This year British Science Week runs between 9-18 March, and the country will be buttoning up their lab coats and pulling on their safety goggles for the fun-filled citizen science experiments on offer. Here are a few fun ways to celebrate one of the UK's biggest festivals of science.
Fancy building a bug hotel? Creating some cheese from scratch? Or how about making your own Aztec poo? There are plenty of fun experiments to try in this year’s free activity packs, with resources for early years, primary and secondary ages. The theme is ‘exploration and discovery’, so the aim is to get young people thinking about the everyday science that surrounds them. Check out our DIY Science special for even more experiment ideas.
Clean up our beaches
Help tackle the plastic problem from the comfort of your home with this year’s citizen science project, in collaboration with The Plastic Tide. This charity is using drones to map the pollution on beaches around the world. Participants will be asked to look at images snapped by the drones, tagging any plastics and litter they see. The aim is to train a machine learning algorithm to detect the plastics automatically, helping scientists to track where the litter in our oceans goes. The target for British Science Week is 250,000 image tags, so get spotting here!
Design a poster
Flex your creative muscles and create a poster for the British Science Association’s annual competition. The poster can be anything on the theme of ‘exploration and discovery’, and each school that’s taking part can select five entrants for the UK-wide competition, with prizes up for grabs. Closing date for entries is Friday 6 April at 6pm.
Pledge an event
If you’re organising something for British Science Week, you can now pledge your event so that it appears on a handy interactive map. But you don’t have to pledge an event to get involved. There are oodles of happenings around the country, including a Science Treasure Hunt in Norwich, a Holograms & History event at Swansea’s Egypt Centre, a celebration of animal adaptations at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, and a chance to create your own weather systems at the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Fife. Head to sciencelive.net/whats-on/ to browse the events near you.
Run to the Deep
Following on from last year’s race through the Solar System, the limber-limbed can this year run to the depths of the ocean floor. The 10km ‘virtual race’ can be run anywhere, anytime, and is free to enter. You just need a smartphone to download the app, which features audio commentary from the explorer Pierre-Yves Cousteau, son of the legendary marine conservationist Jacques Cousteau.
As you run through your real-world surroundings, you’ll be taken on a journey from the surface of the ocean to the Mariana Trench – the deepest known part of the oceans – meeting some strange creatures and exploring alien landscapes along the way.
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