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2014-2015: Superhero Science First Class




About

Superhero Science: First Class is an exciting and interactive science communication show for P4-7 which takes pupils on an interactive learning experience, delivering scientific concepts in a fun and engaging way.

The show is presented by an Agent of our fictional 'Agency for the Worldwide Education about Superhero Operatives and their Missions on Earth' (A.W.E.S.O.M.E) and features demonstrations, a multimedia presentation and ‘choose your own adventure’ style audience participation while investigating the science of how superpowers might theoretically work.

The show was funded by a People Award from the Wellcome Trust, and was seen by over 11000 people when is was toured in 2014-2015.  Development and delivery of the show was carried out in conjunction with two BBSRC DTP PhD students on placement from the University of Glasgow and Strathclyde University.  The project won The Herald Higher Education Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community 2016.

Supported by the Wellcome Trust, BBSRC and University of Glasgow.


Science content

Biological 
Basics:
Cells: structure 
and function.
Genes and mutation: what are they and what do they do?
Genome editing: how can we change the genetic code?
Viruses: what are 
they and how can we use them?

The science of ‘superpowers’:
Super-healing: the process by which the body naturally heals wounds.
Super-strength: how muscles are formed and types of genetic changes that alter this.
Mind-reading: how do our brains process information?
Camouflage: colour-changing cells in chameleons and cuttlefish.
Laserbeams: what are lasers and how can they be made by living things?
Electricity: how do electric eels become electrified?

Other important points:
Ethics in research: what do they mean and why do we need them?
Biotechnology: a brief explanation.


Show specifications

The show is 60 minutes long, and is followed by an optional Q&A session (20 minutes).  Up to 4 shows can be delivered in a day, 20 minutes is required between shows to move classrooms and reset props.  The following technical equipment is required: a digital projector, screen (or Smartboard), HDMI cable, speakers (connecting with a 3.5mm headphone jack), lapel mic (if large audience and venue) a small table for the presenter’s laptop, and chairs for the audience.