Three members of the ICG spent the first weekend of September 2013 at the Bestival music festival on the Isle of Wight engaging with a slightly different audience to usual! ICG Outreach Officer Jen Gupta and PhD students Cullan Howlett and Andreas Papadopoulos were joined by visiting student Lise du Buisson to run a stand in the Science Tent, where Southampton, Keele and Bournemouth Universities and the National Oceanography Centre were also exhibiting. In total the ICG team interacted with over 1200 festival-goers during the four days, getting them to think about the history and scale of the Universe.
Two new outreach activities were developed by the team (and ICG student outreach rep David Wilkinson) to take to Bestival. The first was “Scale your Cosmos right”, a card game based on the TV game show “Play your cards right”. For this activity, six cards with different astronomical images were turned over and had to be placed in order of size, generating a lot of discussion (and arguments!) about the relative sizes of planets, stars, nebulae and galaxies. The second activity was tile puzzles of the CMB and a galaxy that had to be put back together. Attendees also had a chance to build the Universe with Lego, using the SEPnet Lego kit.
The team all had a great time at Bestival, even managing to see some of the music and comedy acts at the festival such as Franz Ferdinand, Snoop Dogg and Marcus Brigstocke. A big thank you is due to Anthony Gallagher from Southampton Solent University and Steve Dorney and Tony Curran from the University of Southampton for their work in organising the Science Tent. We hope to be back next year!
All photos by Andreas Papadopoulos. See more photos on facebook (no login required)