"CHILDREN HAVE no incentive to know what's happening in a pond - they don't care. But they do in the context of a party.

Regina Bash-Taqi, a chemist from Imperial College, London, has been turning science into party material for four years. She works with the Lighthouse Supplementary School in Southwark, London, and has developed 25 Little Atoms science parties.

The parties were piloted in two community centres in London. Typically, they begin by featuring something which appeals to children. "We had a professional magician to do tricks. He did it in such a way that the children would know it wasn't magic, but felt quite clever for working out that it was magnetism."

Ms Bash-Taqi has been given a pounds 10,000 award to develop the parties. "Children enjoy science and I have been doing work to discover what other people are doing - not to try to reinvent the wheel, but in how present these activities."