Last night the National Science + Engineering Competition Finals 2013 were officially opened at the Welcome Event and first Live@Lunch  with Greg Foot.
Giving a whistlestop tour of what we can expect in the coming days, the Live@Lunch  show gave our latest batch of finalists an exclusive look at some of the highlights of this year’s Fair as well as some talks from past competitors.
We kicked off with Simon Watt, from Channel 4’s Inside Nature’s Giants, who proved along with a very brave volunteer from the audience, that you can put a lighter under a balloon filled with water, because the heat is dispersed through the water. Although, if you try this at home, it’s probably a good idea to have an umbrella handy.
Deepesh Patel spoke about his project on microbes which he showed at the Competition finals in 2010. He’s now in his final year at Durham University where he is studying Natural Sciences.
Tom Warrender, a physiologist and medical toxicologist, gave Greg a quick medical once over – we’re pleased to say all was well. Turns out his heart rate was just 60 beats per minute, and his retina was looking amazingly healthy.
Jessica Leigh-Jones also took to the stage to talk about her experience last year at the National Science + Engineering Competition finals, where she was jointly awarded the Young Engineer of the Year with her partner, Wasim. Their project was about the sensor they built that could measure the intensity of contractions during pre-term labour. Jessica has gone on to start an Astrophysics degree at Cardiff University – a world away from her engineering roots!
Alaska was an extra special guest at the end of the show – a bald eagle who flew up on to the stage to scare Greg and the audience. You can find out more about Alaska and the conservation efforts of her handler, Alan Ames in the Farm to Food zone.
Live@Lunch  will be on every day of the Fair at the Igloo at 12.30 til 1pm. There will be demos and highlights from past competitors, the live shows and also some of this year’s competitors!