OpenCell London Design Festival: Exploring Science with Bubble & Squeak

Back in October, we were invited by OpenCell to exhibit our Bubble & Squeak project as part of their BioDesign: HereNow London Design Festival.

OpenCell is a really innovative biology meet design meet technology space in Shepherds Bush Market, built using shipping containers (the best type of containers for startup spaces we think!). They are home to lots of really brilliant start-up companies doing amazing things with biotech. Such as Chip(s) Board, the eco-friendly alternative to chipboard and MDF made using potato waste.

We had been down to the area a few times to visit our friends at Shepherds Bush / Market & Old Laundry Yard, as well as take part in the wonderful Studio Hache’s art workshops.

The biggest question for us when doing our pop up exhibition for OpenCell was ‘what is BioDesign?’ and secondly ‘how does Bubble & Squeak fit into it?’.

We like to see ourselves as innovators with our own startup kid’s run surplus food social enterprise. So we decided to exhibit our Bubble & Squeak story so far in our pop up container space for the week. It was amazing to pull all our work together and showcase the children’s amazing achievements since we started in February 2017.

Secondly, we wanted to use this opportunity to use the language of food to engage our children with bio-design and all things science. So we reached out and pulled together two science workshops, which (to put it mildly) went down an absolute storm with the children.

Science Workshop One: Gene Biscuits with Hasmita Chavda

Hasmita Chavda is a Business Councillor working for Business Launchpad and using her science background hosts science workshops on the side. We invited her to our After School Club in Old Oak to run a Gene Biscuits workshop. The children 'spliced genes' cream from biscuits and placed into another to create a new biscuit with a different flavour or characteristics. We learnt about what is DNA, how to splice a gene and recreated our own ‘lab’ conditions using trail and error methodology. The children by recreating this process also learnt sometimes things go wrong, you get better at splicing biscuits the more you practise it and we really like the flavour combos of a Jammie Dodger mixed with custard creams (amongst other biscuit combos.)

Science Workshop Two: Family Day with Mikkaila Mckeever-Willis

Mikkalia is an ex-chef turned teacher turned Chemistry PhD student at Imperial College. On the Family Day at OpenCell, we came down with the Bubble & Squeakers to get involved with her natural household product cleaning workshop using fruit and vegetables and a secret message writing challenge.

Also on the day the children got creative with plastic with @studio.hache and did our very own treasure hunt with @ashleyscarborough.

Thank you so much to OpenCell for the opportunity and to our scientists to bringing so much fun and learning for the children. We had a lot of fun doing this and would love more opportunities to bring the world of science + food together at Bubble & Squeak.