Boffins on island visit

The university students passed on their knowledge to Academy pupils in December as part of Inspiring Science.
The university students passed on their knowledge to Academy pupils in December as part of Inspiring Science.

A team of science students led by a former Rothesay Academy pupil will return to the island this weekend to spread their knowledge.

Following their visit to Rothesay Academy in December to give demonstrations and talks to pupils, the University of Edinburgh outreach team, will be back on the island this weekend.

This time they will not only pass on their scientific knowledge to Bute teenagers but will also hold a special event for adults to learn more about science, as well as to ask any questions they may have.

Led by former Academy pupil Professor Eleanor Campbell, the university team of scientists will be on Bute for two special events this Friday and Saturday.

Firstly, the team will be offering a free evening of science entertainment from 7.30pm in Ghillie’s on Friday, with short talks about exciting new scientific research, fun demonstrations, science tricks, and the students will be chatting about their work and science in general to anyone who wants to come along.

Professor Campbell , Chair of Chemistry at Edinburgh University and Baird of Bute Society Trustee, said: “It was actually some of the university students that thought about doing the Friday event.

“The idea is that a few of the students will have little short presentations about current research activities, so it covers a whole range of things like forensics, astro chemistry and medical research.

“The kind of research that the students coming to Bute are involved in.

“We’ve decided to call it Science Shots.

“And the undergraduates will prepare little demonstrations and science work also.

“And we will also just chat to people about science in general and answer any questions they may have.

“We thought it would be nice for the students do to this and it gives us something to do in the evening, and hopefully some people will find it interesting and come along.

“I’m keen to get adults involved in science, as hopefully that will flow down to their children.”

From 10am until 2pm on Saturday the team will be at Rothesay Academy to talk to school pupils and their families about science, with the opportunity for some hands-on experiments, tasting liquid nitrogen ice cream and taking part in a rocket competition in honour of Rothesay’s “‘rocket man’ William Leitch. Weather permitting, the team might also be spotted in the town centre on Saturday afternoon.

Professor Campbell is glad that her team are able to make a quick return to her old school. She said: “We are all looking forward to it.

“We had a good time when we came over in December and talked to the second year kids. And I hope they had a good time too.

“We hope we get a good turnout on the Saturday and I think it will be fun.”

The activities are part of the new “Inspiring Science” programme sponsored by the Baird of Bute Trust and the Argyll and Bute Trust.

Professor Campbell added: “If this trip is successful we are planning to raise more money to come over to Bute on a regular basis.”