Ask Why at Singapore’s Science.09 Festival

Jennifer: The main aim of Singapore’s biggest science festival was to encourage enquiring young minds. With its central theme of “Ask Why”, Science.09 was a celebration of inquisitiveness and curiosity.

The festival kicked off on August 14 with X-Periment!- a three-day science carnival boasting a full programme of demonstrations and hands-on activities. The UK’s Dr Bunhead (aka Tom Pringle) was a hit with children and adults alike. Pringle is a free-lance science communicator and performs science shows all over the world. In 2006 he established himself as Spud-Cannon Extraordinaire, achieving the world record for the most potatoes fired in three minutes. For Science.09, Dr Bunhead performed live at Singapore’s Marina Square Central Atrium and answered audience questions about scientific curiosities.

The festival continued until the end of September with participation by Science Centre Singapore. Interactive presentations included an investigation of the Pepsi-Mentos Fountain- a phenomenon which never fails to excite an audience. The instructions are incredibly simple: add a handful of Mentos mints to a bottle of Pepsi Max, and enjoy the resulting spectacle of the liquid bursting out of the bottle neck.

Since the festival I have been inspired to carry out my own scientific investigation into this phenomenon. I believe I have finally perfected my technique- today I succeeded in launching my Pepsi-Mentos Fountain to the ceiling!

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