Blogging science to life
Fri 26 October 2012, Written by: Nicole
The turn in the seasons and the return of cooler temperatures means we’re all craving a bit of the warmer stuff, and the At-Bristol café does not disappoint.
We’ve updated our menu to include some winter favourites; including pie and mash, pasta dish of the day and a changing selection of soups. As well as the lighter selection of sandwiches and paninis.
There’s a delicious variety of dishes to fuel you through the winter months and where possible our ingredients are locally sourced ingredients and freshly made to order.
Also if you're a fan of all things sweet then check out the tasty assortment of homemade cakes. From Uncle Kev’s carrot cake to crumbly shortbread there is an indulgence to banish away any winter blues!
With seasonal additions for Halloween including apples drowned in chocolate and caramel, shortbread bats and the spooky spider web sponge cake – it would be rude not to have a devilishly delicious treat!
We love the new additions and hope you do too!
Blogging science to life
Mon 6 October 2008,
We’ve been prepping the gruesomely good Dissection Lab ready for visitors. Celebrate all things human with our amazing vein ray! Visualise your own veins then use the body paints to create your own unique gorey arm makeup complete with muscles and bones!
Next get under the skin of what makes our bodies tick and discover more about the heart and lungs with animal organ dissection. You direct where the Live Science team wields the knife and explore the amazing organs to your heart’s content! Finally you can make your own fake blood specimen to take home, with our secret blood recipe which we will take to our graves…
Continuing on the anatomical theme there’s the Going for Gold show. Get your pulses racing and learn all about hearts, lungs, limbs and all manner of sporty things!
If you need to escape the blood and organs why not take a trip to the stars and have some intergalactic fun with our Autumn Night Sky and Little Stars planetarium shows? And for the little monsters there is The magical forest storytelling to ignite their imaginations.
Plus visit the cafe for a ghoulishly good selection of treats including; Horrid house and Pumpkin shortbreads, Spidery Marshmallow treats, Gingerbread swamp monsters, Apples drowned in chocolate and caramel, Spider web sponge cake and, although we are used to seeing yummy mummies in our café, the irresistible Mummy muffins!
All homemade and delicous... heavenly!
Blogging science to life
Thu 4 October 2012, Written by: Nicole
Tonight the father of the IgNobel Prizes, Marc Abrahams tells tales of scientists, researchers, and other colourful individuals explaining research that will make you laugh and then think!!
Why are books on ethics are more likely to get stolen? What
time of month generates higher tips for Las Vegas lap dancers? What's
the best way to murder tree snakes in Guam?
And what is the significance of Mr Buckley's exploding trousers? Along with more of the strangest and interesting research known to this pale blue dot.
Marc Abrahams is editor and co-founder of the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR). Marc is the father and master of ceremonies of the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, honoring achievements that make people LAUGH, and then THINK. The Prizes are handed out by genuine Nobel Laureates at a gala ceremony held each autumn at Harvard University and broadcast on National Public Radio and on the Internet.
Guest Speakers include:
- Gareth Jones (Ig Nobel Prize winner for discovering fellatio in fruit bats);
- Michael Berry (Ig Nobel Prize winner for using magnets to levitate a frog)
- Monica Berry (Biochemist and eye researcher)
- Julie Clayton(science journalist, writer and editor)
- Margaret Harris (Reviews and careers editor, Physics World)
- Jim Bell (education officer at the Bristol Zoo)
- Chris Dunford(Sustainability Officer, At-Bristol)
- Lucy Feilen (communications manager at HP Labs)
- Graham Southorn (editor, Focus)
- Jonnie Hughes (science writer and television journalist)
- JV Chamary (science writer)
- Simon Watt (evolutionary biologist and FameLab class of 2005)
He is the author of This Is Improbable and lives in Cambridge, Mass, USA.
