Family star in science film

Petra Boynton and her son Adam SUS-140309-113714001
Petra Boynton and her son Adam SUS-140309-113714001

A family from Eastbourne are the stars of an innovative new film project from historic science charity the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

ExpeRimental aims to kick-start a revolution in science learning by supporting and empowering parents to do exciting and easy science activities at home with young children.

In the short film entitled Musical Coathangers, Petra Boynton and her seven-year-old son Adam, who attends Ocklynge School, demonstrate how people can trick their ears into hearing sounds differently using everyday objects like coathangers and string.

The aim of the activity is to bring to life the concept that sound is actually vibrations that travel through the air or other materials to your ear.

Petra said, “It’s been a while since I studied science at school and it wasn’t my best subject so I welcomed having the chance to learn how to do fun science activities with my son – we both learned a lot together.”

“ExpeRimental is a fantastic project which I hope will encourage families who may never have considered doing a science experiment at home to get stuck in. The films and worksheets provide all the information and ideas they need to explore science in a fun, cheap and easy way, using materials most people already have around the home.”

Adam said, “It’s mind-blowing and epic how you can find different things to do experiments with at home. I liked finding all the things that could make sounds.”

Dr Gail Cardew, director of science and education at the Royal Institution, said, “For 200 years our charity’s mission has been to encourage people to think more deeply about the wonders and applications of science. Our latest project, ExpeRimental, embodies this 200-year-old mission completely by bringing exciting hands-on science into people’s homes, wherever they may live.

“With ExpeRimental, our ultimate goal is to help parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers, health workers, foster parents and childcare professionals to spark the natural curiosity of children at an early age and to set them on a lifelong course of scientific exploration and investigation.

“Supporting families to do science at home is hugely important. Some 84 per cent of the UK public agree that science is such a big part of our lives that we should all take an interest, but only 41 per cent of adults and 51 per cent of 16-24 year olds feel informed about science. Only a third of parents feel confident in helping with their children’s homework.

Musical Coathangers’ is the eighth film in the ExpeRimental series. Ten films in total are being released.