I was kindly invited up to MOSI over half term to do some chemistry busking on the Chemistry day of the Manchester Science Festival. The local RSC branch were there with students from Manchester led by Kat Presland, the Regional RSC Coordinator. If you’re a chemistry teacher and not sure how to get in contact with your local university chemistry department to arragne outreach or you’re looking to network with other teachers in the area, the regional coordinators are a great place to start (as well as your friendly neighbourhood Teacher Fellow of course!)

The local team pulled out all the stops with popping candy and coke, mentos geysers, microwaving grapes, smoke-filled vortex cannons and loads more. There was also a team doing some infra-red activities with paint-removers.

Whilst the kids were going nuts opposite, the parents gravitated over to me where I had a more train-travel-friendly stall with my ampoules of supercritical SF6 to talk about research being done with supercritical fluids, fire piston to talk about cavitation and some Zubbles to talk about designing properties to order into a molecule (in this case making a non-toxic leuco dye).

A couple of times during the day, I went to to show the crowds a few fuel/air mixtue demos .. the methane rockets had not travelled well from Bath but the acetylene tins worked just fine!

Manchester grew on me a lot when we went to a place round the corner called Casa (I think) where they served Belgian beer and had Radiohead playing over the system. Many thanks to MCRSciFest for inviting me, and to the local guys, the lovely PGCE students I hooked up with and the megawesome Farrah Nazir for their most excellent company .. and to Nicola for putting up with the last minute insurance disaster! 🙂