Hull University Science Festival with @SeriousGeoGames

It’s that time of year again, one of the most exciting times of the year for me. This weekend, on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th, is the Hull University Science Festival. It’s my fourth time presenting an exhibit here, and it’s come a long way. This year, I will be leading a team of helpers with an exclusively SeriousGeoGames exhibit – on behalf of the Department of GEES.

In 2013, when the event was called the Science Showcase and took part in Hull Town Hall, I was inexperienced (still to submit my thesis!), and was asked to present the Dynamic Humber Project I was employed on. Our exhibit was not very good, composing a stale poster and an informative, but not very interesting, presentation we had to project on to the ceiling! We were later joined on the ceiling by the plastic balls from Becky Williams’ awesome liquid nitrogen volcano demonstration!

My Mother-in-law, Beverley, trying Humber in a Box

In 2014, I stepped up my game a little and so did the event. The first true Hull University Science Festival, we were housed in a large marquee on Campus. I presented a hacked version of the Humber CAESAR-Lisflood model, with a slider to raise sea level – it was the precursor to Humber in a Box. The participants found it interesting when they used it, but many people bypassed us as we were sandwiched between a 3D Printer and HIVE – to be honest, I would have done the same.

My favourite ever interaction came during this event, which went something like this –

Me – You move the slider and you raise the sea level in the Humber.

Schoolgirl 1 – (With full sincerity) In real life?

Me – (Struggling to come up with a reply) No, just in the model.

Schoolgirl 2 – (Said in a way only a close friend could) Don’t worry about her, she’s really thick.

I’m not sure you can every really train or prepare yourself for conversations like this! She wasn’t “thick” as her friend cruelly suggested, and I am constantly blown away by how bright and engaged the school pupils who visit us are – it really is a joy explaining our science to them.

Last year, I had Humber in a Box at my disposal for the first time. The exhibit I was part of also featured the River in a Box mini-flume, and the this and the excitement of the VR headset ensured a busy couple of days!

Now in 2016, we will be presenting Humber in a Box, but also Flash Flood! for the first time. We have be demonstrating the application on a large TV, and you’ll get the chance to explore our virtual river valley. We will also have some of the field equipment used to make the application on display. I’m really proud of Flash Flood! and am very excited about demonstrating it in public for the first time.

Looking forward to seeing you there! Details here.

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