Due to the feedback from ‘Extraction of DNA from Strawberries’ activity at the British Science Festival, Geoff was contacted by an organiser of The Fun Palace and asked if the activity could be organised for their event, which was hosted at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre on the 4th and 5th of October. The main activity at The Fun Palace was a Murder Mystery event that was open to the public and free of charge for anyone who participated. For the event, the organisers and staff had staged a murder within the Repertory Theatre where participants had to interview actors acting as policemen, eye-witnesses and suspects to gain information about the incident and identify the killer. In addition to the Murder mystery, the organisers had set up a Think Corner where I and others had scientific displays and activities. The participants of the Murder Mystery were encouraged to visit the Think Corner throughout the day. Excluding my ‘Extraction of DNA from Strawberries’ activity, there were four others at the Think Corner. One of the activities used tennis balls and small homemade turbines to interactively explain how a nuclear reactor worked. The Physics department from the University of Birmingham had a black hole version of the computer game Pong, and an interactive activity to explain gravitational attraction between planets. There was also a section of the wall that allowed visitors to pose scientific questions which were answered later in the day. The ‘Extraction of DNA from Strawberries’ activity was very popular among children of all ages. For the younger children, they were just interested in smashing strawberries against the table or trying to eat them (Luckily I managed to prevent that from happening), while for older children I was able to give a basic background of biology and DNA and explain the activity in greater detail. The Saturday was extremely busy, with a little less than 100 people getting involved in squashing strawberries. The Sunday was less busy, but I still had around 50 people partaking in the activity. While exhausting, I had a lot of fun over the weekend and I look forward to doing it again.

Ciaran’s Strawberry Success at “Fun Palace”, Birmingham Repertory Theatre