Education coordinator Kate Whetter led three days of fantastic outreach looking at seaside chemistry, at the Royal Cornwall Show in June.
AUTHOR: Kate Whetter
The Royal Cornwall Show is a huge agricultural show with nearly as many sheep as people! Around 100,000 visitors attend over the three days. Much of Cornwall is very rural so having this many people in one place was a rare and exciting opportunity to reach a large audience.
We were very fortunate to be hosted by Truro and Penrith College at their stand, which gave us a great platform to do some cool chemistry. Furthermore the stand was in a prominent ring-side position – a huge advantage among so many visitors.
We had a great mix of activities all under the theme of seaside chemistry. The main focus was plastic in the sea, and I had a ‘sea’ made of a turquoise dustbin full of large plastic waste such as carrier bags and flip-flops. We also had some nurdles – small plastic pellets that often end up washed up on beaches – and then we finally we had slides of microplastics, which we showed under a microcope. So we were really showcasing the range of plastic waste in the sea, from the large to the very small.
We had lots of different people coming to the stand – several school groups, but also parents and families. We think we had around 1000 people come to the stand in total, so it was pretty busy! 10 amazing member volunteers helped us out at the event, which also happened to fall within National Volunteers Week.
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