IT'S THE WEEKEND: Family Fun - An energetic look at science

South Wales Argus: LIVE: The experiments will take place at the St David's Hall in May picture by Benjamin Ealovega LIVE: The experiments will take place at the St David's Hall in May picture by Benjamin Ealovega

Get experimenting this Whitsun week with an explosive theatre show. CARYS THOMAS looks into the Science Museum Live: Energy Show.

THE Energy Show is an explosive theatre show full of scientific experiments for all the family from hydrogen rockets to fireballs. It has been produced by the world famous Science Museum in London and in now on a UK tour, which stops at Cardiff this month.

The show features Annabella and Phil, two futuristic science students in a race against time to prove their knowledge of energy. With the help from the virtual lab-assistant, i-nstein and a steampunk workshop full of gadgets and chemicals, they will explore, experiment and explode anything and everything they can lay their hands on.

Families can experience methane bubbles which will be set alight to create fireballs, watch liquid nitrogen freeze flowers and dodge the hydrogen rockets as they are fired into the audience. The science show is targeted toward those between seven and 11-years-old in KS2 and 11 to 14-year-olds in KS3.

The show incorporates learning about science with a fun twist showing the Van de Graaf generator which can make your hair stand on end and was originally invented to create high voltages.

Theatre goers will get to see the hydrogen-filled balloon which when ignited creates its own explosion and a plasma ball which is a clear glass orb that contains a variety of different gases. The scientist put flowers into liquid nitrogen where all the water in the flowers freezes very quickly which makes the flowers brittle and can easily be smashed to pieces.

The magnets used in the show are made with a rare-earth metal called neodymium which are small but very powerful magnets. A dynamo is used on the bike in the lab to generate electricity which are used in everyday life in clockwork radios or hand-powered torches.

The Energy Show use calcium carbide and water which are mixed to produce a flammable gas called acetylene which explodes if you combine it with oxygen and ignite it. Calcium carbide is made by heating lime and coke.

The scientist use plastic bottles as rocket launchers which are fired across the room using hydrogen. For this to work the plastic bottles are half filled with water and half filled with hydrogen gas.

The Energy Show will be at the St David's Hall in Cardiff on May 27 -28 and is suitable for seven-year-olds and above. The performance lasts 90 minutes with a 20 minute interval and includes a small amount of audience participation.

A family ticket of four costs £12 per ticket, Adults are £15.00 and children are £12. The show on May 27 is at 7pm and on May 28 1.30pm.

Tickets are available online at www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk or at the box office on 029 2087 8444. For more information on the show visit sciencemuseum.org.uk/energyshow.

We have a family ticket (2 adults & 2 children) up for grabs for the opening show at St David's Hall, Cardiff on Tuesday 27th May at 7pm. To be in with a chance of winning, just tell us what kind of bubbles are set alight to make fireballs in the Energy Show. Send your answer, name, address and contact details on a postcard to Energy Show Competition, Editor’s PA, South Wales Argus, Cardiff Road, Newport, NP20 3QN or you can enter by text. Start your message with ENERGY, leave a space and then send your answer, name and address to 80360. Messages cost 50p plus your normal operator text charge. Service provided by Newsquest Media Group. Terms and Conditions at www.southwalesargus.co.uk/competitions. Closing date: 20th May.

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