The School of Chemistry Outreach and Public Engagement team consisting of undergraduate (Yvonne Anderson, Mohamed Katish) , postgraduate students (Kelly Gallagher) and staff (Dr Anna-Maria Maciejuk and Prof. Eleanor Campbell), visited the Isle of Bute in September to take part in the Annual Baird of Bute Festival of Flight. The team, armed with plenty of demonstrations connected to research themes at the School of Chemistry including giant bubbles, solar powered bugs, and plans for kite making, joined members of the Baird of Bute society at Ettrick Bay for a day full of fun activities and an air show.
The Festival of Flight celebrates Andrew Baird of Bute, a pioneer in aviation and the first to attempt an entirely Scottish flight of a heavier-than-air powered craft. The Baird of Bute Society use the example set by Baird in 1910 to continue inspiring young minds to strive for greatness in their own ways.
Our drop-in activity opportunities proved very popular with visitors of all ages. We talked about the importance of solar energy with the help of Solar Spark, as well as explaining the components of visible light and its position on the electromagnetic spectrum. Kids also had the chance to learn about surface tension and how bubbles are formed – we even spotted some budding chemists in the molecule building activity.
The team was also able to speak with some older school students who were preparing for upcoming university applications. We shared tips and advice on personal statements, open days and what to expect in first year based on our own experiences.
Although the weather left much to be desired to begin with, by the time the planes took to the sky for the air show, the sun was shining. This made our afternoon trip to Mount Stuart gardens even more glorious and a perfect way to round off a great day on Bute.