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Schoolkids try out physics trick at special assembly

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Schoolchildren who contributed artwork for the display hoardings in use outside the site of our new building were presented with certificates and treated to a physics trick from our chief executive Professor Paul Hardaker on Monday 8 May.

Thirteen pupils from Islington’s Gillespie School produced drawings that were installed at the front of our new space for physics on 22 April, and received their certificates at a special assembly at the school.

Hardaker showed the gathered children the Tame Tornado demonstration – and then let them have a go for themselves.

The trick involves draining a bottle of water into the other, which ordinarily takes a long time as water and air both move through the same space. But spinning the bottle creates a whirlpool with a hole in it, allowing the air to move up through that hole and the water to drain around the sides – which is much faster.

Gillespie School’s pupils seemed suitably impressed. “It’s a fun, easy experiment and it helps you to understand how real-life weather works,” said Kiri.

Naomi added: “I liked the experiment because it showed real life physics in action and you can do it at home.”

And Zac told us: “The reason I liked the experiment was because we used trial and error to find out ways to improve it and got it to be really good.”

The previous week, one of our trustees, Professor Kevin McGuigan, also visited the school to give a talk on how to use sunlight to disinfect water and make it safe to drink.

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