Noel Turner Physics Festival

22 November 2017

Cowes Enterprise College, Isle of Wight, 20th October 2017

Supported by the South Central Branch Committee, IOP manned a stand at the Noel Turner Physics Festival held at Cowes Enterprise College, Isle of Wight. The Festival commemorates the life of Noel Turner who was a radar design engineer with BAE Systems, and is supported by his widow Ellen Weeks, aiming to raise the profile of physics and engineering careers on the Isle of Wight. Cowes Enterprise College organised the day jointly with BAE systems and expected 3000 students (aged 11-18) to attend.  We must have seen a good proportion of that number by the end of the day; and we gave out around 500 “Physics at A level” leaflets. Some of the sixth form students who had already chosen to do physics asked about the Institute of Physics and its role as an upholder of professional standards.

We had something for everyone; Marvin and Milo ”Do try this at home” sound and vibration experiment cards, information about careers and further studies, spiced up with some fascinating interactive exhibits designed to capture the imagination and intrigue.  Helen Clark’s Chinese water spouting bowl tempted many to get their hands wet, to create their own standing wave effects.  Steven Beith demonstrated his brushless motor using a car alternator as a three phase generator. Helen’s husband showed how pressure differences can create amazing shrinking and expanding marshmallows, and Ian Galloway showed off balls of fire. We were all exhausted after the day, and went three separate ways, to Cowes, Fishbourne and Yarmouth, to catch our ferries back to the mainland.