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Picture Gallery: Youngsters learn about science at Norwich Castle

PUBLISHED: 06:30 14 March 2011 | UPDATED: 12:07 14 March 2011

Look Whos Talking activity weekend at the Castle Museum.

Jack Green having his blood pressure measured.

Look Whos Talking activity weekend at the Castle Museum. Jack Green having his blood pressure measured.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

From mask making to peering through microscopes, youngsters and their parents were shown why science is fun by students at Norwich Castle Museum this weekend.

University of East Anglia science students set up activity tables around the natural history galleries to teach visitors some science facts from how bats communicate to how the heart works.

The Look Who’s Talking event was organised as part of National Science and Engineering Week.

Seven-year-old Jack Green was at the event with his parents. He made his way the dozen tables.

“This science is fun”, he said. “I like doing experiments. I do not normally do science like this. Normally we do writing, which is boring.”

“I also looked at my taste buds through a microscope. It was cool.”

His dad Steven, 38, said: “It has been fantastic. We thought we would come up here for the day. It has been really interesting. The stands have been really good and I’ve learnt something too.”

UEA student Justine Zwetsloot, 21, said: “It’s amazing how much the kids can take in and it’s amazing how much they know already.

“We have each got a different activity, so it is not just you telling them. They are actually learning while doing.

“We are all third year students now, so we’ve done a lot of lectures and learning the theory. It is great to get out and see what the kids think about it. The most important thing about science is talking about it.

Kay Yeoman, who is a senior lecturer at the school of biological science at the UEA, She is running the science communication course.

She said: “The students have come up with some great ideas. It is about trying to get the young and not so young children and their families interested in science. We want to get them doing some science.

“Having it somewhere like this with all the exhibits is a fantastic venue for something like this. The kids love it as they can go around and have a go. It is all about having fun and having a go. This type of science education should be fun. It should not just be serious.”

She said it was also a great chance for the UEA students to get out into the community and was also good for their CVs.

Activities included how to learn about nerves, how fast brains react to sound and how ears hear and eyes see.

Youngsters also made colourful animal T-shirts, learned how quickly animals react to predators, found out about how lions’ manes, deer’s antlers and peacocks’ tails contain hidden messages, and about communication in the animal kingdom with the museum’s natural history curators.

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