Category Archives: Science Group

Science Group (1) visit Tram Headquarters

Fourteen members of Science Group One visited the headquarters of the Nottingham Tram on Thursday, 28th June. It was a hot day but the members were delighted to visit the HQ.

We arrived on time to be greeted by a member of the Tram staff who was extremely friendly, which turned out to be the order of the day. We were shown into what can only be described as a quite large Board Room where we were given a presentation about the tram network, the internal management structure, the interview process to become a driver (which was very intense and sounded quite complicated) and the monitoring and safety arrangements for passengers. Our members were then allowed to ask questions to glean more information. This proved to be quite an informative session. Apparently there are 37 drivers in total and only two spare trams at any one time. There is no statutory limit as to how many passengers can travel on one tram at a time, unlike other modes of transport. If you are involved in an emergency and you are near a tram station you can use the emergency facilities at the station to request assistance even if you are not using the tram.

After the group session we were split into several smaller groups to tour the building and use the tram simulators. Each simulator monitored the performance of a trainee, which was an interesting exercise for the members. It showed how new drivers were trained to operate the trams. We were then each given a printout of our own performance.

The visit to the main control room was fascinating. It was very reassuring that each tram station was monitored at all times of the day and night. It was very reminiscent of a NASA launch control room with large TV screens covering one wall.

To contact the group leader, Jim Spray, please use the form below:-

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Message (required)

Posted in Science Group | Comments Off on Science Group (1) visit Tram Headquarters

Science 1 discuss "Life on other planets?"

At our January meeting we had a presentation by four eminent NASA scientists (via YouTube) who had been researching the possibility of life on other planets and moons within our solar system and on exoplanets elsewhere in the universe. We discovered that life on earth took at least 1-2 billion years to evolve and even then the planet was still not suitable for life as we know it today. We also learned that modern humans evolved some 600,000 years ago but that we have only been able to use technology for some 200 years. Is it then not surprising that we have not been able to find life outside the Earth. It was also suggested that the human race might be the first intelligent life in the universe as it takes billions of years to evolve and the Big Bang happened some 13.75 billion years ago. It would seem that conditions on other planets and moons and within the universe are suitable for life to develop. There are life forms on earth that live in extreme environments very similar to the conditions in the solar system. The consensus was that life will be found elsewhere within the next say 20 years.
Several members of the Group gave biographies of British scientists who have made a great contribution to the world of science and recent news reports from within the scientific community.
Please contact the group leader, Jim Spray, using the form below:-

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Message (required)

Posted in Science Group | Comments Off on Science 1 discuss "Life on other planets?"

Science 2 News September-October

On the 15th September members of Science 1 and Science 2 met in the ‘ballroom’ of the John Godber Centre for a presentation on ‘Moons of the Solar System’ by Dr Nigel Marshall.




The photograph shows Nigel demonstrating the inverse square law with two glamorous assistants.

Next Meeting Friday 20th October 10am to 11.55am
Item 1: Consideration of dates for a joint Science 1 and 2 Christmas 2017 Science Quiz
Item 2: Our theme is ‘Global Warming’
Introduction and setting the scene: David Rose
The Greenland Project: John Tedstone
There will be opportunities for questions and discussion on this topic.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Message (required)

Posted in Science Group, Science Group 2 | Comments Off on Science 2 News September-October

Science 1 Discussion of Diseases

Posted in Science Group | Comments Off on Science 1 Discussion of Diseases

Science of Christmas Quiz

Science 1 and 2 December Meeting
This month we had a combined event a ‘Science of Christmas Quiz’
The teams were a mix of science 1 and 2 members with 35 questions each from Quizmasters David Rose and Rob McEwen.
Following the U3A code of practice seasonal refreshments were taken at half time, a surfeit of mince pies, cakes and savoury items together with soft drinks tea and coffee.
As scientists we are especially keen on healthy eating and so of course salad was available
Thanks to Christine Berrill, Marguerite Hodkinson and their helpers for coordinating the food and drink.
All the teams did well but the worthy winners were a team consisting of: Freddie Ridley and John Daniels from group 1 and Alan and Janet Newton from group 2.
Science Quiz Photos
David Rose and James Spray

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Message (required)

Posted in Science Group, Science Group 2 | Comments Off on Science of Christmas Quiz