Blog posts

Meet the Live Science Team: Sarah

Blogging science to life

Tue 18 February 2014, Written by: Heather

To celebrate February half term we're going to be hearing from a different member of our Live Science Team each day on Twitter. Today is the turn of Sarah Stephens:

Sarah – Live Science Team

Sarah did a degree in Biology before moving to Bristol to study for a masters degree in Palaeontology. She loves evolution, fossils, and thinking about what the world was like before people were around. Since joining the team in Septemeber 2013, she’s started presenting in the Planetarium and learning loads about space. It’s her new favourite subject. Otherwise, she spends her time enjoying wildlife, adding fossils to her collection and trying to outdo children with dinosaur facts.

Favourite moments: “Finding I can answer questions after a Planetarium show!”
Favourite exhibit: Startle

Find out more about the Live Science Team

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Meet the Live Science Team: Violaine

Blogging science to life

Mon 17 February 2014, Written by: Heather

To celebrate February half term we're going to be hearing from a different member of our Live Science Team each day on Twitter. Today is the turn of Violaine Drapeau:

Violaine – Live Science Team

Violaine is French and came to the UK 6 years ago to finish her biology studies in Bristol; she joined the team in May 2013. After a masters degree in Animal Behaviour in Paris, she completed a PhD at Bristol University in 2012, on echolocation behaviour of bats feeding on flower nectar. After that short scientific research career, Violaine was delighted to join At-Bristol and rediscover the amazing world of science in general, particularly astrophysics. In her spare time, she is addicted to knitting in the winter and countryside walks in the summer.

Favourite moments: “Each time a child tells me they want to live in At-Bristol FOREVER!”
Favourite exhibit: Whisper Dishes.

Violaine from the Live Science Team

Find out more about the Live Science Team

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Meet the Live Science Team: Heather

Blogging science to life

Sun 16 February 2014, Written by: Nicole

To celebrate February half term we're going to be hearing from a different member of our Live Science Team each day on Twitter, today is the turn of Heather Nichol.

Heather – Live Science Team

Heather joined the team in September 2013 having completed an undergraduate degree in Biology, with a passion for conservation and bat ecology - she helped discover the first known breeding colony of the Alcathoe bath in the UK! Heather is now completing a masters at the University of Bristol, researching the effect of windfarm on bat populations. In her spare time, Heather is a keen ballet dancer and baker.
Favourite moments: "Pretending to swim in shark-infested waters with 50 toddlers during October half-term."
Favourite exhibit: The Protein Builder.

Heather LST's own Batwoman!

Heather also features our final video from our ice series, Why is ice slippery?

Find out more about the Live Science Team

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Meet the Live Science Team: David

Blogging science to life

Sat 15 February 2014, Written by: Nicole

To celebrate February half term we're going to be hearing from a different member of our Live Science Team each day on Twitter, today is the turn of David Judge.

David – Live Science Team

David joined the team in July 2013 after finishing a masters degree in Chemistry. He's fascinated by the chemistry in everyday life especially in the kitchen! He’s studying for a masters in science communication, looking at how science centres like At-Bristol get people excited about science. Since joining the team, David has developed an interest in the planet Mars - he likes imagining what unusual chemistry might be going on there.
Favourite moments:
"Blasting off into space in the Exploring the Solar System show."
Favourite exhibit:
Magnet tubes.

Find out more about the Live Science Team

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What is the Greenhouse Effect?

Blogging science to life

Fri 14 February 2014,

How do greenhouse gases contribute to climate change? Why is the Greenhouse Effect essential to life on our planet? Sarah of the Live Science Team investigates the Greenhouse Effect:

To keep up to date with all our latest videos, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

 

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Photoblog: Community Outreach in Hartcliffe

Blogging science to life

Mon 10 February 2014, Written by: Raj

Making science accessible to all is the reason I joined At-Bristol and over the past three weeks I've had more great chances to do just that!

John (Learning Officer), three Volunteers (Emma, Jennifer and Viv), and I (Live Science Team Leader) headed out to three community groups in Hartcliffe, armed with some of our most popular activities.  We also took the opportunity to hand out thousands of flyers to the Hartcliffe schools and community groups, inviting them to come and visit us on 8 and 9 February as guests to experience some hands-on science here at our Community Open Weekend.

Every one of these days was brilliant and it was amazing to meet lots of new people from our Bristol community. Check out some of the pictures below!

At Hartcliffe Children's Centre:

A polar bear in the clouds!

