Wakefield SPLATS!

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.

Big Bang!

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. 

Busy Brighton!

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!

Bright Sparks In Action!

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!

Sheffield Teachers Have Fun


Primary teachers from Sheffield had a great time recently at a drop-in session organised by Sarah. They had chance to try out lots of fun practical activities that they could easily do back in class.

'Informative and useful to see a use of simple resources that can be used across the curriculum'  Mark

‘Thank you for the activities, they will be really useful. I enjoyed your workshop, it was good doing something hands on rather than sitting and listening.’ Julie

Reading Fun!

Last week's ASE Annual Conference was great place to be. Our stand was constantly busy with delegates wanting to make jumping beans and rollers, dipping candles and puzzling out how the 'magic' bottle worked.
One teacher from the Netherlands later contacted us to say he is now making just such a bottle.
Don't worry - Sarah isn't shooting the delegate above but demonstrating a very interesting optical illusion which forms part of our Street Science show.
And our two talks about practical activities in the primary classroom were well-attended too.

Clever Chemists!

Pupils at John Burns Primary School in London had an explosive morning of chemistry recently.  
They worked out how to mix and separate solids without touching the components, and how solids and gasses can be mixed with liquids and separated again.
Then speed, dexterity and teamwork were essential for accurate and safe working. Thermometers, syringes and timers were used in quick succession, and many sections of Vitamin C tablets in 10ml of water released enough carbon dioxide to blow the lids off dozens of pill pots.
And all before lunch!

Cork Festival Showtime!

Families gasped, cheered, asked questions and gave answers during our science shows at Cork City Hall. Approximately 1000 people enjoyed our shows over four performances, being challenged to think how the tricks worked.

One parent said, "This show was not just for the kids, the adults really enjoyed it and learnt a lot as well."
Another parent said, "I’m going to try that at home."

Sorting & Separating

Over the past week, 300 children in primary schools in Ellesmere Port and the surrounding area had an exciting and fun-filled workshop. Working in teams of two or three, the children had a series of problems to solve all concerned with separating mixtures or sorting things out.
The picture shows one team from St Mary of the Angels Catholic Primary School using an indicator to sort out unknown substances into acid, alkali or neutral. They had already made extensive observations to see how they differed visually.
Other challenges involved: separating a dry mixture of salt/lentils/pasta without using their fingers; chromatography; centrifuging. And all done in just 90 minutes!
Every year, many schools in the local area get this workshop provided free of charge thanks to sponsorship from Urenco plc.
And the response?
"Best science lesson ever!"
"Thank you for a really informative and practical afternoon which really engaged the children."