Presentation goes off with a bang

Otago Museum science presentation co-ordinator Amadeo Enriquez Ballestero demonstrates what...
Otago Museum science presentation co-ordinator Amadeo Enriquez Ballestero demonstrates what happens when you pour boiling water into a bucket containing liquid nitrogen, at the New Zealand International Science Festival’s Big Science Show in Dunedin on Saturday. PHOTOS: LINDA ROBERTSON
After disappearing into one particularly large post-explosion cloud, even Big Science Show presenter Amadeo Enriquez Ballestero seemed slightly lost for words.

However, that stunned silence — at the New Zealand International Science Festival show in Dunedin on Saturday — was soon over.

"It went a bit bigger than I expected," he later said with a smile, saying he had been initially disoriented by the bigger-than-expected cloud.

"Explosions are really difficult to predict," he said.

The cloud was caused by pouring boiling water into a bucket containing some liquid nitrogen.

For Mr Enriquez Ballestero, the Otago Museum science presentation co-ordinator, his presentation of the New Zealand International Science Festival’s first big show was a big personal milestone.

He worked closely with co-presenter Katherine Kennedy, whose stage name was Alice.

The show was another chance to show that science was fun, and something young people could do well.

Science also had a crucial role to play in helping solve problems, such as fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, and improving life on Earth.

Mr Enriquez Ballestero said that after 20 years of science presentations, this was his first time on a big stage, at the University of Otago’s College of Education Auditorium, in front of about 300 mainly young people.

He was grateful for all those who had come along to the more than hour-long show.

 - Festival director Dan Hendra said the festival’s first day had been "great". It had featured the auditorium science show and a high-powered panel discussion on Covid-19, including Prof Michael Baker, of the University of Otago’s Wellington campus.

Hard work and a good team effort had been needed to bring together the 70-event festival, which runs until July 12, after the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

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