On 27th February our class went to the ESB Science Blast in the RDS and it was amazing! 4000 children were there from all over Ireland. It was a 20-minute walk from our school and we arrived at 9.15.
When we went inside there were already quite a few classes setting up their experiment. We got to our area and started setting the project up. (To find out all about it, read our blog post entitled ‘Can you tell the difference between branded and non-branded foods?’)
We were given wristbands and started off our day in a big hall with a talk about gases and everything they do. A scientist named Gareth told us that he worked with a company called BOC and that they created fuels that were better for the environment. He also froze things with nitrogen, which made clouds, made bananas really strong, and took away the bounce on bouncy balls.
We left everything down near our stand and were split into groups. We took it in turns to man the display (which our teacher had set up while we were in the talk).
When we weren’t manning the display, we could walk around and explore the Science Blast. We could look at other schools’ displays, take part in some experiments and get lots of free merch from the companies that were there. We left equipped with Science Blast water bottles, seed pencils, tattoos and sharpeners galore.
One of the stalls was the Irish Aid stall. There was a spin the wheel activity where someone spun the wheel and it would land on one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals to improve the world. They would then ask you a question about it (we got them all right, of course). We also wrote improvements on what we would like to see in the world on a whiteboard and were able to get temporary tattoos of the 17 UN goals on our hands.
There were also lots of other cool stalls and activities which were great fun! Here are some pictures of them:
We went to our stand and talked to Lisa Browne, our judge, who was very interested in our project. She worked in marketing, and she said this was the exact sort of thing they did in her department.
Lots of people came to visit our stall, including former Ireland international Malcolm O’Kelly! Our visitors tried to guess which cereals were branded.
RTE also came at this time and interviewed some of us about our experiment. It was really amazing that they chose our project to put on the news out of over 100 different projects! The three boys talked to Brian O’Donovan, the RTE reporter. He asked us some questions while the camera was rolling, and as sudden as it had happened it was over. Here is the link to the news page about the Science Blast from RTE. You can find the video with our appearance near the bottom! https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2023/0227/1359135-science-blast-at-rds/
We went to get pictures taken with a variety of props. It was really fun and we all got a copy of the four pictures.
After that, we all went into another big hall and a person named ‘Mark the Science Guy’, who said he was a physicist, talked to us about football aerodynamics. He talked about how the shape of a ball affects how it moves. It was really interesting and Mark the Science Guy was really cool. He showed us a video of him scoring an amazing goal. Mark asked for volunteers to carry out an experiment. We all pointed at Aran and he got chosen! Aran had to measure where two different types of ball landed when they were shot out of a cannon. We discovered that balls with a rough surface travel further because of the way the molecules in the air interacts with the surface. Lots of us went and got Mark’s autograph after the show.
To end the day we had to see what the judge thought of our experiment. She gave us great feedback and we received an award. It was then time to go home after a great day. In the end, we had a blast at the Science Blast!