L'Oréal Young Scientist Centre takes hands-on science to Bognor Regis

A team from the L'Oréal Young Scientist Centre ran a series of workshops at the Butlins Astonishing Science Weekend in Bognor Regis.

One of the photographs taken by participants at the pinhole camera workshop at the Butlins Astonishing Science Weekend.

Each year thousands of students and teachers who visit the L'Oréal Young Scientist Centre (LYSC) at the Royal Institution in London get a unique taste of real-world science. They test their own ideas, design creative experiments, and have an experience designed to ignite a passion for scientific discovery.

This spirit was transported to the Astonishing Science Weekend at Butlins Bognor Regis this April. Over the weekend the team led two activities based on LYSC workshops: making lip balm and pinhole photography.

Throughout the two days, the team showed families the chemistry of making lip balms. This activity forms part of the Cosmetic Chemistry workshop in the LYSC, and introduces children to the properties of oils and waxes, showing the chemical processes behind the manufacture of everyday toiletries. Over the weekend the team, supported by interns from L'Oréal, made over 2000 lip balms.

Love #science & photography? Join our pinhole camera workshop this weekend with @RI_Science @Butlins #astonishingscience #BognorRegis

— L'Oréal UK&I (@LOreal_UKI) April 15, 2016


The team also ran 10 pinhole camera workshops to a total of 300 people, teaching the physics of photography, the chemistry of developing and the art of creating the perfect image:

Best selfie yet @Ri_Science LYSC retro tech pinhole photo workshop at Butlin's science weekend, well done Amelia pic.twitter.com/vWc1d5IfwL

— David Porter (@Afflewine) April 16, 2016

 As they learnt the science of photography, families took some beautiful pictures. Watch our film and download the templates to make your own and develop photographs using a homemade chemical solution.

Liz Coates, the LYSC Technical Coordinator said, “The L’Oréal Young Scientist Centre team had a fantastic time at Butlin's Bongor Regis over the weekend. Running pinhole photography workshops and our ever popular lip balm stand allowed us to encourage more young people to think more deeply about science. We especially enjoyed the family atmosphere, where adults and children could engage with science together and have a lot of fun in the process. We'll be back!”

The LYSC team take workshops around the UK at various times throughout the year, and will be running more pinhole camrea workshops at the Cheltenham Science Festival in June. 

Young people aged 7–18 can also take part in our Summer Schools programme offering more than 90 hands-on sessions in laboratory science, mathematics, computer science and engineering this July and August.