Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click on 'Find out more' to see our Cookie statement.
Skip to main content

Bubble lab is a project is a collaboration between the department of engeering researcher, Shamit Shrivastava and the Museum of Natural History to demonstrate the exciting and intriquing aspects of the process of scientific discovery through fun and dynamic experiments designed around the science of bubbles. Not only are bubbles fun and familiar, they also provide a fantastic system where the interplay of physics, chemistry, biology, and art can be easily observed and admired. As Lord Kelvin once said, “Blow a soap bubble and observe it. You may study it all your life and draw one lesson after another in physics from it.”

They're looking for researchers to come and help support the activities that they'll be delivering around Oxford, showing hands-on demos, providing kits to families to take home and experiment for themselves, and finally inviting participants to the museum for a celebration of their experiments. 

Volunteers will be asked to attend an initial training session on Friday 28th June 1-5pm. Volunteers must also be able to commit to the Museum day on Saturday 10th August. We also invite volunteers to take part in one of the two pop-up outreach session (25th July in Banbury & 27th July in Oxford). Transport costs will be reimbursed.

You don't need to be an engineer or a bubble expert - training will be provided and what they're really after is enthusiasm to share science!

 

Full details below - training will be held Friday 28 June, so if you're interested please email Carly.Smith-Huggins@oum.ox.ac.uk before then or apply in time for the deadline on 15 July.

 

Volunteer Role Description: Bubble Buddies

 

About Bubble Buddies

Mathematics, Physics and Life Sciences (MPLS) has recently funded several initiatives in public engagement with research combining the expertise of Oxford University Garden, libraries and Museums (GLAM) who will be working alongside researchers at the University of Oxford. We are seeking volunteers for the Bubble lab project which is a collaboration between the department of Engineering Science and the Museum of Natural History highlighting how bubbles help us understand the link between physics and biology. Volunteer researchers will enable inspire young children and their families to discover more about scientific insights that can be gained from simple soap bubbles.

 

The Bubble Lab project will demonstrate the intriguing and exciting aspects of the process of scientific discovery through fun and dynamic experiments designed around the science of bubbles. Not only are bubbles fun and familiar, they also provide a fantastic system where the interplay of physics, chemistry, biology, and art can be easily observed and admired. As Lord Kelvin once said, “Blow a soap bubble and observe it. You may study it all your life and draw one lesson after another in physics from it.”

 

The project aims to spark curiosity in young minds, to introduce them to the process of scientific discovery and inspire them by showing that science is not just “a list of facts” that they learn from textbooks, but allow them to explore the method behind establishing scientific facts. We also hope to increase awareness not only about the role of physics in life sciences but also a wider appreciation for the scientific process in general.

 

The activity of the Bubble Lab project will be based at three pop-up outreach sessions in communities around Oxfordshire and a final main event inviting families back to the Museum of Natural History. The aim of the pop-ups is to encourage visitors to engage with bubble experiments and collections from the museums. Sessions will be aimed at the general public and will be free and drop-in (no booking required). The sessions will be led by Bubble Buddies, a professional science communicator, Museum Public Engagement staff and a bubble artist. At the pop-ups, we also hope to encourage the audience to attend the final main event at the Museum of Natural History by distributing a mini bubble experiment kit for home.

 

Bubble Buddies training:

Volunteers who take part in the Bubble Buddies project will attend a half-day training session held in June 2019. During the training, volunteers will test bubble based experiments that aim to be accessible, fun and engaging for a wide variety of audiences.

 

The training will aim to:

 

  • Train volunteers for planned public outreach activities – science communication skills and building confidence of working with family audiences
  • Introduce volunteers to aspects of observing and measuring the phenomena of bubble physics using various tools available as smartphone APPs e.g. slow-motion videos, sound level recording, sound spectrum analysers, tone generators and light meters.
  • Train volunteers in how to deliver a set of pre-designed bubble experiments that they will perform at the outreach and Museum days.
  • Encourage volunteers to have fun exploring the world of bubbles with a chance to come up with their own ideas and experiments.

 

Please note: All experiments can be performed easily using everyday household items and a smartphone, which can provide both quantitative and defined insights through enquiry-based learning into the laws of nature for children aged 7-13 years old. Some examples of these experiments are:

  • Experimenting with the “plink” sound of a dripping tap
  • Experimenting with waves that form when soap bubbles burst on the water surface
  • Experimenting with the stability of a soap bubble - how big can they get?
  • Experimenting with interaction between dripping water and soap films

 

Following the workshop, based on what parameters were easy to set up and measure, the best experiments will be defined precisely to become part of an experimental bubble kit to be distributed during the pop-ups outreach events.  

 

Commitment

Volunteers will be asked to attend an initial training session on Friday 28th June 1-5pm. Volunteers must also be able to commit to the Museum day on Saturday 10th August. We also invite volunteers to take part in one of the two pop-up outreach session (25th July in Banbury & 27th July in Oxford). Transport costs will be reimbursed.

 

 

About Bacterial Buddies Volunteers

  • Enthusiasm is much more important than expertise. You may or may not have much knowledge of physics of soap bubbles, but you will be keen to find out more and to share your knowledge with others in an engaging and accessible way.
  • You will enjoy presenting to a diverse audience and managing small groups of people in a busy setting, including indoor and outdoor locations.
  • You will be equally happy just sitting at the table and soaking up the atmosphere during any quieter moments.
  • Being polite and helpful is important, as you will be asked a variety of unrelated questions, particularly about the orientation of the museum
  • You will demonstrate a sense of responsibility for the objects you are using and
  • Be able to communicate effectively with a wide range of audiences/ages

 

 

 

Why you might enjoy this role

The opportunity to:

  • Join a friendly, enthusiastic, and supportive team of volunteers
  • Interact with the general public and inspire museum visitors
  • Share or discover a passion for science and investigation
  • Contribute to the museum’s public education programme and increase the accessibility of its collection
  • Gain more experience of science communication, particularly with family audiences; engaging adults and children together

 

How to apply

Deadline for applications is Monday 15th July.

To be eligible all you need is an interest and passion for science and an inquiring mind. The scientific concepts explored will not go beyond A-level physics, chemistry and biology. 

 

To apply, please email carly.smith-huggins@oum.ox.ac.uk with a few sentences to tell us:

i) Why you are interested in the role and what skills and experience you might bring to it.

ii) Confirm that you are able to come to the training session on Friday 19th July and Museum day on Saturday 10th August.   

iii) Answer the following question: Can you tell us a memorable experience you’ve had with a scientist/and or encountering a scientific idea.