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The Big Bang Fair

Today I went to the Big Bang Fair in Burmingham’s NEC with one of my friends, Hannah. When she first invited me I had no idea what to expect, but it turned out to be much better than I thought!

The drive wasn’t too long and when we got there, I was SO surprised at how big it was. I was told it was big, but I never knew it was actually BIG. It was like a town. Crazy. So we went in and got passes which we had to wear around our necks. The whole place felt a bit like an airport at first, but when we got into the (massive) hall it felt more like a science fair x100000! There were loads of displays from different companies that had something to do with engineering and science, and each one covered something different. There were things from Google, Rolls-Royce, Land Rover and more. At the IBM stand was the best thing at the whole fair. We made ice cream, with no freezer and no ice cream maker. I really wondered how that was possible, and it didn’t exactly get any clearer as the process went on (which took literally five minutes. Literally FIVE MINUTES!!). The woman running it filled up a small bag with milk and added some sugar. I was very confused. Then she filled up a different bag with ice and added salt. (To those who know about science) See where this is going? No? Well, what happened next was she told us to put the bag into the ice bag, seal it up and shake it. She said ‘Make sure the ice goes over the milk bag or the process won’t work!’ Then she mentioned something about ‘endoscopic reactions’ or something. She asked us what it meant. Nothing came to mind at first, then I thought that doctors used an endoscope to look into patients without cutting them into pieces. I thought it had something to do with stomachs, actually. Then she said ‘It’s something to do with cold/freezing. Exo means to do with heating’ or something. I was pretty far off. So, we took turns to shake the bag and after five minutes, we went to a man who explained how it works (with a very thick accent, so sorry if the info is a bit wrong).

Basically, the salt lowers the freezing point of water to well below 0 [degrees symbol, if I knew how to put it in]C. So there and then, it would never freeze. That meant it could stay cold and magically (my mind goes blank as to why) that makes the milk-sugar mixture ice cream. And that is why they salt the roads, so the ice will melt because its freezing point has lowered. Something like that, anyway.

We opened up the ice bag and got a spoon and ate some really delicious ice cream! It was actually ice cream, and actually very tasty! I was so surprised and vowed to make it whenever I could.

And I haven’t even mentioned the freebies from this event. I got a (freebie) bag full of leaflets, water bottles, frisbees, pencils and about six pens. At every corner, there was a freebie, which I took. I got stuff from National Grid, Rolls-Royce and more. It was pretty awesome. I got leaflets about phsycology (hope I spelled that right), engineering construction (which had some interesting information about apprenticeships in welding, steel erection, project control and loads of other stuff), Shell oil and fossils! I haven’t actually read all of them yet, but I will, maybe.

There was also a kind of gyroscope thing, the type that astronauts use for training. While Hannah was making lip balm with ‘L’Oreal’s Young Scientists’, I joined the line, only to find out the wait was about an hour and a half, and we were about to leave, so I left, sadly.

But next year I will hopefully go again. And I am going to make the ice cream too today for everyone as dessert. I hope it goes well.

Your scientific engineer, Jaz

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