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Science Busking Day
Sat 7 March at 11:00 am until 3:00 pm
Free event for families
The Roman Baths and Bath Abbey – which share the same ancient underground spring – will jointly host a free Science Busking event in the square under the cover of a marquee.
Bath Abbey is currently undertaking a major engineering project to restore the Abbey’s collapsing floor, harness Bath’s hot spring waters to power eco-friendly underfloor heating and build new facilities in the underground vaults beneath. Visitors will be able to find out first-hand from some of the contractors who will be sharing their innovative work: Wessex Archaeology will show virtual reality views of what lies beneath the Abbey floor, while BuroHappold will demonstrate their engineering expertise. IsoEnergy are producing special EnergyBlades to harness the energy in Bath’s spa water to heat the Abbey. In addition, teams from the University of the West of England and Bath Spa University will be offering sessions on printing and photogrammetry.
Activity 1: Which material conducts heat best?
The new heating system at the Abbey will harness the natural heat from the waste water at the Roman Baths. A specially designed Energy blade by Isoenergy (which you can see on display in the tent) will enable that to happen.
This experiment will enable children to decide which material conducts heat best and therefore what the Energy blade is made from. By leaving spoons made of wood, plastic and metal in hot water, children can make their predictions then use a thermometer to read the temperature and find out if they were right.
Activity 2: Fun games to develop the thinking skills of an engineer
Critical thinking, problem solving and spatial reasoning skills are very important for the Footprint project engineers at Bath Abbey.
They need the ability to see how all the parts – the ledgerstones, the floor beneath them, the heating system – can be taken apart, altered and then put back together. The positions of the ledger stones have been carefully recorded so that they can be repaired and replaced in exactly the right place – it’s like a giant jigsaw puzzle.
Try our fun tangram games to develop your own mental skills – can you complete a pattern without gaps? Or copy an image using just 7 shapes? Try racing against the clock or a friend to make a specific pattern.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to explore how arches are built, experiment with aqueducts, find out what a paw print can reveal about Roman life, and discover why archaeologists use X-rays – all under the protective shelter of a marquee.
Science Busking is part of British Science Week 2020 and will kick off a full week of hands-on science activities at the Roman Baths, with this year’s topic being ‘Our diverse planet’.
Just turn up – advance booking not required. Children must be accompanied by an adult.