13 member volunteers, led by education coordinator Katayune Presland, braved wild weather at the Bluedot festival to carry out outreach activities with members of the public.
The Bluedot Festival, held this year on 19–21 July at Jodrell Bank in Macclesfield, is a family-friendly festival with interactive science, awe-inspiring arts, music and cosmic culture. Headline acts this year included Kraftwerk and Hot Chip, while speakers included Helen Sharman, Jim Al-Khalili and Liz Bonnin.
The team of volunteers interacted with around 1500 members of the public over the three days. They hosted a stand with activities themed around the International Year of the Periodic Table. These activities included "Play Your Elements Right", with top trumps cards, drawing attention to endangered elements including those in mobile phones. Another activity involved building an atom by throwing red and yellow bean bags representing neutrons and protons respectively into a central bucket representing the nucleus – blue bags were thrown into an outer ring to represent the electrons.
The volunteers also celebrated 50 years since the first moon landing, with some Mission Starlight experiments and Alka-Seltzer rockets.
The member volunteers included postgrads from Manchester Metropolitan University, undergrads, postgrads and postdocs from The University of Manchester, and members from industry. Quotes from members included:
This was probably my favourite volunteering opportunity to date!
Thanks for a great Bluedot volunteering experience, I really enjoyed it!
It was a fantastic day’s experience and even with the wild weather I had a blast.