Category Archives: Science Group

Science Group One

As expected the lock down has placed serious constraints upon the activites of Science Group One. We are not alone in this respect and all groups have suffered as a result of the current restrictions. However we have had to reinvent ourselves and have looked at various methods of continuing meeting up and to discuss scientific developments and other similar matters. We have had to innovate, adapt and change the way we work together, to see each other and keep our shared interests going. It is also helpful in maintaining a sense of purpose and ensuring our health and well being.

With this in mind the Group recently held a Zoom meeting at which 11 members were able to join and participate fully, although we had to set ground rules to ensure that all members were able to gain benefit from the experience. The consensus after the meeting was that it proved to be a popular experiment and well worth doing again.

Our next meeting has been scheduled for the 28th May, 2020 where we hope to introduce document sharing, Powerpoint presentations and hopefully YouTube. You can be assured that there have been a series of trial meetings of a small group of members to ensure that the actual meetings run smoothly. We are all learning and we have made some mistakes but that is part of the learning experience. Zoom is not as difficult as it may seem and over the next few weeks I hope to persuade a few more of our members to have a go.

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

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Hucknall Flight Test Museum – The Flying Bedstead

Two members of the Hucknall and District U3A namely Russell Carr and George Wyatt are also members of The Hucknall Flight Test Museum (HUFTM) and were part of the team who have built a half size model of the ‘THE FLYING BEDSTEAD.’

The Rolls-Royce Thrust Measuring Rig (TMR)/Flying bedstead was first used in 1954 at Rolls-Royce Hucknall to test the concept of vertical takeoff aircraft.

The follow on from the success of the tests was the development of the iconic vertical takeoff Harrier ‘jump jet’ aircraft.

The model which stands at the entrance to The Hucknall Flying High Academy was presented to the school at their official opening in January 2020.

Russell Carr

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Science 1 and 2 Joint Meeting – 28th May 2020

Science 1 and 2: a joint meeting: May 28th 10am to 12 noon

Both groups have been trying to access speakers to talk about aspects of Forensic Science.

On May 28th we have a presentation to both groups, an introduction to a basis for some forensic techniques called:

“Biometrics – There will never be another you …”

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Science Group One

At our meeting on Thursday, 26th September we undertook something very different and challenging. We had as a Group been discussing and researching the impact of climate change, population growth, earth’s resources and the effects of pollution on ourselves and eco systems. Arising out of these discussion, Bob McEwan gave us a talk on the nutritional value of humans eating insects (Entomophagy). He highlighted the cost to the environment in terms of global emissions, land use implications and transportation of our traditional food products. So why not eat insects: after all they have been eating us for years. And over 2 billion people worldwide eat insects.

Crickets, for instance, have far more protein, iron and calcium than chicken, beef and pork, require less cultivable land and less water and feed.

But what do they taste like? After the presentation it was crunch time, literally. We were given the opportunity to taste and try a sample of roasted crickets of various flavours along with two bars resembling normal snack bars. Surprisingly, they all tasted good and received approval. Whether insects will be part of our diet remains to be seen.

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

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Science Groups 1 and 2 Visit to Green Chemistry Centre

Science Visit to the Centre for Sustainable Chemistry Nottingham University July 19th 2019

31 members from Science 1 and 2 had a most interesting visit to a unique building and research centre at the Triumph Road site (more familiar to most as the old Raleigh factory). It is a leading centre for research into Sustainable or Green Chemistry.

Our visit started with an introduction by Dr Nick Bennett, the Senior Project Manager, followed by a guided tour of the building and laboratories. The building is a unique zero carbon emission building, primarily the structure is fire resistant treated wood. Solar energy supplies most of the power and the insulation includes a living grass covered roof.

The concept of sustainable chemistry was explained as an area of chemistry and chemical engineering focused on the designing of products and processes that minimise or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances. The other focuses being technological approaches to preventing pollution and reducing consumption of non-renewable resources.

A presentation followed by Professor Steve Howdle (Head of School of
Chemistry) where he cited examples of some current research that include using plant material and waste products from some industrial processes instead of oil and rare resources.

Finally there was time to ask questions together with light refreshments and a last look round.

David Rose

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