Scifest Africa 2016

From the 2 – 8 of March Kitchen Chemistry was at South Africa’s National Science Festival with an all new science show. This was not all and the Kitchen Chemist was kept busy at a number of different events.

Each day started with an introduction to the laser show. This is a light show spectacular which I try to put into context with a little scientific explanation of lasers. (See the whoe thing here.)On the first day I was busy with outreach at the Joza sports facility and then science busking in Church Square in the centre of Grahamstown.

All the other days, after the laser show introduction, I put on a slime workshop at 10h00 and a workshop to explain some spectroscopy and build a spectroscope (Spectroscopy in a Suitcase) at 14h00. Most days there would also be a “Kitchen Chemistry: Seconds” at either 11h00, 13h00 or 15h00. Fortunately I had an excellent helper who was able to set things up so that I could run straight from one to the other.

As usual I was helping out with other events. I was involved in the Murder Mystery (as a twenty year old Lothario!), a panel discussion on coffee at a local craft coffee shop, some science demonstrations at the “Star Party”, one of the daily “Sunset Shows”, a Spectroscopy in a Suitcase outreach workshop, and science busking at the “Science Picnic” which was held in the Botanical Gardens. I also had the privilege to chair the lecture by Ella al-Shamahi (@LIttleMissFossil) on Fossil Hunting in the Yemen. Ella told us all about the problems for scientists working in unstable regions. Later in the evening she gave us an example of how she uses comedy to talk about her science and culture.

Once again I had a fantastic time and was able to take the festival, in the form of “Kitchen Chemistry: Seconds” into two more schools after the official end of the festival. Check out the official Scifest Youtube Channel for more recordings of sciences shows and lectures.