"What?" replied Izzy unconcernedly.
"Shall we start training you to be an engineer like me?" I asked, with a cunning plan up my sleeve.
"Ok." She answered with not an inkling of enthusiasm (kids today, tut).
So into the car we got and drove to Oxford centre, stopping outside the...... drumroll..... Discovery Zone at Science Oxford.
'What the blazes is that?" I hear you cry. Well, it was a cultural centre for science complete with .......get this.... an investigation area for children to explore science first-hand.Yeh, you got it..... me at a cultural centre. How weird is that?
Pic.No.1. The Discovery Zone
Fortunately, the layout of the building allowed me to bypass all the culture in the foyer and head straight to the Discovery Zone where all the fun stuff seemed to be based.
It was an Engineer's paradise. Loads of basic scientific principles had been transferred into fun and practical applications. Izzy looked underwhelmed though...... that is until we (actually it was mainly me) started playing and discovering the highlights of science...... ooh lurverly!
Pic.No.2.The basics of magnetics
"Look Izzy! This magnet uses the alignment of iron filings to represent magnetic field lines," I enthused.
"If I pull them around, they look like of fish," she responded, "and I am going to pretend they are all having a poo."
Ok, she didn't quite appear to have grasped magnetic fields, but that kind of thing is often learnt, sometimes subliminally, over time, and I'm prepared to wait.... but not without giving her another little lesson first.........
Pic.No.3. Electro-magnetic replusion of steel bands
Next up, and still in the area of magnetism, we had a machine that used electro-magnetic repulsion to shoot steel rings up a pole.
"What do you think Iz?" I asked her after explaining the general principles of electro-magnets and the way force fields could be created from an electric current.
"I like pushing the button because they jump like frogs, and when frogs talk it sounds like they are burping," she answered to my disappointment. I wasn't quite managing to draw out the engineer in her.
"Ok kiddo. Maybe it is just the magnetic thing that you don't like, let's move onto something different," I suggested, clutching at straws, and leading her to the 'balancing ball machine'.
Pic.No.4. A beach ball jumps around on a jet of air coming from the black pipe
Pic.No.5 Izzy tries to catch the ball whilst it bounces around on the jet of air
At last!....... Izzy was in fits of laughter, moving the pipe to make the ball jump around on the jet of air, and then forcing the ball through the two target hoops. I seized my chance; "Hey Izzy, do you know what is keeping that ball on the top of the air? It is called Bernoulli's principle."
Izzy looked at me blankly and I continued undeterred; "the reason that the ball doesn't fall down is because air moving fast in one direction (in this case up) pushes less (in any other direction) than air that isn’t moving. How cool is that?"
"I like it because the ball keeps bouncing off my nose," she giggled as the ball did indeed, bounce off her nose again.
Blimey, I was on the verge of giving up, but at just that moment I discovered an application that demonstrated perspective. Basically, there was a glass screen and you had to draw a reflection of yourself on it, to see if you were the same size as aforementioned reflection.
Izzy sat on the stool in front of the glass screen, and as I looked round, I suddenly noticed that the room was empty.
"Hey Iz, the teachers have gone, let's do something funny.......... " I whispered.
"Ok!," she giggled uncontrollably as I drew a moustache and glasses on the screen in front of her face.
Pic.No.6. Izzy not demonstrating perspective
"I want to do it to you," she pleaded, still giggling.
"Ok, quick. Before the teachers come back," I hissed at her.
Pic.No.7. Messing about with the glass screen
So, we ended up being the baddies in the classroom, and I also found out that not only are Izzy's engineering tendencies a bit iffy, but her photographic skills leave something to be desired if you look at the picture above. Never mind, she will probably improve in time, but if not, I am holding out hope that she will be a pro-snowboarder instead.