OTI had a strong presence at the IF Oxford Science and Ideas Festival. The community centre in Blackbird Leys was transformed into a hub of talks, demonstrations and activities. The programme of talks, aimed at families, began with a tour of the real-world alternatives to the technology seen in the movie The Black Panther.

OTI’s Gladys Ngetich gave a talk inspired by the nation of Wakanda’s invisibility shields. She spoke on the topic of research taking place into ‘invisible tanks.’ Displaying live footage of their surroundings, these tanks can blend into the background, taking any enemy by surprise.

Dr Priyanka Dhopade’s talk was inspired by the Black Panther suit, which absorbs and redistributes the kinetic energy of bullets, punches and other impacts. This idea, she explained, is seen in technologies such as hybrid cars, which embrace regenerative braking technology: rather than wasting energy in the form of heat when the brakes are applied, they capture the car’s kinetic energy in batteries and store it until it can be usefully redistributed elsewhere.

A recurring theme of the event was to encourage diverse groups of people to engage with science through storytelling and art and by highlighting BAME role models in STEM.

Further details of this event can be found here.