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Illusioneering reveals secret science behind amazing magic tricks

A magical new educational website for schools, which allows students and teachers to explore the range of secret science and engineering behind a series of amazing magic tricks is launched today, Thursday 14 July 2011.

Thursday 14 July 2011


Illusioneering (www.illusioneering.org) is the brainchild of researchers at Queen Mary, University of London, and is led by Professor Peter McOwan. He explains: “This fun new website shows the entertaining magic tricks you can do using hidden chemistry, physics, mathematical and engineering principles. It’s a fun way discover fascinating facts through learning magic tricks.”

The Illusioneering team undertook a whistle-stop national tour of schools earlier this year with their magical stage show – they hope the new website will take Illusioneering to an even wider audience. The site features video demonstrations and free to download instructions for teachers.

Matt Parker, stand-up mathematician and co-Illusioneering-developer said “Magicians have always used the latest Mathematics, Science and Engineering to perform amazing tricks. It’s great to see students so enthused about these subjects when they realise they can use them to amaze and annoy their friends and family.”

The Illusioneering team also includes video games developer, private astronaut and magician Richard Garriott, who filmed some special microgravity defying tricks aboard the International Space Station.

Richard Garriott commented: “Using secret scientific principles to facilitate mind bending magic is an art which simultaneously amazes and teaches… magic makes learning a joy!”

The project is supported by the National HE STEM Programme, which supports Higher Education Institutions in the exploration of new approaches to recruiting students and delivering programmes of study within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Makhan Singh, Project Manager for the Maths strand of the National HE STEM Programme commented: “It is wonderful to see Professor Peter McOwan continue his inspirational work from the pilot project More Maths Grads into a STEM context. I can see this being an excellent resource to inspire the next generation of STEM students. Simply wonderful!”

The Illusioneering project was developed by the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Queen Mary, University of London(www.qmul.ac.uk) with funding from the UK National HEStem programme (www.hestem.ac.uk) with support from cs4fn (www.cs4fn.org).

Visit the Illusioneering site at: www.illusioneering.org

For media information, contact:

Siân Halkyard
Head of Public Relations
Queen Mary University of London
email: s.halkyard@qmul.ac.uk

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