Science Busking for Beginners

Science busking is all about engaging the public, your family or your school mates with simple but fun science experiments in unexpected places.
This workshop will introduce you to the idea of science busking, followed by a demonstration of a range of ‘tricks’. You’ll then get to try them for yourselves, understand the science behind them, think about safety and try your new skills with members of the public.

“We all enjoyed the science busking as it was a new activity for us and it was lovely for us teach these wacky, weird and wonderful experiments in the sunny weather, to the general public.” Dumpton School Year 8 Leavers, June 2013


Workshop plus Museum visit up to 4 hours

Workshop outline

We start with an introduction to science busking: what it is, where it happens and who does it.

Having been shown a range of experiments, developed by the Institute of Physics and others, the students then try them for themselves taking safety into account of course. They’ll discuss the science behind them and start to develop a ‘patter’ that will help them to ‘perform’ the experiments in front of an audience.

We then go on to discuss how to get the message across to different audiences – adults, children, older people – and what audiences might try themselves and what is best demonstrated.

All the students will have a chance to perform a trick or two in front of others, before going out to try out their new skills with members of the public.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the workshop most pupils will understand:
What science busking is
A range of science busking tricks, how to perform them and the science behind them
What safety considerations there are and how to cater for different audiences

National Curriculum Links

The busking ‘tricks’ cover such areas of science as pressure, combustion, forces, friction and gases, and are chosen to be understandable by students in KS3, 4 or 5 with some support.

Suggestions for pre-visit preparation

There is no specific pre-visit preparation that students need to do, but they will need to be willing to talk to others about science and carry out science experiments in public!

Suggestions for post-visit activities

A list of suggested post-visit activities are available here: Science Busking for Beginners Post-visit Activities.

Feedback and evaluation

We will give you an evaluation form to complete at the end of the workshop. Please complete this as fully as you can. Your feedback is very much appreciated and is used to ensure that future workshops meet the learning needs of your students.

Telegraph Museum