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Oxford’s newest society: OxHands on Science (OxHOS)

Amy

If your Trinity term resolution was to join a new society, you now have one more option. Oxford Hands-On Science (OxHOS) is the newest society around. It was founded to spread science enthusiasm to kids. Next summer, the two week Roadshow (25th June to 10th July) starting with the Oxfordshire Science Festival will bring hands on experiments to schools and shopping malls.

The society was modelled after their sister Cambridge Hands-On Science (CHaOS), who helped to run a pilot project last year: CHaOS equipment was used last summer in the first ever OxHOS Roadshow, which was funded by the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences. This year’s big task for OxHOS is to come up with their own experiments, get all materials together and to write safety assessments. All the demonstrators will familiarise themselves with the experiments and then everything is ready for the second OxHOS Roadshow.

Beatrice Tyrrell, a former member of CHaOS, now head of OxHOS says “I feel passionate about getting kids excited about science and showing them that science is fun, and that people who keep studying and working in science are just like them.“ And the kids? They loved it! “My favourite bits were looking through a microscope at muscle fibres and extracting DNA from kiwi fruit” said a year 7 student.

The targeted participants are in year 5 to year 8 (age 9 to 14) and will be visited by the Roadshow in their schools. Practicals from all areas of science, maths, bio, chem, physics and psychology will be available to them under supervision and guidance of the OxHOS members. From learning about blood types to the electrolysis of water and spinning chairs to demonstrate angular momentum, there is something for everyone.

Research show that many students age 14, when they decide on their GCSE subjects already made up their mind that science is not for them. This is why it is important that science outreach targets the years before this decision. CHaOS was started to address this need but it simply cannot satisfy the demand for interactive science school visits. This year OxHOS will bring science activities to Oxfordshire and South Wales, so that even more kids can benefit from the science fun.

If you would like to join OxHOS, please email contact oxhos@gmail.com to get in touch with the team or visit the OxHOS website https://oxfordhandsonscience.wordpress.com/.

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