Surrey Explorers


Spring 2018

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 February 11th 2018, 10.30 - 12.30 Andrew Martin - Genes and proteins

Dr Andrew Martin from University College London who was Chair of Surrey Explorers about 15 years ago will run a session on our DNA and the proteins we are made of. DNA contains genes each of which codes for a protein. These proteins make up our cells and do various jobs including making copies of DNA, working our muscles to let us move and digesting our food. In the session we will start by looking at some cells, we will then work down to looking at proteins and seeing what they can do. Finally we will look at DNA itself and see how it gets copied and makes proteins.

Monday 12th February 11am - 3pm: Making electronic devices using MICRO:BIT

The micro:bit is a fully programmable handheld computer. It has a number of features including 25 LED lights, an accelerometer, Bluetooth, temperature and light sensors and multiple power outputs. Once a program have been loaded onto the micro:bit it can run on battery power and so can become a mobile computer-controlled device. The micro:bit can be programmed in a variety of ways and we will explore two different options during the workshop and create three or four intelligent devices.

The workshop will be led by Alan Harrison, director of ComputerXplorers, on his third visit to Surrey Explorers, an inspiring and commanding presence. It will be a productive day.

To reserve a place, email Jenny. £20 payable on the day (£18 for members of PPUK). Suitable for age 8 upwards. Please bring your own laptop (Mac or PC, but not a tablet). Buffet lunch provided.

Venue: PUTNEY METHODIST CHURCH, Gwendolen Avenue SW15 6SN (5 mins walk from Putney mainline station and East Putney District Line). The church is on the corner of Gwendolen Avenue and Upper Richmond Road. The church car park has space for about 10 cars, otherwise metered parking. Parents are welcome to stay if they wish (tea and coffee provided).


Sunday February 25th 2018, 10.30 - 12.30 James Lind - A cure for scurvy

A special visitor James Lind, 'Gor Limey! ship's surgeon who discovered the cure for scurvy in 1753 will be travelling through time to 2018. He will tell us about his life, his seagoing days and how he went about investigating a disease which was claiming the lives of so many sailors. He actually invented the clinical trial. No-one will go away from hearing Dr Lind without understanding why we need vitamins! (though he didn't call them that).

Sunday March 25th 2018, 10.30 - 12.30 Reporting the News

Postponed from 4th March

Every day there are happenings good and bad all over the world : calamities like floods, but also great sporting achievements, miraculous rescues and and always there are politicians debating how we should be ruled. Who decides what is important enough to be on the TV news? Helen Wade, BBC Television reporter, will show some footage and discuss how it is influencing how we think. Try being a reporter for a day, learn how to check sources and then imagine you are in a war zone. You might also find yourself being interviewed or being the interviewer.

Sunday March 18th 2018, 10.30 - 12.30 Speaking English

The words we think in, sing in, talk in, which feed our imagination, which tell us what we are - where did they all come from? How did a few tribal dialects on a northern island become the billion-tongued language of Modern English? Why does the spelling have to be so difficult? Our speaker is a professional actor so all be delivered with a flourish, and a lot of audience participation.