Ever wondered what’s it like to be a real scientist? You can find out for yourself in the new Experiment Zone at Life Science Centre, Newcastle which opens on Good Friday.
Thanks to the generous support of Biffa Award, Experiment Zone is the first public-access laboratory of its kind in the UK. It will give visitors the opportunity to step into the shoes of scientists and carry out a range of experiments using professional-grade equipment and materials.
Ian Simmons, director of science communication at Life says: “We’re very excited about Experiment Zone – it’s a place where you don’t just learn about science, you are the scientist.
“Visitors will not only get the chance to carry out practical experiments using real tools and materials but they can meet working scientists and help them in actual research projects taking place in the region’s universities.”
Biffa Award is a multi-million-pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK.
Gillian French, Biffa Award programme manager, says: “Experiment Zone is a unique and exciting resource that will be enjoyed by the local community as well as create a fantastic experience for visitors.”
Experiment Zone will offer a range of hands-on experiments which will change on a regular basis but for starters, the opening experiments include:
* Find out what it’s like to be a forensic scientist: using a technique called chromatography you will work out which pen forged an important document.
* Try your hand at DNA extraction: to study DNA, scientists have to extract it from the nucleus (the command centre) of the cell. In this experiment you will be extracting the DNA from plant cells found in wheat germ.
* Be a food scientist: how do we know what foods really contain? Use various chemicals to test for nutrients and explore just how healthy your diet is.
* Discover healthy bacteria: not all bacteria are bad for us. Explore some of these ‘good’ ’bacteria and observe them under a microscope.
Admission to Experiment Zone is included in Science Centre tickets which also includes: Britain’s most popular planetarium, the 4D Motion Ride, live science shows and a changing programme of exhibitions. For admission prices and opening times visit www.life.org.uk
For more information about the Biffa Award Scheme, visit www.biffa-award.org