Children explore mysteries of science

Students at Matakana School marvelled at some of the mysteries of the physical and natural world when the Science Roadshow visited on July 30.

The roadshow allowed children to experiment with more than 70 hands-on exhibits, exploring aspects of astronomy, ecology, reflection, sound, spinning and whizzing.

Kate, 9, became better acquainted with the nature of centrifugal forces when seated in a spinning chair whose speed she could manipulate by holding out a pair of exercise weights. Although she said the experience did make her feel “a bit dizzy”.

Children were also treated to two live shows: Fire and Ice, which dealt with extremes of temperature; and Am I Living, which explored the key elements of life.

Presenter Annie-Sophie Winter says it’s always a thrill to see children’s eyes light up when they finally grasp the scientific concept that is being demonstrated to them.

The Science Roadshow is about halfway through its current New Zealand tour, which will see it appear in about 120 locations and be seen by more than 47,000 students from more than 500 schools.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the roadshow, which is organised by the National Science Technology Roadshow Trust, a registered charity.

The trust is always eager to secure donations to continue its work.


A bicycle riding skeleton was among the more eccentric exhibits.

From left, Charlie, Phoebe and George check out an infra-red camera.

Milla, left, and Emilie learn how sails work. 

Andrew discovers how pneumatics can illustrate how muscles work.

Kate explores centrifugal forces on a spinning chair.