Last weekend saw Brighton host this year’s Soapbox science in glorious sunshine at the Brighton seafront. Soapbox science is a novel public outreach platform where female scientists stand on their soapboxes and preach their science to the passing general public. This year saw Dr Laura Evenstar give a very hands-on demonstration on how the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world, formed the Andean mountain chain in South America.
Members of the public were involved in building a miniature version of the Andes mountains out of sand. Adults and children alike got involved in looking at how plate tectonics work to produce the different theories on how the Andes uplifted. They then got to pretend to be clouds (cotton wool) traveling over the Andes and created their own rainfall events in the mini Atacama Desert to look at what sort of techniques scientists use to understand climate change in the geological record.
“It’s a great opportunity to show what women in STEM subjects are doing and to bring the joy of our science to people by playing in bags of sand at the beach!”