What does the brain like for breakfast?
Susanna Wilkey LEARNING what a brain likes for breakfast and why chemistry is fun are some of the fascinating subjects children can explore in Hampstead as part of National Science and Engineering Week. The annual festival of science opened on Friday for
LEARNING what a brain likes for breakfast and why chemistry is fun are some of the fascinating subjects children can explore in Hampstead as part of National Science and Engineering Week.
The annual festival of science opened on Friday for children and adults alike and pro-mises a huge range of talks and demonstrations from experts across the whole spectrum of science.
The five-day event, organised by the Hampstead Scientific Society in conjunction with the Ham& High, is focused around University College School and South Hampstead High School as well as the Hampstead Observatory.
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Doug Daniels, president of the society, said: "The idea behind it is to promote an interest in science, technology and engineering to children, particularly those who are of an age to make decisions about their future careers.
"It is very important, particularly at this stage in our country's history, that we encourage people to take an interest in science.
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"The things we have always been good at in this country are science and ideas, and it is really important to get kids interested in a subject and that they make that their subject of choice.
"We have been doing science week in Hampstead for about five years and they have always been very successful and popular.
"We have a huge range of lecturers and the public are welcome - the more the better. We also open the observatory for more nights than normal to give people a chance to explore the heavens.
"We have been one of the only observatories in London which has been open to the public for more than 100 years and I would definitely encourage people to come along and have a try. It is free and we have demonstrators who can show you what to look at."
The festival mainly takes place at University College School on Frognal and South Hampstead High School on Maresfield Gardens as well as the sessions at the Hampstead Observatory.
Featuring in this year's line-up is the Natural History Museum's curator of mammals, who will be giving a presentation about lions in London, and Dr Andrew Szydlo whose mysterious lecture is entitled As if by Magic.
There will be demonstrations at UCS about why chemistry is fun and a laboratory demonstration of some of the techniques used in CSI. Topics to be explored include climate change, the law and disorder of energy and how science can be used in spying.
Organiser Michael Wynne, also a member of the society, said: "The whole idea is for children to discover how exciting science can be and encourage them to do it.
"It is a great festival and is also open to the public so we would definitely encourage people to come along."
Events are open to the public and free of charge. The observatory will be open Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday mor-nings for the next three weeks, provided the skies are clear.
For more information please visit www.hampsteadscienceweek.ac.uk.
Read more about National Science and Engineering Week in this week's Ham&High, out on Thursday.