Science teacher Tom Mulholland will dish up a dash of invention to honour the creative geniuses who made the North East a hotbed of innovation.
On Monday and Tuesday Tom will deliver family-friendly, audience-interactive lectures celebrating the achievements of the region’s “ Famous Five.”
The lectures at 11am and 3pm on both days at the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers in Westgate Road in Newcastle will mark the achievements of railway pioneers George and Robert Stephenson, inventor and industrialist William Armstrong, steam turbine creator Charles Parsons and electric light bulb visionary Joseph Swan .
Tom will lay on a series of demonstrations, ranging from how to build a bridge to how an arc light works and will stage a grand finale in which the institute’s 1902 lecture theatre will bounce to the disco beat.
The lectures’ theme of light and energy will see Tom use 20 mobile disco units which will be activated by mobile phone Bluetooth technology.
The audience will be invited to use their phones to transmit their favourite musical track to the disco units.
The boxes will play the tracks and create a disco light show in the 1902 lecture theatre.
It ties in with the aim of the lectures which is to not only mark the scientific landmarks of the region’s past but also look at what the future holds.
“Now that things are digitally controlled, it means that lighting systems can be completely programmable,” said Jarrow-born Tom.
“Councils can control public lighting and save energy and people could phone their Christmas tree to turn on the lights.
“We will have as much fun as we can explaining how the North East’s scientists and engineers made a big difference to the world.”
Tom, who lives in Washington, taught science and chemistry, and now divides his time between the education sector and working in industry and engineering.
Mining Institute President Steve Davidson said :”We are delighted to present a series of Christmas Lectures which we hope provide great festive entertainment and a chance for the family to learn about science and engineering in a building where much has been done to advance both science and engineering for over 160 years.
“Without our great innovators none of us would have lights on our Christmas trees.
Our ‘famous five’, are responsible for much of what we still call the modern world, and Tyneside led the way.
“We want to inspire the next generation to be just as innovative.”
The lectures are funded by the Reece Foundation and sponsored by the Institute for Materials, Minerals and Mining .
To book a free places call 0191 232 2201 (24 hrs) or visit: https://eventbrite.co.uk and search for mining institute.