The University of Nottingham offered me the opportunity to repeat what I had brought to life with the Science in the Park - Wollaton Edition! Only this time the public engagement opportunity emerged from a colleague of mine, Hazel Silistre, asking me if I'd like to participate as a team of two.
The Nottingham University Academy of Science and Technology has brand new premises opening soon and students had the chance to come visit several informational stands in the Main Park Campus. These stands introduced students to a range of different areas of science, and talks attended offered insight on the different activities provided by NUAST as well as bringing attention to other scientific topics.
But the students were only satisfied in all their fullness when they happened to find the The Toxicologist Today's stand. Hazel and I worked really hard to develop what we advertised, in situ, as "the most reliable tool these days for one to know his/her inner predisposition for a career in science", aka THE SCIENTOMETER.
Participating students had to respond to 10 science-related questions distributed through different science fields, from Chemistry to Molecular Biology, from Physics to Microbiology, etc etc etc. We had participants of all ages since some people got so enticed by the game and the atmospheres created that they had to take part in it. Vibrant people with a lot of Pub-Quizz experience like the lively Psychologist Paul Garrud who completely destroyed his opponents by scoring 10 out of 10, learning he is still in time to get to be a Freakin' Einstein!
The goodies were kindly funded by the University of Nottingham and consisted of chocolate of fine quality (everyone was thriving to get the Toblerones)! All participants got sweeties and by the end of the event everyone looked fairly happy with the experience and the knowledge gained.
What really impressed me was how dedicated some of the kids were, especially when their parents were around; they really wanted to do well and show that the future of the country, if not of the world, is secured, for they were all EXCELLENT.
Some of our work colleagues also present in the event, however representing their own stands, asked us to have a go because the fun was so contagious. The Scientometer made its way to the hearts of everyone there present, and even at some moments we had people queuing for half an hour just to have a go. That made me really proud!
By the end of the event the two of us were really happy that we made it to the end without a scratch. We had loads of fun, promoted science in a funny entertaining manner, learned from the experience, also learned that some parents who have careers far away from our science, such as lorry drivers, police officers, etc, were actually people with very capable sciency brains and very good in untangling the complicated questions.
We were invited to repeat the experience once again on the 25th of November, this time not in campus but very close by; more precisely at the NUAST brand new premises.We will definitely be there, but a few new surprises are going to be created just for this upcoming event.