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Science Open Day: The Science of Speed

Posted on 23/03/2011

Building your own roller coaster is just one of the activities on offer

Royal Holloway, University of London is welcoming visitors of all ages to its Science Open Day on Saturday (26 March) 2011 from 10am to 4pm.

Showcasing many aspects of the extensive research and outreach of the College’s science departments, there will be free talks, workshops and hands-on sessions based on this year’s theme ‘The Science of Speed.’

Captain Mike Bannister, Chief Pilot of the British Airways Concorde fleet from 1995-2003, will kick off the day’s talks with Concorde: the Long View where he will talk about the supersonic airliner’s transatlantic journeys.

Richard Noble, director of Bloodhound SSC, who was responsible for bringing the world land speed record to Britain in 1983 with his Thrust2 programme, will discuss the car which made it all happen. His latest project is to build the world’s first car that can reach one thousand miles per hour.

Continuing the speed theme Chris Chedzey from Thorpe Park explains Twisted Physics: the Science of Stealth and Saw and will unveil plans for the theme park’s most spectacular roller coaster yet.

This year the College will also be hosting a wide range of displays and activities about all things speedy, from planes, trains, cars and not forgetting roller casters. Activities include making your own model racing car with staff from Brooklands Museum, to test and take away; finding out more about the fastest trains and cars from the past; exploring demonstrations and experiments from the Psychology Department that test how easy it is to judge the speed of oncoming traffic; and visiting the Physics Department in the Tolansky Laboratory to build your own roller coaster and measure how fast its cars can go.

Elsewhere you can learn about the magic of British native hardwoods, and the creatures that live in the soil and undergrowth, as you make a wand with the Fairyland Trust.

You can also make model viruses and DNA in the School of Biological Sciences and learn how X-box games, Lego robots and CGI films are made in the Department of Computer Science. At the Department of Earth Sciences, find out how we measure earthquakes using seismometers and geophones, pan for gold, and follow the story of life’s evolution through a fossil challenge.

Watch a film produced by our researchers to celebrate London’s waterscapes for 2012 and discover how we measure changes in climate, and how different environments react at varying rates in the Department of Geography. Break codes and learn how to send secret messages in the Department of Mathematics or sign up to ‘Lights, Camera, Action!’ for a chance to be a TV presenter or to work behind the camera.

Dean of Science, Professor Philip Beesley, says: "I look forward to welcoming you to our Science Open Day, with a programme full of hands-on activities to engage all ages. The day provides a superb opportunity to enjoy the fun and excitement of science, and to celebrate many examples of Royal Holloway’s world-leading science research.”

The event is free of charge and no booking is necessary.

The full programme is available on the College website


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