A Polar Bear in the clouds! Made with dry ice and water

 

Exploring wind with flags and feathers!

Exploring wind with flags and feathers

 

At Four Acres Children's Centre:

Will it float or will it sink?

Will it float or will it sink?

 

At Fulford Family Centre:

Having a Bubble Blast! making bubble mixture

Having a Bubble Blast! making bubble mixture

 

During At-Bristol's Community Open Weekend:

Dissecting daffodils in Live Lab

Dissecting daffodils in Live Lab

 

Don't forget to follow @AtBristol and @AtBristol_LST on Twitter to keep up to date with all our latest outreach activities!


Many thanks to Raj, our Live Science Team Leader, for writing this blog!

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Dancing on Ice: Why is Ice Slippery? | 2014 Winter Olympics

Blogging science to life

Fri 7 February 2014,

The Winter Olympics wouldn't be the same without ice. Ross Exton of the Live Science Team investigates the slippery science of ice...

To keep up to date with all our latest videos, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

 

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How do instruments make music?

Blogging science to life

Fri 24 January 2014,

Have you ever wondered just how instruments make music?  Kerina from the Live Science Team explains all:

To keep up to date with all our latest videos, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

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How do we search for life on Mars?

Blogging science to life

Sat 18 January 2014,

How do we search for life on Mars? In our new video, David of the Live Science Team goes to Mars Lab to find out: 

To keep up to date with all our latest videos, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

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Top Tips for Urban Stargazing

Blogging science to life

Tue 7 January 2014, Lee

You might think that there is too much light pollution in Bristol to go stargazing, but actually being a city dweller needn’t stop you. Bristol has three Dark Sky Discovery Sites recognised for their stargazing potential and all are within walking distance of At-Bristol! Read on to find out where they are and how best to make the most of them with our Top Five Stargazing Tips.

Where to go:

Durdham Downs, Clifton

The Downs aren’t just for five-a-side football and jogging. This large open space, high above Avon Gorge provides great, unobstructed views of the night sky.

Leigh Woods & Ashton Court, Long Ashton

Normally the location for festivals and picnics on long summer days, why not make the most of Bristol’s biggest park during the winter months? With the sun setting so early, it doesn’t even have to be a late night.

Victoria Park, Totterdown

The nearest Dark Sky Discovery Site to the City Centre and surrounded by nice pubs if the grown-ups need supplies! Climb to the top of this hilly green space so the trees don’t spoil your view and you’ll even find benches to sit on whilst you gaze.

A little further afield, Exmoor National Park is one of only three sites in the UK that has been internationally recognised as a Dark Sky Reserve.

Clifton Suspension Bridge by night

Clifton Suspension Bridge by Joe Dunckley, used under CC licence

Top Five Stargazing Tips

  • Check the weather: You won’t see anything on a wet, cloudy night so make sure you’re efforts are not thwarted by the Great British weather. Clear, dry and cold nights are perfect conditions to admire the stars.

  • Wrap up warm: You’ll be outside and standing still so wear a warm jacket, hat and gloves. You might even want to take a flask of tea and some snacks for a midnight feast…

  • Use binoculars: You don’t need expensive telescopes to get started with stargazing. The brightest stars you can see with your eyes. For more detail, zoom in with binoculars – easier to aim and focus than a telescope. Modern binoculars are more powerful than the telescope Galileo used to discover Jupiter’s moons!

  • Take a red torch: Your eyes will adapt to the dark when you’re out stargazing – your pupils dilate to let in as much light as possible. A sudden bright light like a torch will make your pupils contract and you’ll be back to square one. If you need to read any star charts or maps then paint the end of a torch with red nail varnish – this soft red light will allow you to read and stay dark-adapted.

  • Say hello! There’s lots you can learn from other stargazers. Why not come and see a Seasonal Night Sky show in the At-Bristol Planetarium before you head out into the wild? Our Live Science Team can tell you which constellations to look for throughout the year. The Bristol Astronomical Society is a friendly bunch of local astronomers, who meet weekly and are always happy to help those just starting out.

All set? Here are a couple of online resources to help you plan a stargazing adventure:

Dark Sky Discovery Sites - darkskydiscovery.org.uk/dark-sky-discovery-sites/map.html

Light Pollution map - avex-asso.org/dossiers/pl/uk/index.html

Remember, you can always ask us your stargazing questions below, on Facebook, or on Twitter and we'll do our best to answer them.  Have fun!


Many thanks to Lee, our Planetarium Officer, for writing this blog!

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