- £7.00 adults
- £6.00 concessions
Or phone 0845 4586499 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm excluding Bank Holidays)
Blogging science to life
Mon 1 October 2012, Written by: Lee
We’re gearing up for World Space Week in At-Bristol and as part of the celebrations wanted to write about a news story that’s really captured our imaginations. The Hubble Space Telescope is known for producing amazing photos and has definitely lived up to its reputation with a picture called the eXtreme Deep Field that peers 13.2 billion light-years into space – further than ever before!
But how exactly was this photo made? When we look up at the night sky and see the stars we’re seeing objects that are in the region of a few hundred or maybe a few thousand light-years away. That’s incredibly distant – in a rocket ship it would take hundreds of thousands of years to reach them! But as distant as they are, on astronomical scales really we’re just looking at our cosmic next-door neighbours in a tiny corner of the Milky Way Galaxy.
To see further afield we need to gather more light, and that’s when binoculars and telescopes come into their own. They have large lenses or mirrors that collect lots of light and so allow us to see very faint objects that are far away. The Hubble Space Telescope has a mirror 2.4 metres across, allowing it to gather very faint light. But the really special thing about Hubble is that it’s above the Earth’s blurry atmosphere, so gets pin-sharp views.
Astronomers used Hubble to observe a tiny patch of the sky for over 500 hours, collecting precious light and building up an image that sees far into the Universe. Then yet more observations were made, allowing for extra detail to be included. The result is the eXtreme Deep Field, the deepest view into the Universe we have ever produced. Also amazing is that the photo contains around 5500 galaxies, each containing billions of stars – all this by gathering faint light from a tiny patch of our sky!
If this has inspired you to discover more about astronomy then come to At-Bristol during World Space Week (4 – 10 October) to hold real meteorites, make miniature rockets, and enjoy a Planetarium show. See you there!
At-Bristol are celebrating World Space Week with special live science shows called Launch It! on the weekend of 6 and 7 October, funded through a strategic partnership between UK Association of Science and Discovery Centres and Science and Technology Facilities Council.
Blogging science to life
Wed 19 September 2012, Written by: Ruth
So here I am back at my desk after a summer on tour. Normally here in At-Bristol I work as a researcher in our Exhibitions team. Working with our designers and talking to scientists to develop ideas for exhibits and then testing them with our visitors to see what they think. This summer though has been different…
It all started back in Spring 2011 when the Wellcome Trust put out the call for a crack team to deliver an Olympics inspired travelling exhibition about the science of the incredible human body. We had just finished All About Us, an exhibition on the exact topic and were excited by the challenge of taking our hands-on exhibits out on the road.
Off we went to London to present our ideas. They involved an 11m inflatable dome, a stage show in a trailer, a 10m running track and a colourful campervan! Our initial ideas were given the green light and so we set about refining them. The plan was to host over a thousand visitors a day and we needed a story to grab their attention. We talked to experts in theme park rides and creative productions to help shape our ideas.
Exhibitions Director Dan Bird, presenting the ideas in London to In the Zone Ambassador Sir Steve Redgrave
The result? In the Zone, an interactive TV studio where visitors become the stars of their very own sports shows. The really cool bit? You get you watch yourself back online when you get home!
As you go around the different challenges with your family and friends all your results and data are recorded and edited together into your very own film, revealing the science behind your amazing human body!
Along the way you get you see the forces generated as you jump in super slow motion, test your reactions, compete in a handcycling race and get a coaching session from none other than Sir Steve Redgrave. Visitors to At-Bristol were the first people in the UK to get ‘In the Zone’ back in February when we got them to test it out and help us hone the experience.
Wowing the crowds in the Olympic Park at the UK School Games
Seven months and 5 300 miles later In the Zone has been to 16 events and visited all four nations of the UK. We’ve been to agricultural shows, music festivals and even the Olympic Park.
We’ve had visits from celebrities including Peppa Pig and medal-winning gymnast Beth Tweddle. We’ve been on Blue Peter. Mayor of London Boris Johnson swung by on a zipline and stayed a little longer than he expected…
All this has happened during the worst summer weather for 100 years. We did have some events cut short due to muddy car parks and marquee-lifting winds but still In the Zone hosted 55 000 happy visitors. We are thrilled that over a third of them have been online to watch their show reel and relive their time with us.
