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Rubber Science and Astronomical Science at Woodford Children's Festival Big Ideas tent

Rubber flying disk launchers were constructed from pegs, rubber bands and flexible milk bottle liners in an attempt to break the UFO sightings at Woodford. About 30 youngsters loaded their launchers up and we all hoped for the best as they shot into space waiting for astronomers looking for evidence of intelligence to find their owners.

We started with some thumb wrestling and magic tricks using rubber bands.

Band-Jo instruments were made to play, using old venetian blind slats, boxes and rubber bands.

Small inertial motors were made from PVC pipe, 2 bottle top lids, 2 matches and a rubber band, then racing across the tables was finally achieved once they were all finely tuned to reduce friction, and minimise catching, and prolong the delivery of energy.

Youngsters made optical telescopes from old lenses after they rated the focal length of each lens, then observed a parabolic dish made from foil and an umbrella to finely tune an AM radio. We explored sending signals with Alfoil and battery to an AM radio.

We shared a Virtual Reality goggles for the Solar system, and then using FM receivers, groups went to find a hidden FM transmitter repeating a signal that we all recognised as a sign of intelligence " The Macarena", and there it was under a tree all along, who would have guessed?

We put together a sundial to take home for time during the day.

Then we Assembled a celestial clock to tell the time at night using the Southern Cross CRUX as the hour hand of a 24hr clock

Sundial for the Southern Hemisphere

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