Changing materials

5.00pm to 5.50pm, Tuesday 1 June

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • A scientist smiles, looking over clouds of water vapour

    Chemistry can make materials change very quickly

    Credit: Ri
  • Type

  • Audience

    Families, Ages 7+

  • Speakers

    • Jemma Naumann
    • Dani Zelli


Pay what you can

Event description

Join Jemma Naumann and Dani Zelli from the Ri's L'Oréal Young Scientist Centre for surprising changes, pops, bangs and lots of exciting chemistry, as we look into how materials can change in the blink of an eye. Topics covered include the states of matter, making predictions and taking observations. This show will include an experiment you can do at home. If you'd like to take part have a bowl, two tea spoons, cornflour, water and shampoo with you!

Please note, this livestream is aimed at a family audience, and so is starting at an earlier time of 5.00pm.

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About the speakers

Jemma Naumann is a science communicator, experiment designer and award winning science demo presenter. She is L'Oréal Young Scientist Centre Facilitator at the Ri. 

Originally from Adelaide, Australia, she completed a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) with a double major in Chemistry in 2013 and achieved a first-class Honours in Organic Chemistry, in 2014, both at the University of Adelaide. From there she travelled to Canberra, in 2015, to study a Master of Science Communication Outreach at The Australian National University. During this time, she was a part of the Shell Questacon Science Circus and travelled around regional and rural Australia performing science shows to schools and the public.

In 2015 she moved to London to take up the position of L'Orèal Young Scientist Centre Workshop Facilitator at the Royal Institution. Her day to day role includes presenting engaging science workshops to young people in the L'Orèal Young Scientist Centre, designing interactive science experiments for Royal Institution family events, and performing exciting science demonstrations. Her work also includes devising and building demonstrations for the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, shown every year on BBC4. Career highlights of her work on the 2019 Christmas Lectures, with Hannah Fry, include creating an explosive potassium metal and water volcano and performing a liquid nitrogen cloud. 

In 2019 she won the BIG Event Best Demo Competition in Edinburgh Scotland, with a demonstration linking physics, chemistry and art together. The same year she also won the Over-ambitious Demo Challenge at Cheltenham Science Festival, where she linked a bunch of explosive demos together into a Rube Goldberg machine of fire!

Her passion is designing exciting and interactive science experiments that young people can do at home. During lockdown in 2020, she launched a YouTube channel, SciJem, and her science videos have been featured at the 2020 Bradford Science Festival and online as a part of the Global Science Show. December 2020 saw the launch of a science experiment calendar she has designed in collaboration with Science on a Postcard.


Dani Zelli has professionally presented science to the public for 10 years across New York and London, including the American Museum of Natural History where she taught about live arachnids and lepidoptera, at the Science Museum doing explosive shows, and now the Royal Institution where she has been leading workshops for school groups encouraging scientific skills and fun for the last 2 years.

With her BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Kent she has worked in microbiology studying circadian rhythms in cyanobacteria at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and in neuroscience finding novel treatments for depression at The Rockefeller University in New York, with multiple published papers showing the positive epigenetic effects of L-acetyl carnitine.


Please note, this event is earlier than usual and is aimed at a family audience.

The event will go live at 4:55pm, and the introduction will begin at 5:00pm. If you register but miss the live stream, the video will be available to you via the same link for up to a week after the event date.

Event type

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