Royce puts the play into materials science at Manchester Science and Industry Museum

During half-term, Royce’s Outreach Team took materials science out to the general public and school students up to age 14, as part of Manchester Science’s Museum’s programme of interactive, exciting “Play with Science” half-term activities.

With the support of PhD students from across the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), technical staff and academic colleagues from the University of Manchester, the team took the opportunity to showcase the cutting-edge materials used in hydrogen technology and wind turbines. They also invited visitors to the museum to get involved in a fun chocolate-breaking test!

One activity focused on exploring hydrogen fuel cells, featuring a small fuel-cell car model for a practical demonstration, and there was also a floor-based board game designed for vehicles to trace a route to energy sources. There was also an interactive activity exploring the use of polymers in manufacturing wind turbines, exploring fibre-reinforced polymer composite materials.

And of course the Charpy impact tester machines which is normally used to determine the impact strength of materials such as plastics and metals, was on this occasion used with chocolate bars! The visitors could also build and take away a keep-sake in the form of a Wind Spinner.

Dr Alice La Porta Royce’s Public Outreach Officer said:

“We achieved remarkable engagement numbers at this exciting event, handing-out over 500 stickers to children over our two day presence. With many adults not picking up stickers, we estimate that around 2000 people were engaged during the event!

“This is truly fantastic and couldn’t have been achieved without the invaluable contributions of Royce and University of Manchester colleagues. We particularly extend our gratitude to the Department of Materials for their collaboration, with a special thanks to Dr Niamh Fox Outreach Lead for the Department for her support during the event.”

Thanks also go to Saleh Soomro; Karthik Kumaran Saravanan; Chithrambary Reghukumar; Hannah Burnett; Sepideh Aliasghari; Juhi Srivastava; Linyi Hu; James Gaskell; Maria Andrea Castillo Bohorquez; Ayesha Patel; Yiting Chen and Linlin Cao.