Surrey Explorers


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See the diary for information on the Summer Workshops on 1st and 29th August 2017!

Spring/Summer 2017

We meet about five times each term.

Meetings are usually held on Sunday mornings from 10.30am - 12.30pm.

From November 2016, we normally meet at Kingswood House School, 56 West Hill, Epsom, Surrey KT19 8LG.


Sunday January 15th 2017, 10.30 - 12.30 Dr Death and the Medi-Evil Medicine Show

Kingswood House School, Epsom £10 payable on the door. No booking required.

A historically, scientifically accurate panto for children and other childish people. Sneezes, wheezes, sickness and diseases are never welcome. But in the past, some of the treatments could be worse than the underlying illness. Join the time-travelling 'Doctor Death', Simon Watt, to see if he can 'cure' you. Warning: This show promises blood, guts, gore and a lot more! Topics: History of medicine, hygiene, anatomy, disease. Simon Watt runs Ready Steady Science and his Ugly Animal Roadshow for Surrey Explorers in early November was so brilliantly put together that we immediately asked him back.

Sunday January 29th 2017, 10.30 - 12.30 Father-and-Son / Father-and-Daughter (or Mother-and-Son / Mother-and-Daughter) Presentation Competition


A chance to present on any topic to a friendly audience. We are inviting children to team up with their Dad or Mum to give a joint talk on any enthusiasm or interest they (or their parents) may have. It should last no more than 15 minutes, followed by Q&A. There will be only be time for about four entries, so please reply quickly to if you would like to enter, indicating child's age and likely topic. The judging will be on knowledge, delivery and visuals, obviously taking age into account (not the Dad's or Mum's). Even if not competing, please come anyway as we need an audience! Last year's winner was a most instructive demonstration How to Swim Better, runners up were a talk on Fly fishing which we wished could have lasted the whole two hours and a carefully weighed argument on the pros and cons of Family Cars vs Supercars, and an urgent call to action on How to Save Animals from Extinction. Previous winners have been talks on Near-Earth Objects, Jelly Babies, the History of the World in Five Minutes, an Electronic Circuit Demo.

Sunday February 5th 2017, 10.30 - 12.30 The Science of Food and Cooking

Kingswood House School, Epsom £10 payable on the door. No booking required.

Have you ever wondered why eggs go solid when heated while most other things melt. What makes toffee so brittle. Why doesn't microwaving give you that delicious brown crust. Do you prefer chicken breast or leg - they're different because the muscles are used quite differently when the bird was alive. What kind of cooking pot is most efficient. This is not so much a cookery lesson, more to use the everyday knowledge from the kitchen to draw out the science - but with a bit of science you will definitely improve your cooking.

Sunday February 26th 2017, 10.30 - 12.30 Round the World in 186 days: Tim Peak's ISS Mission

Kingswood House School, Epsom £10 payable on the door. No booking required.

Of course Tim Peak went round the world a lot more than once - we'll calculate exactly how many orbits. Dr Heather Campbell from the Surrey University will describe the International Space Station and its first British astronaut, the launch on Soyuz, the docking, the spacewalk, the landing, the experiments on board and some early findings.

Sunday April 2nd 2017, 10.30-12.30 Car Physics

Kingswood House School, Epsom £10 payable on the door. No booking required.

The internal combustion engine has not changed since Ford's Model T in 1908 in its basic design. If you understand how it works you will know all that there is to know about thermodynamics. Dr Sean Mcquaid will explain all. He will bring his perspex model engine and demonstrate such things as vaporisation, gas expansion and condensation as well as talking about cooling systems, horsepower and fuel efficiency. Sean is well known to Surrey Explorers from his informative and entertaining talk on fracking, an oil man for his day job but his real love is cars.

Monday April 3rd and Tuesday April 4th 2017, 10.30 - 16.00 Easter Holiday Maths Workshop

Putney Methodist Church, Gwendolen Avenue SW15 6SN. £25 per day, or £40 for both days. £2 discount per day for Potential Plus UK members. Payment on the day and the price includes lunch. Numbers are limited. Please reserve a place by email with your child's name, age and school.

Two full days with the Problem Solving company who will show how to apply a mathematical approach and logical reasoning to puzzles of all kinds - numbers, electronic mazes, 3D models, tangrams and everyday situations. Using teamwork and discussion, the day should develop skills in co-ordinates and positioning, shape and measurement as well as numbers.

Sunday April 23rd 2017, 10.30-12.30 Drawing Your Stories

Kingswood House School, Epsom £10 payable on the door. No booking required.

Do you like drawing and illustrating? Would you like to learn new approaches and techniques to help you develop the characters in your stories? Viola Wang, inspirational illustrator, will share her experiences and lead you in a fun drawing workshop.

We will be working individually and in groups to learn new ways to create characters and bring them to life.

We will supply pencils and paper, just bring your imagination! Your grown-up might like to join in too. Feel free to bring your own sketchbooks and share your past creations.

Tuesday August 1st 2017, 10.30-16.00 Summer School 1
Tuesday August 29th 2017, 10.30-16.00 Summer School 2

Kings House School sports ground, Chiswick, W4. £27 per child, £25 for PPUK members. Booking by email is required.

The Summer School is back with a wider remit of arts and thinking skills and a science option as well as literature and creative writing. The morning sessions will be taught in small year groups by a team of Oxbridge undergraduates and senior boys at St Paul's School, followed by a guest author. The purpose is the same as in previous years, to inspire an enthusiasm for reading, discussion and argument. The venue has plenty of space for running around and letting off steam between lessons.

Topics will include: Revolutions; poetry analysis; what makes good writing; the idea that some things are not "true" but contestable or debatable; astronomy; Greek myths.

Guest Authors:

If you cannot come to both days, each day is standalone. Please bring a packed lunch. Places limited to 30 children. To book, reply to , stating your child's name, age, school, school year entering in September and whether you are a member of PPUK. Payment on the day.

Agenda for each day

King's House School Pavilion and Sports Ground, Riverside Drive W4 2SH is10 minutes walk from Barnes Bridge station. Free parking.