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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Science Museum London - The Energy Show and Chelsea Buns


We love the Science Museum in London and I was tweeting about how much we enjoy it when lovely Racheal from the Science Museum emailed me.  Apparently she had seen my tweets raving about how fab it is and offered to give us tickets to The Energy Show which was taking place during the Summer School Holidays.  I may have done a happy dance in the lounge before excitedly replying that we would be delighted to go along.

My Mum had never been to the Science Museum in London so she was even more excited than us!  We were delayed on the train journey in to London by overrunning engineering works on the tracks so arrived almost 2hrs later than we had planned.  Luckily we had booked in for the later show so could fit in some lunch before we sat down to enjoy The Energy Show. 


 The show was brilliant! Annabella and Phil, two students who are on the brink of failing their Science course, present the show and it is their task to work together as a team and to demonstrate to the audience nine types of energy live on stage using only the equipment and characters they have to hand.

The problem is, the two students are painfully mismatched and they have been send to an old fashioned Steam punk style lab in the middle of a storm.  Whilst Annabella is focused, uncompromising and overly fond of lists and plans; Phil is a mischievous die-hard Star Wars fan who loves blowing things up more than anything else. Fortunately, the two ‘students’ are joined by two helpers, a virtual helper named I-stein and Bernard a silent lab drone.

Although the show is recommended for children 7 years and older my 6 year old loved it, as we all did. Star Wars references were much appreciated by my 10 year old and my husband. The welcome help from I-nstein who explains the chemical reactions that make up the chain of events in each demonstration means that parents and children can enjoy the show without being too dazzled by science and physics.

The show is fast paced without feeling rushed and was so entertaining that 70 minutes passed quickly. We were enthralled by methane bubbles exploding into a big fireball, hydrogen balloons popping with very loud bangs and liquid nitrogen that froze everything that came into contact with it and produced clouds of steam which would make a witches cauldron seem passé. The finale of the show was a hydrogen powered rocket launcher that fired plastic bottles into the audience.

You can watch a clip of the experiments from the show here.

After The Energy Show we explored some of the rest of the museum, watched the Flash! Bang! Wallop! Show and then let the kids play whilst learning in the Launchpad area.


We took our own lunch and snacks to save money and also make sure we had plenty of goodies to fuel our busy and brilliant time at the Science Museum.  Along with some Wholemeal Savoury Scones, crudites, fruit, and drinks I packed some Chelsea Buns which went down very well indeed for afternoon tea.  Here's the recipe:

Our Favourite Sticky Chelsea Buns

450g plain flour
1/2 sachet instant yeast
55g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
30g butter, melted and cooled
180ml warm water
2 free range eggs, lightly beaten

Filling:
1/3 cup light soft brown sugar
30g butter, melted
2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 cup sultanas
2 Tblsp honey, warmed until runny

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl if making by hand, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt.

Mix the water, melted butter and egg together.  Pour into the flour mixture and mix until a soft dough forms.  Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, this usually takes 5 - 7 minutes in a stand mixer or around 10 minutes if kneading by hand.

Put the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with cling film and leave to prove until doubled in size.

Preheat your oven to 190C/170C Fan.  Line an oven tray with non-stick baking paper.

Knock the dough back and roll it out on a well floured surface to a rectangle approximately 40cm x 30cm.

Brush the dough with the melted butter.  Put the light soft brown sugar and mixed spice in a jar and screw on the lid.  Shake to mix then sprinkle over the dough followed by the sultanas.

Roll up the dough like a Swiss roll then cut the dough log in to 12 equal pieces.  Put the slices of dough fairly close to each other on the baking tray cut side up.  Cover with greased cling film and allow to rise for 15 minutes before removing the cling film and baking the buns in the preheated oven.

Bake the buns for 15 - 20 minutes.  Once the buns are cooked and golden remove them from the tray, brush them with runny honey, then leave them on a wire rack to cool completely.



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