Author Archives: Toni Hamill

Toni Hamill

About Toni Hamill

Hi, I'm Toni, one of Life's Education Officers.

Collecting micrometeorites

Micrometeorites are tiny pieces of space dust washed out of the atmosphere by rain!

To collect your own, you will need:

  • Bucket or other container
  • Coffee filter paper
  • Strong magnet
  • Plastic sandwich bag
  • White paper
  • Magnifying glass or microscope (optional)


  1. Put a small bucket or other container outside for a few weeks and allow it to collect some rain water.
Read more
Posted in Education, Planetarium and Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas card challenge

My Mum just called to let me know I’m in charge of entertaining the family once they’re all stuffed full of turkey on Christmas Day. There’s always charades, and my favourite, Trivial Pursuit (genus edition circa 1985). However, the fact I work here at Life raises expectations – and I wouldn’t want to disappoint – so I’ve got a whole host of seasonal science tricks and merry maths puzzles lined up, and I thought I’d share one with you.Read more

Posted in Demonstrations | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Fossiliferous fun

Our Science Club members had a blast on their summer field trip to Whitby hunting for fossils. Don’t worry if you missed out on all the fun, here’s our handy guide to fossil hunting. 

Planning: Choose a site. This fossil hunting website tells you where to hunt and gives you tips on what you might find there.… Read more

Posted in Education, Living Things | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Baby Banquet recipes

We had a great time serving up tasty snacks from the Baby Banquet on Tuesday, you can see toddlers enjoying the food in Sky Tyne and Wear’s coverage.

On the day there were quite a few requests for recipes, so here are a few of the favourites:

Salmon Fishcakes – by Life’s Chefs

Makes: 4 large fishcakes (for adults) or 8 mini fishcakes (for toddlers).… Read more

Posted in Food and Drink, Pre-school Days | Leave a comment

DO play with your food

Feeding a toddler can be tricky, not just because usually more food ends up on the floor, walls, and you, there are lots of voices out there giving advice on which foods you should be offering your child, they can be conflicting and confusing. This summer has seen a celebrity chef caught scandalously labelling sausages and burgers on a menu they devised as ‘healthy’!… Read more

Posted in Food and Drink, Pre-school Days | Leave a comment

Dino tots

‘They’re here!’ (as the banner outside the Science Centre proclaims) the dinosaurs have arrived! This summer you can visit our life size animatronic dinosaurs and accompanying exhibition of fascinating fossils. The incredibly realistic models are shown for the first time in a leafy habitat which makes an incredible immersive experience.Read more

Posted in Exhibitions and events, Pre-school Days | Leave a comment


Is there anything more delightful than blowing, chasing, and popping bubbles? I’m sure I’m not the only one with fond memories of summer afternoons in the garden, shrieks of delight and gleeful giggles accompanying the bubbles as they floated along on the breeze.


They appeal to the young, and the young at heart!Read more

Posted in Pre-school Days | Leave a comment

Little Makers

little makers

This week we’re all busy preparing for the return of Maker Faire UK! The greatest show (and tell) on Earth! Makers, hackers and crafters from across the country will be showcasing all sorts of projects from fire breathing robotic dragons to paintings made with bacteria. There will be plenty of opportunities for visitors to get hands-on and try their hands at making too.… Read more

Posted in Exhibitions and events, Maker Events, Pre-school Days | Leave a comment

Intuitive Scientists

Everyone who has observed a young child at play will have noticed that they often spend time experimenting, it is easy to imagine parallels between these imaginative explorers and scientists.

A review published last year in the journal Science presented a round-up of recent research that shows how learning and thinking in very young children is strikingly similar to much learning and thinking in science.… Read more

Posted in Pre-school Days | Leave a comment

In the Dark

Our latest theatre show exploring curious properties of light and colour takes place ‘In the Dark.’
The show is set to music and our explainers keep their explanations to a minimum during the performance, though the audience are encouraged to discuss their theories in hushed voices with the people next to them.… Read more

Posted in Science Theatre Shows | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment