South Yorkshire Branch - Science Brainwaves
Science Brainwaves is an innovative science communication group based at the University of Sheffield. It aims to engage the general public in the wonderful world of science by holding regular events around South Yorkshire. The regular programme includes spring, summer and Christmas family lectures; monthly book club; and two local science clubs for young people. In addition to these the Branch does one-off events throughout the year.
In their own words: "We are a group of enthusiastic and passionate science communicators, made up of a multitude of people doing, teaching and studying science, engineering and just about everything related! We want to take everything science and put it out there in a way that everyone can understand and enjoy. We organise many events, year-round to various audiences on a myriad of subjects."
Visit the website for the most up to date news.
Chairperson: Nicola Whiting
Treasurer: Rebecca Hoyle
Secretary: Emma Jardine
If you would like to support the branch and help raise some vital funds at no extra cost for you when shopping online, please visit their easyfundraising page. It’s easy, it’s free, and you will even receive vouchers and special offers! You could also support your branch by joining one of Discover Adventure's sport fundraising challenges and/or our new recycling scheme privded by Recycling Appeal.
On Friday 23rd November, ‘Science Brainwaves’ hosted an evening learning the science behind one of the nations favourite treats- Chocolate!
This sell-out evening allowed 130 guests to be educated by Professor John Schollar from Reading University, learning fun facts, such as that Terry’s chocolate orange wasn’t the first chocolate fruit, whilst also enjoying a sumptuous 5-tier chocolate fountain.
John Schollar led us through the history of chocolate firstly, showing us how it had evolved over the years, for example powdered milk was first added to chocolate by Henn Nestle in 1867, which lead to the smooth chocolate we now call ‘milk chocolate’.
John showed us cocoa pods from the tree Theobrama cocoa and informed us how the pulp is fermented by micro-organisms, which alter the flavour of the cocoa.
Following a refreshment break (and a chance to get some chocolate smothered treats), John led the tasting half of the talk, in which the guests had to judge 4 common chocolates on their characteristics such as bitterness, creaminess, texture etc.
The guests also enjoyed a demonstration from Miss Sarah Haine from the University of Sheffield’s Dept of Materials Science and Engineering, which showed the difference in pressure that various types of chocolate could withstand. A Science Brainwaves stall was present, as well as refreshments and a chocolate raffle.
The grant money we received was spend on hire of Mappin Hall for the evening, supplies for Miss S. Haines demonstration, posters and flyer printing for publicity as well as towards covering Professor John Schollars transport and hotel costs.
We received completed feedback forms from 54 of our attendees, in which they all gave 4 or 5/5 for enjoyment of the evening, and 78% gave 5/5 for the speaker for the evening.
Our event was attended by a 60/40 split of women and men, with about 60% of our attendees being in the age bracket of 16-25 years old, with a small percentage of under 16’s and then the remaining guests being over 25.