Monday, 6 September 2010

From Rocket to Bullet

We were at the rather excellent National Railway museum in York yesterday. It's one of the children's favourite days out, and like most museum's entry is free* so it's also one of my favourite days out.

I'm always impressed by the red polo shirted Explainers who are on hand to tell you about the exhibits, whether as part of a formal talk or as they're accosted by curious visitors wandering around the cavernous exhibition spaces.

Yesterday we saw a performance of From Rocket to Bullet, a 30 minute long science talk explaining the physics that make it possible for different types of trains to move. It really was a perfomance too, with lively presentation from the duo of explainers involved.

The talk was a canter through Newtons 3 laws of motion, with interesting demonstrations of each and how they apply to getting big heavy hunks of metal (or trains) to move. Elephants were catapulted, (small) explosions were set off and Barbie was shot out of a steam cannon. Twice.

The watching children were absorbed by all this, and the Explainers involved their audience in most of the demonstrations - apart from the ones involving fast moving doll projectiles. The museum often has unexpected events and activities for children and adults to take part in, especially during the school holidays. Unexpected if like us you just turn up and don't plan your visit, but the Museum's website does have information about all the demonstrations and events. Summer may be over, but there'll be more at half-term in October.

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