On Friday, 10 March 2023, the Lindemann Trust was delighted to host four primary schools at Magdalene College, Cambridge, for a day of ‘Communicating Science’. Nearly 200 Year 6 pupils from Winhills Primary St Neots, Trumpington Meadows Primary, St Luke’s C of E Primary and Milton Road Primary attended for a series of bite-size science talks, aimed at encouraging discussion and inspiring an interest in science and its relevance to our everyday lives.
Dr Nelson Lam, Lindemann alumnus and Junior Research Fellow at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, presented ‘Chemistry in Colour’, using water boiled from a red cabbage to test whether everyday household products are an acid or a base. Astronomers Julia Sisk-Reynes and Dr Anke Arentsen, both from the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge, mesmerised the children with talks on black holes and the Milky Way. And Junior Research Fellow at Magdalene College and the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Dr Adrian Baez-Ortega, demonstrated how a laser microscope works, and how we can use this to analyse DNA.
‘I leapt at the opportunity to be a part of the outreach day because I knew I wanted to share the precise experiment that got me hooked on chemistry as a kid — colour changes and pH indicators,’ says Nelson. ‘I was thrilled to hear that this was well received and was asked some pretty challenging questions that showed that the children were really thinking critically about what was going on in the experiments!’