Imperial College London is committed to sharing the wonder and excitement of the science that we do. So it is part of the Great Exhibition Road Festival every June, a two-day science and art party for all ages! In 2022, the theme was trailblazers. Imperial worked alongside some of the great museums and institutes in the Albertopolis to deliver talks, workshops, performances and activities. And of course IMSE was there as well!
Surfactant science in paper marbling
This activity explored the intersection of surfactant science, fluid dynamics and creativity. It was a community experiment with aspiring scientists of all ages!
Try paper marbling yourself here [Scientific American Science Buddies activity]
IMSE MRes student Chen Gong ran a workshop on recipes for bio-receptive concrete, a building material which can also support living organisms. Building with materials that can support organic life could help reduce air pollution, flooding, urban overheating, and improve psychological wellbeing.
In the workshop, participants made a ‘moss ball’. This is a polyhedral concrete shape to take home and put in the garden or on the balcony. They can then send Chen photos of what grows on the moss ball. This is all useful data for Chen’s research (with Mary Ryan, Rupert Myers, and Ifan Stephens from Imperial College London, and Clement Périssé from Villa Medici) on how to make concrete more bio-receptive.
The collaboration with Villa Medici fits in with IMSE’s work with the SERCH network, building collaborations for science and engineering research in cultural heritage.
Mary said “Chen did a fabulous job preparing for the workshop with Clement and explaining her work to the public today (Ifan has been tweeting @IfanStephens and tagging #IMSE)!”
Chen said “Thank you everyone, I am really grateful and feeling lucky to be working with you! The workshop and panel discussion are a huge success thanks to everyone’s help, loved it!!”
Ready for 2023!
Will you come to the festival in 2023? We will be there with some cool stuff that hasn’t been invented yet!