With 30 volunteers over three days and an estimated 17,000+ visitors, the numbers stacked up for another epic weekend supporting the first in the 2012 series of the BBC’s Bang Goes the Theory Interactive Roadshows.
Located in the heart of Edinburgh, the activities were housed in a set of massive interconnected inflatable domes offering visitors a chance to test their bodies and minds to the limits. The IOP volunteers were performing some of the ever-popular ‘Physics in the Field’ experiments and were working alongside other activities provided by organisations including the Royal Society of Chemistry and Society of Biology.
With activities based upon the popular Marvin and Milo’s ‘do try this at home’ experiments, visitors were encouraged to do the experiments for themselves and try to come up with their explanations for what they were observing. Despite the apparent simplicity of the experiments, the underlying physics is fascinating, and it was a great to be able to explore this with the visiting public.
“As ever these events are driven by the enthusiasm of our volunteers. Once again I was overwhelmed by the positive response of our volunteers in the lead up to, and during the event. Although the roadshow was Edinburgh based our volunteers came from several University Physics Departments and Industries spread across central Scotland. Without their help these events would not be possible – so they deserve a huge thank-you for their effort! These events are great fun and I would encourage anyone with an interest in physics to consider helping out at future Bang Goes the Theory Interactive Roadshows or at other Physics in the Field events”.
Text: Bill MacPherson. Bill led the IOP’s team of volunteers at the Edinburgh roadshow. He is currently IOP Scotland Honorary Secretary and lecturer in Physics at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.