Written by Y12 Science student, Jenna Tate
British Science Week is a national programme that aims to inspire young students about the wonders of science and how the world works. Over the course of this week, our Year 12 students who study A-Level sciences have been given the opportunity to volunteer in mentoring the lower school students. This coincided with a whole host of science-related initiatives, including all subjects incorporating themes in their lessons, live experiment demonstrations at lunch time, bottle rocket competitions and creating a buzz around the Academy!
Monday was a blast! Year 7 were given the challenge to design and build a rocket. This required them to work in teams to discuss and research the science behind how a rocket launches. It was also a challenge for our Year 12 students as they had to take responsibility for a team and support them with their decisions. A very exciting part of the day was when everyone was able to watch a rocket launch, which then inspired the students to create the best rocket they can! Teachers gave them everyday items to work with, this required them to use their initiative.
“I enjoyed building the rockets and watching it take off. I now know how a rocket works in real life” – Year 7
The following day required the students to look into water treatment. The task was to achieve the cleanest water by using the filter. Students were placed into different groups and given certain resources in order to help them create the filter. Each group was given recycled bottles, funnel paper, flasks as well as other materials and were set off to complete the task. Our role within this task was to provide support and ideas to help them achieve the cleanest water. This task was a success as many groups almost collected clean water. The end result was to measure the water obtained using the colorimeter which showed how pure the water was. This brought out the competitiveness between the groups as their purest water received a prize.
Additionally, students that study chemistry aided Year 9s in testing fuels to see which one was most efficient. They were shown a short video that was made by the science teachers where coffee had run out and Mr. Peel was in need of the best fuel that would get him to his destination. Students conducted an experiment of calorimetry, where they heated various fuels of a different chain length to see how long they would burn for. This allowed the students to gain a deeper understanding of how fuels work and the important of them in our daily lives. The sixth formers helped the students conduct the experiment by showing them how to set it up and asked them relevant questions to fuel their thinking behind the science of fuels.
Thursday was build an eco-friendly car day where the students had to build a car which wasn’t going to run on fossil fuels as they had to imagine that the fossil fuels had run out. So the students were given resources to help them design and build their cars. The student were all split into groups within their four garages and had to make sure they didn’t step out of them. The students had to use balloons to power their cars via air pressure. Their challenge was to design and build their car within the 20 minutes given. During this 20 minutes, the students were working very competitively in order to build the best car which could move the furthest. Within the time-frame, all the students worked really hard to get their cars made and the effort they put in was immense. At the end, the best cars were chosen to participate in a race to see which car moved the furthest. The car which moved the furthest was built by garage one who won the competition.
“It’s been absolutely fantastic seeing the students getting involved and excited about science, I love my job and it gives me a great feeling when I get the opportunity to see the students thoroughly enjoying all of the things we have put together for them, my highlights for me have been the rockets, car racing and of course the demos we did on Wednesday lunch time.”- Jodi Clements Lead Technician
The main aim of British Science Week was to make sure everyone enjoyed themselves and to show that science is fun, and we definitely achieved this. Everyone, including the students and staff, had a great week. #BSW2017 would not have been so tremendous if it wasn’t for the hard work and effort of the teachers and technicians in the science department who worked tirelessly to make sure the lessons and activities were engaging and educational. We cannot wait to do it again next year!