and the theatre was filled with a total of 56 members of the public who took up the opportunity to ask an expert specific questions which resulted in an enthusiastic crowd staying for an additional half an hour extra to hear Professor Heaven’s answers.
Feedback after the lecture when asked ‘Have you learnt anything new this evening?’ included the following:
- “Yes, I learnt that photons are mass-less”
- “I am amazed that 50,000 neutrons per second pass through our brain from the sun”
- “The depth of my ignorance!”
- “Weird something that exists but doesn’t exist”
On the 6th and 7th March the RSE Roadshow visited Lochaber High School in Fort William. Computer Science workshops, in which Primary and Secondary students will learnt about Computer Science and how the subject underpins the technologies all around us in interactive workshops. Meanwhile, primary students also got the chance to tackle Codes and Circles and Funny Money in mathematics workshops, whilst senior students learnt about the complex science behind DNA fingerprinting in a talk by Dr Adrian Linacre of The University of Strathclyde.
roadshow image On Monday 6th March at 7.30pm Dr Linacre gave a public talk entitled, DNA Fingerprinting: Its use in famous cases.
Using a variety of famous cases to illustrate the talk he explained what DNA Profiling is and how it has been used to identify people in previously unsolved mysteries. An important modern development in forensic science, DNA profiling has received much interest and attention in recent years. It has proved to be a powerful means by which criminals and innocent people have been identified. Dr Adrian Linacre is a lecturer in the Forensic Science Unit at the University of Strathclyde, where he teaches DNA Profiling and Forensic Biology. He is also authorised to present evidence in court. His main research interest is the profiling of controlled substances by DNA.
Stranraer – Autumn 2005
EINSTEIN and other marks™ Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Represented by The Roger Richman Agency, Inc., www.albert-einstein.net
On 27 and 28 October 2005 the RSE visited Stranraer for a Roadshow with a Physics theme as part of Einstein™ Year.
Primary and secondary students had the chance to learn more about physics, including black holes, levitating strawberries and the physics of sound, in a selection of talks and hands-on workshops.
There was also an interactive lecture for the general public revealing more about music, musical instruments and the physics behind them.
Events for Schools
The RSE Roadshow visited Dingwall on 8-9 March. Alice Walker of the British Geological Survey talked to S1 and S2 students about earthquakes. Meanwhile, a team from Glasgow University revealed the role Computer Science plays in our every day lives in a workshop for S4 and S5 students entitled Computer Science Inside…the mobile phone. Following their popularity at the Arbroath Roadshow in October 2004, a team of postgraduate students from Edinburgh University once more gave P6 and P7 students the opportunity to answer the question Do I eat DNA? In a workshop where children extracted DNA from strawberries and kiwi fruit.
On Tuesday 8 March at 7.00pm Alice Walker gave a public talk, Earthquakes: at home and abroad, in which she discussed the cause and impact of earthquakes in the UK and further afield, including the Boxing Day Indian Ocean tsunami.
The 2004 Autumn Roadshow was held in Arbroath on 26 – 28 October.
The 2004 Spring Roadshow was held on the Isle of Skye on the 15 and 16 March as part of National Science Week.
The 2003 Roadshow was held in Wick and Thurso, Caithness and the 2002 event in Berwickshire.