The RSC Join the BBC’s Bang LIVE

By Penny Carmichael, on 11 June 2012

This year the RSC have joined BBC One’s Bang Goes the Theory LIVE roadshow. Running alongside the television programme of the same name, an educational science show with presenters Dallas Campbell, Liz Bonnin, Jem Stansfield and Dr. Yan Wong, toured the country and brought awe inspiring science to general public. It involved a LIVE show by the presenters where they got an audience to participate in explosive stage experiments that wowed spectators, whilst getting across scientific concepts that hoped to inspire future generations into a scientific career. Alongside the LIVE shows is a giant inflatable interactive tent which hosts a variety of hands-on demonstrations provided by both the BBC and their partners, one of which was the RSC which I (LB) coordinated.

Members of the RSC Bang team (left to right): Pauline Glen (Heriot-Watt), Leanne Bloor (UCL), Matthew Bacon, (Edinburgh), Ashley Beattie (Edinburgh), Matthew Robinson (Edinburgh)

We visited Edinburgh in April, Sheffield in May and Poole in June 2012. We’ve demonstrated magnetism using ferrofluids, (thanks to an exhibit from the Ri) and the properties of CO2 by allowing kids to blow bubbles that ‘float’ in a box of dry ice. We’ve also had 20 different pot luck smells, both nasty and nice, that introduce the concepts of “why do thing smell?”, functional groups and optical isomerism as well as using the blue bottle experiment to demonstrate redox reactions. Additionally, Joe Manzi (2nd year Eng Doc) joined the Bang team in 2012 and wowed the public with his scientific knowhow as a ‘science busker’. The roadshows have been a great success, seeing up to 18,000 people pass through the tent over three days. Hopefully some of those would have gone home having learnt something and wanting to learn more!

– Leanne Bloor