British Science Week at Daventry Museum – Saturday 12th March

British Science Week 2016 logo

Come and learn about science, technology, engineering and maths at Daventry Museum on Saturday 12th March between 10am and 4pm.  The museum will be celebrating British Science Week by putting on a series of family friendly and hands on activities within the museum including, a radar experiment, optical illusions, Morse code, magnification through a microscope, exploring minerals and rocks amongst other fascinating scientific investigations.

The Daventry Experiment was demonstrated in a field near Daventry in 1935 and proved that the detection of aircraft by radio means was possible. This significantly contributed to winning the Battle of Britain and changed the outcome of World War Two.  The museum will recreate the experiment, with the help of visitors, to show how radar works and tell the story of its discovery.

Memorial plaque in a field in Litchborough, the site of the first successful radar experiment carried out by Robert Watson Watt & Arnold Wilkins.
Memorial plaque in a field in Litchborough, the site of the first successful radar experiment carried out by Robert Watson Watt & Arnold Wilkins.

Visitors will be able to try out and learn Morse code at the museum and view early radio communications equipment from World War One which, is on loan from The British Science Museum.  You can put your maths skills to the test using pre-decimal coins in the museum shop display.  Do you know your pounds, shillings and pence?

Old museum shop display
Old museum shop display

Other activities throughout the day include making your own thaumatrope, a popular toy during The Victorian times that relies on “the principle of the persistence of vision”.  This is the eyes ability to retain an image for up to one-tenth of a second after the object has gone, so the two images below appear to blend into one and animate the picture.

How to make a thaumatrope
How to make a thaumatrope

Visitors will also be able to identify artefacts in the current exhibition, Daventry Businesses Past and Present that relate to science, technology and engineering including a Farming Machine, steam engine model and a calculating machine.

Burrel Traction Engine. One-sixth scale model of an agricultural steam engine.
Burrel Traction Engine. One-sixth scale model of an agricultural steam engine.

There will be fun ideas for activities you can further explore at home or outside, including identifying wildlife and activities based on oxygen.   Joseph Priestly discovered oxygen in 1774 and had previously attended the Non Conformist Daventry Academy earlier on in his career.  One of the first of its kind,  Daventry Academy catered for those excluded on religious grounds from attending the Universities.  The building on Sheaf Street has been the United Reformed Church since 1972 and has a plaque on the wall commemorating Priestley as a celebrated Theologian and Scientist.

Plaque on no. 47 Sheaf Street noting Priestley’s time as a student at the academy there between 1752 and 1755.
Plaque on no. 47 Sheaf Street noting Priestley’s time as a student at the academy there between 1752 and 1755.

Please note the museum will be closed on Saturday 5th March and will be open on Saturday 12th March between 10am and 4pm to coincide with British Science Week.  The museum will be open to the public Wednesday to Friday of that week from 9.30am to 1.30pm.  The museum will be back to the usual first Saturday of the month opening times from April 2016.

What do you think about this?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *