Good progress has recently been made with the newly formed Practical Science group at Chichester U3A.
There are now around a dozen members all bursting with ideas to share with the group.
The recent warm summer weather has been beneficial to both plants and insects so that Moth traps set in members gardens have yielded some exciting finds with several species of Hawk moths identified.
The group hopes to tackle chalk downland butterflies next summer as well as revisiting the moths. A number of members have also expressed interest in plant identification so we hope to run a series of introductory woodland and countryside botany outings.
Last month Lavender flowers were harvested and essential oils were distilled. (see photo) The yields were disappointingly low so we look to an improved design for next year but the house smelt nice for several days.
There are also plans to study live protozoa using dark ground microscopy at Chichester College next summer whilst local inventor David House, who is a member of the group, will do a demonstration on the development of early Victorian electric motors in the October science meeting.
Mike Evans has built a cloud chamber to detect radiation from outer space and we look forward to a demonstration in the near future.
The group has a regular monthly meeting on the first Friday of each month at 11 am.
Anyone interested in joining the group should contact the Groups Coordinator in the first instance.