Each event was delivered by a core of just eight At-Bristol staff. Like a travelling circus family it has been a case of ‘all-hands-on-deck’ as we’ve pitched up at each location - kitting out the dome with over 20 exhibits; complete with screens, force plates, cameras, speakers and metres of network cabling. Over 50 staff have been involved in some stage of the tour.
We’ve had designers entertaining crowds with science experiments, presenters up ladders installing speakers and project managers racing granddads down the sprint track. It really has been an incredible At-Bristol team effort and a very memorable Olympic summer.
Check out our time-lapse video of the set-up at Jodrell Bank Live in the shadow of the Lovell Space Telescope
In the Zone was a national public engagement and education initiative from the Wellcome Trust inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Games, designed and delivered by At-Bristol Science Centre..
Blogging science to life
Wed 5 September 2012, Written by: Madeleine Glover (guest blog)
At-Bristol gets over 50,000 school visits every year, with lots of schools visiting us time and time again (after all, there's always something new here to explore)! The Learning team were delighted to see Madeleine Glover from 7H at Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School had written about their class visit for their school newsletter. It was Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School's 5th visit to At-Bristol and we look forward to welcoming them back to At-Bristol for this new academic year, especially with our new exhibition, Our World - no more waste to show off!
Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School visit At-Bristol.
It all began in March on a sunny morning in the courtyard. Year 7 students and science teachers were raring to go, coaches arriving one by one and embarking like animals on the ark! I was so excited! I had never been to Bristol before and could not wait until we arrived at At-Bristol.
The coach journey took roughly two and a half hours, yet it was worth the wait. Once everyone had received a ticket, we ventured into the world of Science. Amazing exhibits awaited us - cosmic rays, illusions and may interactive activities, such as walking inside a womb and playing music through your teeth! I particularly liked this exhibit where you played music through your teeth, As a simple straw on a metal road was clasped by your teeth - you could hear music and there were many more hands-on exhibits to enjoy.
Once we had some time downstairs, we went to watch a show about our Solar System in a building called the Planetarium. This was an amazing show, and appeared as a favourite part of the trip, "The shows were literally out of this world."
After the Planetarium, we had a short lunch and then went to see yet another show called 'Launch It'. It was a demonstration where a scientist demonstrated some fantastic (loud) experiments with volunteers from the audience. I was lucky enough to do an experiment of placing some vitamin C tablets into a camera film case full of water and sealing it quickly before it launched up into the air! Again, this show was very popular. We then explore the upstairs department of the museum with suburb exhibits like animating - creating your own news show and covering yourself with a huge bubble. After this, we ventured to the shop.
Overall, At-Bristol was a fantastic day out, an amazing experience and I would definitely want to go there again. I hope it has inspired others in Year 7 to enjoy science and to visit Bristol again.
Some people might have thought that a science museum would be boring but this one certainly wasn't
Everyone had a brilliant time as the comments below reflect:
"The trip was EPIC!!!"
"Very educational but fun!"
"I thoroughly enjoyed the trip"
"BEST DAY EVER"
"It was exciting, amazing and mind-blowing"
"I really really want to come back again and have the experience all over again"
"I would give At-Bristol five stars!"
Written by Madeleine Glover, 7H.
Blogging science to life
Mon 3 September 2012, Written by: Zoë
Already thinking of what to do this weekend? Fancy something a little different? Then we can help you out with a whole range of exciting things to do…!
Start your day with a behind the scenes tour of At-Bristol, as part of Bristol Doors Open Day, and see the future of sustainable buildings at one of the UK's most advanced and unique low-energy installations. Key to At-Bristol's award-winning sustainability work is the innovative technology that regulates the environment of this iconic and historic building. The site features the UK's only phase-change storage tank which, along with air source heat pumps, thermal wheels, green roofs and a photovoltaic array, are part of At-Bristol's cutting-edge environmentally friendly design.
