How the Mary Rose Trust is Making History Through Science
The Mary Rose Trust is thrilled to be showcasing its ground-breaking science research to the next generation of scientists at The Big Bang Fair at the ExCel, London 14-17 March 2013
The Big Bang is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people in the UK. Its aim is to showcase the many exciting and rewarding opportunities available to them if they pursue these subjects further.
We will be highlighting the science and technology that enables us to understand and conserve the remains of the warship Mary Rose and over 19,000 Tudor artefacts. The team will introduce ground-breaking research that has helped preserve these amazing objects which teach us so much about the men on board that great ship.
We will demonstrate the technology used to analyse Tudor materials. Visitors to the stand will have the chance to view a range of materials under a JEOL scanning electron microscope (SEM). Samples will include wood, ceramics, metals, stone, textiles and glass.
The team will showcase the exciting science education opportunities available to schools. The brand new museum, opening later this Spring will house a state of the art teaching laboratory where the science education team will bring the Mary Rose science story to life with exciting hands on investigations and activities. For those students outside the region, there is a host of outreach activities which can be accessed through the new virtual lab developed in collaboration with Writemedia. Among the most exciting of these is the JEOL web SEM which allows schools to operate this amazing piece of technology from their own classroom.
The Sports Science and School of Engineering at Swansea University will also join us at the Big Bang. We recently collaborated with them on a project to investigate the skeletal remains of a Tudor archer. Nick Owen, of the University, is an expert in biomechanics who normally works with elite athletes to improve their performance. He has applied the same techniques to compare modern day archers with their Tudor forebears. Swansea University has also used the newly emerging technique of 3D printing to create models of Tudor skulls as a basis for accurate facial reconstructions by expert medical illustrators.
Advanced DNA extraction has also been used to determine the origins of the crew of the Mary Rose. Visitors to the stand will have the chance to extract DNA for themselves, albeit on strawberries!
For further information on the Big Bang Fair please visit: http://www.thebigbangfair.co.uk