Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Big Bang Fair North West Aintree 2014


What an amazing day it has been at The Big Bang.
A very early start to arrive at Aintree for about 8.00 to unload and register before setting up our show on the main stage in the Irish Bar in the Princess Royal Stand.
a grey and early start

The stage was in a catwalk style leading into about 100 seats surrounded by other exhibitors and we wondered how we were going to make ourselves heard until we met the lovely guys from the stage crew. We would be wearing head mics - just like you see on TV - and would be able to talk quietly and still be heard.

just about to start - an official picture

We set up our show which we had written for this event - a taster of all the different shows we do but with a definite secondary feel - all linked to the theme I WASN'T EXPECTING THAT!
Once we were set up nerves began to kick in- this was quite a big deal for us...but we sat on the side of the stage and had  quick cup of coffee and ran through the show together and then......everyone started to arrive.
After a quick sound check it was time...we were on.
An opening interactive with two volunteers - the pink and blue colour changing bottles
apparently there is science happening in this bottle

Then a second colour change with our acid and alkali poem The Experiment
A third colour change - the chameleon gave a multi coloured rainbow effect.
Next it was a quick look at some of our smart materials especially the hydrogel balls - there was an overhead camera linked to  a huge screen which gave an incredible view.
over 300"invisible" hydrogel balls are in the tank

We got a whole row of volunteers out to change our thermochromic straws and then we made human circuits with the energy sticks.

Next we got out the dry ice - Helen got a bit carried away and we had foaming cylinders bursting their coloured water all over the tables but it just added to the amazing sight of spooky fog flowing all over the stage - it worked really well.
We made the ice scream with a metal spoon, made huge smoky bubbles and collected some carbon dioxide into a balloon and tried to blow up a teacher,
Our finale was  slime - two lucky volunteers got to make up some snot green gloop and take it home!!

Our show lasted about 25 minutes and then it was a very quick reset before we did it all again......and then again.
Three shows back to back before quickly taking down and handing the stage over to Terry the Viking scientist with his amazing fire show.

We were able to have a quick look around the exhibitions and a wander around the racecourse itself.

One of the fascinating things was just how many people were tweeting  throughout the day.


Finally the day ended with presentations of awards to STEMclubs  for some incredible projects - there are some very clever young people out there.
Well done to all the team at MerseySTEM who organised this event.
I think a lie down is now in order!


  1. It was great to finally meet you yesterday. What a busy day! It's a shame we didn't have more time to chat.

    1. we did get to watch you do your Viking demo outside though! very impressive axe work! Hopefully we will be able to meet up again and of course there is always Facebook.