Sci Cache Challenge

Science festival treasure hunt

The Department of Physics recently took part in the ATOM Sci Cache Challenge where participants followed a trail of QR coded signs distributed around Abingdon with each one linked to an activity contributed by a STEM organisation. Participants took part in the activities by downloading an app created by students at Abingdon School and there were prizes for those who complete the most activities. The Department contributed activities for four of the QR-coded signs around the town on a diverse range of topics.

Oxford University Physics Department provided activities that added a great deal to the variety of content enjoyed by participants, from counting penguins to weather watching and observing acceleration in children's play areas. It was no wonder that they gained some of the highest audience engagement figures and contributed so much to the success of our event (ATOM Festival Chair)

The event, with a format similar to the popular hobby of geocaching, was organised by the ATOM Science Festival and was a great success. The event was enjoyed by several hundred participants over the hot weekend of June 11 to 13 and was extended by popular request into the following week. 

Other STEM contributors ranged from large organisations such as Harwell Campus to local groups like Abingdon Astronomical Society and local companies including GKN Automotive and Immunocore. Local businesses, such as shops, cafes and the library, also engaged by hosting signs. 

Many thanks for providing the SciCache Challenge – we’ve had a great day out in Abingdon today – somewhere we’ve never visited before. I thought the concept was excellent! (Participant)

Abingdon is a historical market town a few miles south of Oxford. The Department of Physics is a regular supporter of the town's science festival, ATOM, and we were pleased to be able to contribute again this year with the new innovative format.