Flash Bang Science ShowPosted on: 28/12/2018
Article by Saira Ali 8Sissay
On Thursday 13th December 2018, MEA Central students who were excellent scholars and had an ATL (Attitude To Learning) 1 in Science were rewarded with the opportunity to watch the Flash Bang Show at the University of Manchester: a show which used the noises and lights caused by reactions in chemistry to entertain an audience while explaining the science behind the reactions. The students went to the University with our teachers Miss Pervez and Miss Austin. We travelled to the University of Manchester via public transport on a bus and for some students, it was their first time on a bus.
When we arrived, we used the directions of the University’s guides and ended up using the directions of the third tour guide we asked to enter the Renold building. We walked into a huge lecture theatre where the scientist was preparing for the show. The audience were told to cover their ears when loud explosions would occur and were warned that the lights would be strong. The first experiment was when the scientist turned a yellow liquid blue, then turning a clear liquid yellow, then blue, then transparent again and he was able to turn it to any of the colours repeatedly. The scientist explained that gases take up more space than liquids by exploding a test tube containing dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) and creating an incredibly large amount of foam by mixing washing up liquid with the dry ice. Another experiment that took place was where the scientist showed the audience that putting an object into liquid nitrogen would instantaneously freeze it and like glass, it would shatter into millions of pieces. The scientist poured liquid nitrogen over the staircases and it immediately turned into a gas and slithered down the steps, amazing and impressing the audience. Halfway through the show, the scientist created large explosions which would increase in loudness with the increase in the size of the test tube he would shake to create the reaction. The audience had to cover their ears because the noises were very loud. At the end of the show, the scientist showed the audience flames that were bright colours instead of the usual orangey-red, some including the colours of our house colours: Dutus (blue), Vox (red), Robur (green), Ambitio (yellow) and Integritas (purple).
We came back at 4 o’clock via the bus to MEA Central. Overall, the students and staff thoroughly enjoyed the show and were amazed by the things we saw. Some students were even inspired by what we saw to become chemists ourselves one day!