Author Archives: Matthew Williamson

Matthew Williamson

About Matthew Williamson

Hi I’m Matt – one of the Public Engagement Officers at Life. I trained in Chemistry and Physics, but these days you’ll catch my attention with anything shiny. Be it about the vast wonder of space, or making cool little things out of straws, I’m driven by curiosity. And a little bit of that goes a long way.

The importance of balance

When you’re a toddler, your whole world is about balance, or more often the lack of it. The very word “toddler” instills a mental image of wobbling, teetering, and eventually falling over. Bump.

Balancing_girl_2009Of all the things to label young children with, falling over seems like a strange one. But what do we do after we fall over?… Read more

Posted in Pre-school Days | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

OK to Ask

Going to the doctor’s can be a scary ordeal when you’re under five. Strange rooms, people in funny uniforms, and dare I mention… needles shudder. And often this fear carries over into adulthood (even if it’s just very mild dread).

Rigorous TestingThis is a bit of a shame really, because the NHS is full of wonderfully dedicated and friendly people.… Read more

Posted in Meet the Scientist, Pre-school Days, Scientists | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inside the Mind of the Pre-schooler

Kids learn a lot at school. A LOT. But the amount they have to learn in first five years of their life is astonishing. From a helpless bundle of joy to a walking, talking, rampaging person mostly ready to face the world.

NBrain Artworkeedless to say, what happens to a child’s brain during this period is crucial, and science has made efforts to tease out the how, when and why.… Read more

Posted in Meet the Scientist, Pre-school Days | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Spring is in the Air!

Flowers, bunnies, fluffy little chicks! It’s that time of year again. When spring is in the air, there’s lot of science to observe – the leaves on the trees, the lengthening days, and the warming temperatures.

All of this happens because Planet Earth is tilted. We spin on our axis once a day, but this axis is on a tilt.… Read more

Posted in Living Things, Planetarium and Space, Pre-school Days | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Naughty Monsters in the planetarium

Naughty Monsters in the Sky smallA delightfully silly planetarium show returns to Life!

2016 sees the Naughty Monsters in the Sky back in planetarium. The terrible twosome help answer some of the most important questions of all: “Where does the Sun go at night?”, “Does the Moon really change shape?” and “Why don’t I always see the stars?”.… Read more

Posted in Pre-school Days | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brass rubbing – good enough for Dr. Jones

The Indiana Jones films are memorable for many reasons. There’s the whip-hat combo, the exotic filming locations, and not least the theme-tune (sorry, you’re stuck with it all day now).

Dr. Jones (Henry Jr.) can seem at times an out-and-out adventurer, but if you ask me, the best bits are when he shows off a bit of academic prowess.… Read more

Posted in Pre-school Days | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Superconductors – A Broken Record?

A story of fridges, hover-boards, and the nature of science.

Every process, however well designed, wastes some energy as heat.

The electricity that powers our modern world wastes energy on every lap of the circuit, just as a distance runner wastes energy to sweat and body heat with every straight and every bend.… Read more

Posted in Topical Science | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being observant

“Thinking is more interesting than knowing but less interesting than looking”

–          Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

What are children if not observant? Does your little one notice things that you never expected? Do they innocently tell your secrets – like who ate the last slice of cake? Plenty of toddlers have proudly declared to me that they’ve spotted I have no hair.… Read more

Posted in Pre-school Days | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment