Science Week took place before Easter, there were a wide range of experiments on offer for pupils to try. The sessions built on knowledge gained from normal lessons, whilst giving a chance to try something a bit out of the ordinary. Some of these experiments have been mentioned in a previous blog (week ending 29th March) however we thought wed take this opportunity to highlight some in more detail.
Mr Gillivers after school dissection session was very popular, giving students hands on experience of dissection techniques on fish, rats and eyeballs. Students do attempt some dissections in classes, but for those that were keen, there was a good selection of items to cut up. Biology teachers supported students, some of whom spent over an hour dissecting a single rat. The small groups were able to really get inside their item. Others chose to look at a fish, and large eyeballs. Teachers were able to point out features such as nerves, spinal cords, lungs, gills and so on. Students also learnt about the correct way to prepare and dissect their chosen item, and how to use sharp implements and personal protective equipment correctly a valuable skill for any budding scientist.
Great care was taken in the forensic sessions, which included examining real bullet cases, taking and looking at finger prints, and finally putting together all the evidence to identify a culprit. This huge session involved all the science laboratories, with all students moving between four activities in rotation, to ensure no-one gave away their suspicions to the other groups! It was also great to see one of our trainee teachers, Ms Barrett, getting hands on with preparationwho would have thought that if you boil down enough tonic water, and add some glycerol, you can make a fluid that glows under UV light!
The hot air balloons also proved popular. Students had to design and make their own hot air balloons, using simple items like disposable cups, string and cocktail sticks. There was something of a competition to see which design would lift the greatest load without it dropping out. Some groups also managed a race, with the use of a fan, supervised by Mr de Souza, to ensure there was no cheating as to who crossed the finish line first! Students were excited by the ideas, and were able to look at concepts such as speed, buoyancy and lift. Using their ipads to record the balloons also helped them to understand how and why the best designs worked and what improvements could be made to other, less successful designs. Perhaps you can work out what gas we used instead of hot air?