Join our Sustainability Officer, Chris Dunford, for a back-room tour of this revolutionary equipment and the science behind it. We guarantee that this is something you won't see anywhere else. Please see more details about the day here.
You can then relax out on Millennium Square watching some of the Paralympics on the Big Screen until 5pm when you can take the ‘Stairs to the Stars’ – a dazzling trip around the universe from the comfort of a seat in the At-Bristol Planetarium (the big silver ball on Millennium Square) for just £1! Tickets can be brought outside the Planetarium from 4.30pm, see more info here.
If that’s not enough and you’re looking for something to so in the evening, then we’ve got that covered too! The Big Screen on Millennium Square will be showing the Last Night of the Proms live from the Royal Albert Hall. One of the last chances during this hugely patriotic year to grab your Union flags, don your red, white and blue attire and join others in the Square with a bit of Pomp and Circumstance and unleash those vocal chords to blast out Land of Hope and Glory – a fitting way to end this Jubilympic year! Oh, and look out for special the surprise at the end…
Blogging science to life
Fri 24 August 2012, Written by: Sophina
An interview with Jimmy from Canada, Sirrius from Plymouth, Middle-sized robot from Taiwan and Panther from Bristol.
Can't view this? Go to the BBC website
Video via the BBC
Blogging science to life
Thu 23 August 2012, Written by: Heather
Olympic Games? We loved them. Paralympics? We’re just warming up. RoboWorld Cup? Er…
The opening ceremony might not have been quite as extravagant and the ‘athletes’ competing might not be household names, but the skills on display are no less impressive in the annual ‘robot Olympics’, this year hosted in the UK for the first time ever. At-Bristol has been transformed into a hive of robotic activity as over 200 competitors from around the world take over the top floor to battle it out in the hopes of being crowned world champions, showcasing the best in artificial intelligence technology as they do so.
The Cup kicked off yesterday with enough competitive tension and cheering crowds to rival the Olypmics Men’s 100m Final. Step aside Bolt: this time, all eyes were on Plymouth’s Usain Volt as he stepped up to defend his title as world champion in the tense sprint competition.
It was nail-biting stuff as the previous world record was not only beaten by Volt himself, but then smashed by Singapore’s Nanyang Polytechnic team. Gracious in his defeat, Volt kept on smiling – who knows, perhaps he’s got his sights set on next year’s contest already?
Plymouth are now hoping Volt’s teammate Mobot the Robot lives up to his namesake Mo Farrah’s Olympic success when he competes in the mini marathon on Saturday.
Mobot and his fellow endurance athletes will be put to the test over a gruelling outdoor course that includes inclines, turns and uneven surfaces – enough to challenge even the most advanced robot runners!
During this morning’s session, the biggest crowds were to be found jostling around the basketball court as competitors wowed the spectators with some impressive dribbling and slam-dunking skills.
The sprint, marathon and basketball contests are just some of the eight disciplines making up the HuroCup, the robot equivalent of the Olympic decathlon and heptathlon. From running to weightlifting, and from football to climbing, the HuroCup is the ultimate test of stamina, skill and versatility.
On the scaled-down football pitches, it was less about the fancy footwork of the human game and more about demonstrating some seriously advanced robotics engineering, as teams started to battle it out in the various soccer contests.
From the human-esque robots in the AndroSot tournament to the fast, aggressive play of the MiroSot competitors, there were enough unpredictable tackles and last-minute goals to keep even the most hardened Premiership season ticket holder on the edge of their seat! We’ve even installed a webcam above the MiroSot pitch so you can catch all the fast-paced action here.
Meanwhile, off-pitch it’s a battle of the best-dressed bots with Plymouth University Humanoids and The University of Manitoba’s Snobots flying high in the fashion stakes. The Plymouth robots’ child-sized Adidas trainers not only make them look the part, but also help them see errors when they put their feet down and improve their overall balance. The Snobots, however, are fully kitted out in team jerseys – and top fashion marks go to Jimmy the robot for proudly sporting a knitted bobble hat (essential regalia for pre-season training in Canada) lovingly hand crafted by (human) team-mate Diana!
