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OU on the BBC: Rough Science 2: Carriacou - The Programmes

Updated Monday 28th January 2008

Programme summaries from the second series of the BBC/OU's Rough Science

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Programme one: Mapping it out
Kate Humble and the team of five scientists take up the challenge of charting the sights and sounds of their tropical island. Starting from scratch, they have just three days to make an accurate scale map, botanical paper and inks, and a sound recording device. While a very good head for maths and plenty of versatile local plants get them started, impassable mangrove swamps and tropical downpours soon seem intent on scuppering their plans.

Programme two: Bugs and barometers
Kate Humble and the team have to pit their wits against nature - and bugs - in the latest challenge of the hands-on science series. Can they get a biology lab, microscope and weather station built and tested on their tropical island in just three days? With only a basic kit of tools to work with, the island’s plants and seaweed have to be roped in - and with nothing but clear skies, the weather predictions could be a problem.

Programme three: Time and transmitters
Kate Humble and the hands-on science team find they have to borrow some wartime tricks when challenged with building a transmitter and radio in just three days - but will they be able to communicate across their tropical island base? There's also a portable accurate clock and a botanical kite to design, and, once again, the natural plants and resources the scientists find on the island get their thoughts running in strange new directions.

Programme four: Feel the heat
The challenges don't come much tougher than this as Kate Humble and the team of scientists tackle bringing down the temperature on their sweltering tropical island base. The chemistry of cooling ironically seems to involve a lot of heating things up first. With just three days to complete the task, as well as producing working thermometers and sunscreen, patience is soon simmering.

Programme five: Sun and sea
The challenge of building an underwater light to examine the marine life around their tropical island base finds Kate Humble and the team of scientists grappling with natural power sources. With just three days to complete the task, the scientists find the energy of the sea and sun needs a little help from human elbow grease to generate electricity to charge up a battery.

Programme six: The science of celebration
The science of sound and rockets helps Kate Humble and the team devise ways of going out with a bang in the last set of challenges on their Caribbean tropical island base. But with just three days to create a concert and spectacle to light up the Caribbean night sky, the scientists find they are struggling to find harmony, while their fireworks are more heat than light. Can they turn it around?

Rough Science 2: Carriacou in more depth:


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