Ancient Biotics

Ancient Biotics – Using Historical Manuscripts to Find Modern Cures   Earlier in the year I wrote about Freya Harrison, a microbiologist and Research Fellow in the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at Nottingham University, who was raising money, as part of the Ancient Biotics project, to fund research on a potentially new (old) antibiotic able to kill, the so-called hospital superbug, MRSA (Methycillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). You can read the old article here if you want.

The Big Bang Fair 2015

The Big Bang Fair at the NEC is the biggest STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) event for schools in Britain. This year just over 68,000 visitors attended, and we got to see quite a few of them.

An Antibiotic from Bald’s Leech Book

Freya Harrison, a microbiologist and Research Fellow in the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at Nottingham University, is using the Crowdfunding site to help raise money into research on an antibiotic from the 1100 year old Bald’s Leechbook, an Anglo-Saxon medical compendium.

Experiment with the Vikings

Experiment with the Vikings In November 2014 we were commissioned to write a primary school resource called Experiment with the Vikings for the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). The aim was to include relevant STEM activities for primary schools teaching a topic about the Vikings.

Vikings and STEM

What have Vikings and STEM got to do with each other? Well, I have a dream, and that is to get Vikings into the Big Bang fairs and STEM fairs all over the UK. This might seem rather far-fetched, but it’s not as silly as it seems. You see, a big reason the Vikings were so successful was because of their technology. Their engineering skills were impressive, and the Viking Longship was a revolutionary design that enabled them to cross the Atlantic and discover North America 500 years before Columbus. Viking Navigation relied upon knowledge of astronomy. Their weapons needed great skill in metallurgy … Continue reading

The Making of the Lindisfarne Gospels

Update: We repeated the Lindisfarne Gospels event in August 2014 and got some much better pictures. You can see them on our Facebook Page here. (Don’t forget to like the page.) In the summer of 2013 I was asked by Russ Scott of Traders, Invaders and Raiders to collaborate on an event he was putting on for English Heritage. This resulted in the biggest, and most enjoyable, project so far for SV Educational Services. To coincide with the display of the Lindisfarne Gospels in Durham this summer, the event was entitled The Making of the Gospels and was to be held at Lindisfarne Priory itself. … Continue reading

School Visits vs. School Visitors – Which is Best?

I suppose the proper answer is, it depends. School visits can be expensive and time consuming to organise. You might have to get cover for teachers and assistants away on the visit. Also, you have to justify whether the children will actually learn much from their visit. Bringing in an unknown visitor can be a lot cheaper, but is sometimes a riskier proposition.   On the plus side, you will often be visiting a venue that is well known and has a good reputation for being geared towards school visits. However, time spent travelling to and from the venue can … Continue reading

Stone Axe, Blood Axe, Conquest

SV Educational Services (previously trading as Midgard Living History) were invited to the VIP opening of the new Stone Axe, Blood Axe, Conquest Gallery at the Dock Museum in Barrow in Furness on Friday 8th Feb 2013. This new addition to the museum has been purpose built to house the Furness Viking Hoard and tell the archaeological story of the Furness Peninsula in Cumbria.   As well as the museum staff there was the mayor and other civic dignitaries, and representatives of all the companies and organisations that have contributed to the museum acquiring the hoard and building the new gallery. SV … Continue reading

Sponsored Viking Longboat Row

At Easter 2011 a metal detectorist discovered an amazing treasure under a rock in Furness, Cumbria. The 92 silver coins and artifacts – among them ingots and one near-complete silver bracelet – have been examined by the British Museum. It is thought that the silver was put into the ground sometime around 955 AD when the Viking invaders had established footholds in the north of England.   Barrow Dock Museum raised £49,500 in just six months to buy the Hoard, but needed an additional £10,000 or so to build a Viking gallery in order to display it. On Saturday 28th July 2012 … Continue reading

The Battle of Hastings 1066

The annual re-enactment of the 1066 Battle of Hastings occurred on the weekend of the 15th and 16th October 2011. With over 200 living history (LH) structures in the Saxon and Norman encampments, plus over 700 warriors, including a dozen cavalry and 20 archers on the field, the battle itself was a spectacular event on both days. Just so you know, I’m not going to comment upon the history of this battle, just about the fun weekend I had. I’m sure that everybody knows about what happened in 1066, and I don’t need to regurgitate it here. So, Herlid (the Cumbria group of The Vikings!) … Continue reading