Mill of Benholm Science and Engineering Week

Dr Andy Vinten involved the children in discussions on the solar system using spinning tops as the planets.
Dr Andy Vinten involved the children in discussions on the solar system using spinning tops as the planets.

over 40 people turned out to the two Mill of Benholm activity days, energised and motivated to contribute, despite the weather being so wet, raw and bitterly cold!

Here in the north of the British Isles we might question the wisdom of the British Science Association with their presumed understanding of climate science for holding this national event so early in the year but the weather during last year’s event held in the same month was 20 degrees warmer!

Several of the presenters were sadly obliged to cancel their contribution with vintage tractors being snowed in on inland farms and the Harris Hawk was miserable and ’drookit’ after an hour of flights on the first Saturday and would have been blown away by the gale on the second Saturday!

Those presenters who were able to attend offered the braw families who braved the elements a well deserved day of participation in a very wide range of activities including the Dunnottar Bodgers with wood turning on a historic technology lathe, Van Leiper taught bridge building using the rope lashing skills we learned as scouts, a new generation discovered engineering with Meccano and Dr Andy Vinten involved the children in discussions on the solar system using spinning tops as the planets.

Rebecca and Emma explained the work of SHARK and the Marine Stewardship Council in caring for our beaches and fish stocks with a DVD presentation and lots of freebies given away including the bio friendly products of our local company Biotech one of the Mill of Benholm sponsors.

During the lulls in the rain Helen Young the Aberdeenshire Council ranger involved some families in exploring the Mill Brae woodland walk where they planted new trees in the burnside classroom by the new willow dome after enjoying the snowdrop walk down the Jacob’s Ladder.

Thanks again to all the folk who gave their time and energy to make these two Saturdays so successful and to the families who demonstrated such spirit in venturing out of doors from as far away as Aberdeen to involve their children in what they found to be a fascinating and rewarding day.