For our Edinburgh International Science Festival assignment today, our mini-Spotlight reporter enlisted the help of another intrepid friend and set out on an adventure using the Science Festival’s app “Edinburgh City Sci-Quest”. You can set up an account by visiting the website for Edinburgh City Sci-Quest. There is an option to download the Android version of the application, or visit the Apple App Store on your iPhone or iPod to download.
You’ll see from the Map Section within Sci-Quest that there are 4 possibilities for getting out and about to explore the science all around us in Edinburgh. Our team for the day, Alex and David, were quite firm in their resolve that they wanted to visit Holyrood Park and try to solve the clues there. The app has 4 different locations throughout the city in which to base your science quest.
The website suggests that if you don’t have a Smart Phone, you can jot down the questions and return to your computer later to add in the answers, but the Smart Phone was the option we chose.
We headed down to the car park near to the Royal Park entrance and set off from there on our circular route round the park.
Our mini-Spotlighters were eager to climb Arthur’s Seat, which was where one of the answers was to be found. Remember, that although it does look like an easy climb, there are some tricky sections and it’s important to take proper precautions, and as we did today: wrapping up warm (it was only 5 degrees when we set out) and wearing good walking shoes. We won’t tell you all the places we visited en route, but will confess that after the summit, we were more than ready for a reviving cuppa, and had to head out of the park in search of a ‘little something’ to keep the brave explorers going through to the end of the challenge.
What we learned: interesting facts about the rocks in Holyrood Park, and about estimating and measurement. What was challenging: stopping the adult from looking down and panicking when vertigo set in! We felt that the app did not give detailed enough mapping information, and if it were not for the fact that the adult accompanying our explorers knew the area well, it might have been quite difficult to find the relevant areas. It would be a good idea to get one of the Maps from the Holyrood Park Rangers before setting out, which gives some better way-markers than those in the Sci-Quest app.
Overall we had a fun afternoon out, exploring the area and solving the clues. We even made it into the top 20 on the Sci-Quest leader board, although we suspect that there will be plenty of people aiming to top our score this weekend as the Edinburgh International Science Festival draws to a close on 7 April 2013.