One young child declared the Institute should be renamed the Institute for Magical Factories and an appreciative 11-year-old said it had been “a life changing experience” to see so many different things that he wanted to know about.
Activities included tours of the IfM’s Photonics Labs to see lasers cut through thick steel and engrave the head of a live match without setting it alight.
In the Automation Labs young visitors had fun trying to race the team of robots at puzzle solving – while finding out about the myriad of ways that robots are used in modern factories. Meanwhile the IfM’s Inkjet Research Group showed how light flashing at a particular frequency can make water drops appear to be ‘frozen’ in mid air.
Dr Tim Minshall gave a talk on The importance of making mistakes – showing how blunders have lead to some of the greatest inventions. While Dr Bill O’Neill Head of the Centre for Industrial Photonics introduced his young audience to the ‘wacky world of lasers.’
A team from the Cambridge Science Centre brought a preview of their exhibits for visitors to try out and give feedback while i-Teams showed new technologies from companies and invited children to think of ways they could be used.