School of Mathematics

Science festival success!

During the Edinburgh International Science Festival this year our outreach team put on activities on the theme of symmetry as part of the University of Edinburgh's Family Activities section at the National Museum of Scotland. These activities have now been voted one of the most popular of the section, losing out only to SCI-FUN's spinning chair. Over the five days we were there we had over 4400 visitors engaging with us, of whom over 1000 visited on Easter Monday. Visitor comments included "It was the best day in my holiday", "Kids were captivated" and "Demonstrators were so enthusiastic and explained things really well".

As part of our exhibit we explored the hidden patterns in everyday objects such as cross-sections of vegetables, spirals in pine cones and tiling patterns. We also ran additional workshops for participants to design their own Escher-like tilings. Thanks go to the outreach coordinators Lois Rollings and Julia Collins for organising the event, and to our postgraduates and undergraduates who gave up their time to run the activities and enthuse the public.