Acidic oceans, floating grapes and jumping beans were all challenges forming part of the recent Inset Sarah gave as part of the Polar Exploration Programme. This initiative enables schools to enhance their STEM provision in the context of research happening in the polar regions.
Sarah provided one of the sessions at the recent teachers’ conference organised by Herts for Learning. The participants were very enthusiastic and learned a lot. Here you can see them finding how many marbles a paper raft can hold.
We provided many hands-on activities for Urenco’s family day recently. One of the most popular items was the “Giant Steady-Hand Game”. Here you can see some of the staff having a go between sessions while it was quiet.
Chamboree, the international Scout and Guide camp in Cheshire, is where Martin had 500 Explorer Scouts and Ranger Guides investigating hoopsters. The hard-working youngsters created some inventive designs which produced some amazing results!
Monteagle School in Dagenham recently celebrated their science week by inviting Martin and Sarah in to provide practical workshops and shows for every class. Here you can see Sarah having fun with bubbles and a Nursery class.
Their science coordinator said, "Our Friday ‘celebration’ assembly was devoted to science and children from each year group took the opportunity to explain what they had been up to. The children had obviously enjoyed a brilliant week, and Sphere Science was a huge factor in that!"
Linslade Lower School invited Sarah in to provide our "Rollers" workshop as part of their STEM week.
‘We did a post STEM week survey with the children to find out what they enjoyed the most and I thought you might like to know that your workshops were the most popular. Thanks again.’
KS1 pupils in Leicester had a very exciting time earning about electricity recently. The photographs shows a "Happy Face" which enabled them to find out which materials conduct (and made the 'eyes' light up) and which didn't.
Once again this year we had five family chemistry experiments at our Saturday stand. Around 2000 people had fun investigating: pop tubs, paper marbling, chromatograms, citrus fruits, and the acidity of household substances.
And on the Friday we met school students who discovered some surprising physics, especially the zoetropes and the milkman’s wallet.
Half-term was very busy for us - providing two days off fun science activities for the Bright Science Festival. As well as our usual busking tricks, there were candle workshops, blow airplanes, rain sticks (see picture) and doodletops to investigate.
We had a great time at the ASE's Annual Conference in Liverpool with many visitors to our stand who enjoyed making things while chatting about how to get children to think and work scientifically. Our talks were all popular with each one getting double the expected number of delegates. Here you can see them exploring the umbragraph - a fun way to see how shadows develop during the day..
This year's conference is buzzing with a great variety of talks and exhibitions. We have a range of hands-on activities at our stand (C18) for all our visitors to try out. If you are attending, come along to chat to us and have a go - make a ballon buggy or a jumping bean or even dip a candle. We'd love to see you!
Sorting things out was the order of the day last week as we visited several schools to do the "Sorting Things" workshop with them. This was on behalf of Urenco who support primary science in this way. Not only did the pupils learn a lot about separation techniques, they also found out about Urenco and had done some of the work required to earn BSA Superstar status.
We were delighted that the Association for Science Education has chosen to use a picture of us in action for the online brochure cover of its forthcoming Annual Conference. You can see it here - some teachers investigating Buggies at our stand at a previous conference. Above you can see what happened when they let go of their creations!
We attended the Institute of Physics' INTERACT Conference this week where we were able to meet many other science outreach providers. It was very stimulating and interesting.
Here's Martin explain some of our activities to other delegates.
Once again, over the past couple of weeks, we were involved with providing practical science sessions for visiting Swedish students.
All the sessions were very successful. The students proved to be very adept investigators - finding out about photovoltaic cells (see above) and comparing the Vitamin C content of different citrus fruits.
Y10 students from Wakefield High School for Girls and the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School spent three days last week providing science workshops for 340 local Y5 pupils. They spent a day learning a few activities (see above) and then two days teaching them.
Everyone had a lot of fun and several Y5 pupils decided they now wanted to go to either of the secondary schools when they move up to Y7.
Enthusiastic students from Sweden discovering how much Vitamin C is in different citrus fruits - just one of the activities at their Easter school in Kent which we were pleased to provide. As well as tackling this investigation, they also had to communicate in English all the time!
Fortunately, they had some English pupils working with them.
We were proud to be part of The Big Bang yet again. This year saw our first ever “Completely Chemistry” family event on the Saturday.
We had five different chemistry investigations including: testing fruits for their Vitamin C content; marbling; and seeing how temperature affects a reaction. The explosions made by the latter were very popular indeed!
Altogether about 2,000 people took part.
Brighton is an exciting place to be any time but February half term was the amazing Brighton Science Festival. We had a great time at City College with science investigators of all ages trying our miscellany of activities "Science for a Winter Afternoon". There was a selection of DIY make-and -takes, shows with Sarah, candle mini-workshops with Meg, paper marbling and chromatography with our brilliant volunteers and a family straw tower challenge. Thank you to everyone who took part!
We were pleased to be involved with the NuGen "Bright Sparks" initiative which was launched last week in Cumbria. The launch day allowed budding Y9 engineers to find out more about this exciting carer path.
Their engineering skills were tested when we asked them to build a self-supporting straw tower (highest was 1.9m) and they also had to see how much electricity they could generate by investigating the design of a model wind turbine.
As you can see, this was so exciting, they even had to have a go while having their lunch!