09 May 2007

Rough Science Podcast BLASTS off!



A new Rough Science podcast recorded at Willen Lake and featuring 6th form students from Stantonbury School, Milton Keynes is available to download from the BLAST! homepage on the Open University website.

The podcast features the efforts of Dr Vic Pearson and Darren Yau from the Planetary Space Sciences Research Institute based at The Open University and Mike Bullivant, presenter of the Rough Science TV series on BBC TWO.

The challenge was to make and launch a rocket that could safely transport an egg as high and far as possible. The challengers had to construct the rocket using only water, ordinary household goods and their scientific knowledge.

Mike Bullivant commented: “We recorded the podcast on the hottest day of the year in an open-air amphitheatre with no sun protection other than sun cream and sunhats. Despite the uncomfortable conditions, we all had a great time, and this certainly comes over in the podcast.

“The work that BLAST! does with people as young as six years old, shows that they're ready to explore and have fun at an early age. We should be aiming to interest them in things scientific from as early an age as possible.

“At BLAST! we believe that learning about Science can be an enjoyable process. Anyone choosing Science as a career will have to work hard - it's not an easy subject. One of the many rewards, however, is that it will open up your mind to the wonders of the Natural World in a way that few other subjects will.”

This engaging podcast can be downloaded now, for free from the link opposite.

Editor’s Notes

BLAST!, is a science outreach project at the Open University, funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The project is designed to use the OU’s existing science tv and radio programming, such as Rough Science and Coast, to help engage children, adults and families with science.

BLAST! Is innovative, and aims to explore and develop new ways of fostering an interest in, and an enthusiasm for, Science. Our activities range from hands-on workshops and other face-to-face events, to new-media projects such as interactive websites and podcasts. In the longer term, we aim to develop and maintain a dialogue between scientists and the general public through the development of a number of on-line communities.

The Open University and BBC have been in partnership for over 30 years providing educational programming to a mass audience. In recent times this partnership has evolved from late night programming for delivering courses to peak time programmes with a broad appeal to encourage wider participation in learning.

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