The Royal Holloway Science Festival is an event held every year for all ages, to open up the seemingly complicated world of science to young minds. For this years, there were many subjects covered on the day, including physics, mathematics, and psychology. There was even a live set up of miniature steam trains, and a falconry demonstration.
As you walk onto campus, you are greeted with crowds and crowds of people getting things to eat, and watching the spectacular bird display outside the Windsor Building. Inside, there are stalls catered to various science subjects.
We checked out the psychology sections and met a couple of friends who’d come to the event together. When asked about their main interest in coming to the festival, Imogen, 14 said “I’m most interested in the psychology, I’m thinking of doing it at uni” and friend Neha, also 14 agreed. “We came here last year, I’m interested in forensic psychology or history.” They were very keen to find out more and learn something new, and research the possibility of taking science on for further education.
Later on we spoke to a mother and daughter, who were sat on the floor building their own K’nex models of the fastest land car. We had a chat about what sort of things they’d already gotten up to, and what they looked forward to the most. Mum, Kate, told us, “We are going to do the methane talk, and the new art explorers talk. I got here super early to get to the front of the queue and get all the tickets. We’ve come every year for about 5 years, it’s amazing and really good.” Honour, 6, also told us about her day. “We went to recognise faces for psychology and I also enjoyed stroking an owl.” As the theme of the day is ‘Discoveries’, we asked Kate what her favourite scientific discovery is, at which point she laughed and said “Probably the washing machine! It gets the work done quickly and then you can go to the library.”
Outside Windsor, there were crowds of people moving towards other buildings, so we headed to the campus hub of science – Bourne Laboratory. As well as stalls greeting us at the entrance, in the depths of the building we found a collection of interesting biology activities, including live bees, arts and crafts and peeking around the gruesome but interesting zoology museum. We caught Harriet, 8 and her Dad just as they were off for lunch. “I love all science” she says, and they both told us of earlier events in the physics department, with the best thing so far being “seeing you spinning on that chair!” which Dad explained was a demonstration on angular momentum.
Our last trip was to the Boilerhouse to see the miniature steam railways. “They have Thomas!” Ben, 7, told us “I love trains, you should really check it out!” We followed his advice, and we saw gatherings of people looking at an impressive model railway in action.
The festival was from 10 am to 4 pm, with Insanity radio playing in all campus outlets, outside of Bourne Library and inside Bourne Laboratory and Windsor building.
Written by Cheylea Hopkinson
Interviews conducted by Alice Barnes-Brown, Cheylea Hopkinson and Alika Hagon.