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Ri Lates: Gunpowder, treason and plot

Enjoy workshops, talks, food and drink at this sociable night for adults to get hands-on for Bonfire Night

Gunpowder workshop
Katherine Leedale

Event description

How do fireworks work and how do we make gunpowder? What's the science of betrayal? And are we the only animals to plot against each other? Get in from the cold and rainy November nights and explore the science of Bonfire Night with our sociable evening of activities and talks for adults.

Download the evening's programme to plan your night.

Please note

This event is for over-18s only. If you look younger than 21, you may be asked for ID at the door.


Plotting ahead: 7.15-8.45pmThe future is where we will spend the rest of our lives. Are we the only animals on this planet that are capable of thinking about the future and planning for it? Join Nicola Clayton to find out.

A story of gunpowder: 8.15-8.45pmJoin Simon Foster for a rundown of gunpowder science, from its first invention to why people raided churches for potassium nitrate. Expect a demo-filled talk with gunpowder explosions recreated in our theatre.

Rocket Science: the Bang and Beyond: 9.15-9.45pmFrom conventional ideas and oxidation through the Orion Project and onto the Dawn Probe, chemist Matt Allinson will explain rocket science through a series of visual demos.


There will be a whole host of activities throughout the building on the night but here is a taster to get you going:

Flaming experimentsChange the colour of flames, create a flame tornado, explode guncotton using a cannonball and try setting off an explosion in your hand. All to understand the the science of fireworks and gunpowder.

Bomberman with WiFi WarsPlay bomberman with teams in a videogaming phenomenon led by the comedy duo that make up WiFi Wars. Bring a charged smartphone!

Bangs and beginningsJoin Ben Still for a exploration of the biggest bang of all, and the beginnings of the Universe.

Animal plottingDo other animals plot ahead? Is there deliberate betrayal? And how can we know? Join the RVC to discover more. And join a team from University College London to take part in an experiment to see how humans behave.

Treasure HuntKeep your eyes peeled to take part in Thinking Bob's treasure hunt, learning about the Ri's treasures and its links to gunpowder.