If you fancy coming down and cheering on one of the UK’s two teams – the Bristol Panthers and the University of Plymouth – then entry to the contest is completely free.
The competition continues on Friday from 10am to 6pm, and on Saturday from 10am to 4pm.
If you can’t make it to At-Bristol, then keep up to date with all the action by following us on Twitter or using the hashtag #FIRAroboworldcup, or check out the latest photos and videos on Facebook and Youtube.
Blogging science to life
Fri 20 July 2012, Written by: Heather
If you’ve been down to At-Bristol recently you won’t have failed to notice that there have been some pretty exciting happenings downstairs… Over the past few weeks our cracking squad of designers, experts and artists have been putting the finishing touches to many months of hard work by our Exhibitions Team. They’ve been painting oceans onto a giant globe, carrying round plates of rotting food, and lining up the autocue in our new TV studio. Things really started to heat up on Tuesday, when we invited the press for a sneak peak at what’s going on and even the Lord Mayor was spotted donning his safety goggles and triggering a mini volcanic eruption in the Live Lab!
But what’s it all about? Today we launch our brand new exhibition: Our World – no more waste. Funded by the SITA Trust, the newest addition to At-Bristol explores how the world is a closed system: for over 4 billion years, nothing’s come in – and nothing’s gone out either. That means the Earth has had to come up with some pretty ingenious ways of dealing with its waste! Our new exhibits take a closer look at how nothing on Earth is wasted and everything is recycled into something new, no matter how different it might seem from the original.
First up, we invite you to travel back in time 6 billion years to the very beginnings of the Earth. If you stand just outside At-Bristol in Anchor Square, you’ll notice this is the start of our Living Timeline, an exhibit of pretty epic – and completely to-scale – proportions. Follow the orange line in through the entrance and onto the exhibitions floor: for every metre you get closer, you travel 100 million years through time! 460 million years ago the timeline becomes a 3D valley landscape – and this is where the fun really starts. Reach down into the valley and see if you can pick up the virtual critters that roam around there: pioneering augmented reality technology invites you to play with the slimy snails and tickle the tiny trilobites. Arachnophobes watch out: you might even find that ancient spiders start scuttling up your arm!
Once you’ve followed the timeline right up to the present day – bearing in mind that humans have only been around for the last 2mm of it – step inside our giant Earth dome and imagine you’re standing right at the centre of the globe. In here we invite you to discover some of the key cycles that keep the world ticking over: watch how water freezes to ice crystals and then melts back to liquid in front of your very eyes, and be amazed by time lapse photography showing seeds sprouting – then see the same photography showing a plate of food decomposing at super-speed! The magic globe invites you to track hurricanes as they move across the Earth’s surface, trace Co2 emissions over time, or switch over to night-time and compare levels of light pollution from all over the world.
Step outside the dome and you’ll spot what appears to be a huge CCTV camera panning over the new exhibition. Don’t worry, this isn’t Big Brother watching you! It’s actually our fascinating Heat Cam: take the controls and sweep across the floor to check out who’s hot and who’s not by discovering how people are losing heat from their bodies into the surroundings. That’s some pretty hot stuff!
Finally, fancy yourself as the next Michael Fish or Sian Lloyd? It’s lights, camera, action! as you try your hand at presenting your own weather report in our high-tech TV studio. Beware: reading the autocue, pointing to the right place on the map AND maintaining a TV presenter smile is not quite as easy as Ruth Murray, Content Researcher in At-Bristol, makes it seem!
Of course that’s not all: we also invite you to discover how the local landscape has changed by examining our soil core from the Gordano Valley, blast an air cannon at our shimmery wall to investigate currents, make your own volcanic eruption, and much more… but that’s for you to come and check out!
Our World - no more waste is funded by the SITA Trust, and is now open! Buy tickets to visit!