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  • Marjolein Vanoppen

SOCORRO at the Science Museum’s Future Explorers event


The Great Exhibition Road Festival is held annually in South Kensington, London and online. It aims to give people of all ages the opportunity to celebrate science and art, discover ground-breaking ideas, and meet innovators and scientists who are changing the world.

This year, it was held on 18-19th June 2022. During the event, research and cultural organisations, such as Imperial College London, the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, and others, provided enjoyable hands-on workshops, demonstrations, informative presentations, and exhibits for people to interact with.

The SOCORRRO project was invited to participate in the 'Future Explorers' event which focuses on inspiring people to think about how our lives might change and what our world might look like in 30 years' time.

We displayed a pop-up banner showing some startling environmental and economic facts about the impact of corrosion; a rusted propeller at different degrees of corrosion; small resin-covered samples depicting different types of corrosion; and a corroded plate with the stencilled SOCORRO logo. The activity invited visitors to use litmus papers to determine the pH level of different liquids and this was used to support discussions around the impact of acidic, neutral, and base liquids on corrosion rates.

Dr Burak Karabulut, Dr Brent Verfhoeven, and Olena Shkundalova from KU Leuven, Belgium; Shuang Sun from the University of Oxford, UK; Cyril Nicard from the University of Lille, France; and Martha Pryke and Mayank Loonker from the University of Kent, UK, worked together to develop and deliver the exhibits and activity. They were led by Prof Barbara Rossi (University of Oxford / KU Leuven) and Dr Rocio von Jungenfeld (University of Kent). Our goal was to draw people's attention to the environmental and economic effects of unchecked corrosion, as well as to SOCORRO's approach to monitoring corrosion by the sensing environmental conditions around steel infrastructure.

Over the weekend, the SOCORRO gazebo was visited by 1000+ people, including approx. 500 children who participated in the hands-on litmus paper activity. The reaction of the attendees was extremely positive. They found the activity to be very engaging, and the discussion to be very informative as it gave them a new understanding of how corrosion may affect their lives now and into the future.








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