Science Week 2023

Last week, the whole school enjoyed an exciting few days packed with fun and scientific discovery!

The week began with a visit from the Explorer Dome for the whole school. There was also a show about the properties of materials for Key Stage One and the Early Years children.

Throughout the week, we were also really grateful to a range of special visitors who came to tell us how scientific principles help them in their work. We met teachers, doctors, paramedics, electricians, geneticists, microbiologists and racing engineers!

The Mountain Class

We loved the first day of Science Week as we enjoyed a fascinating session in the Explorer Dome finding out about all things space!  It was an amazing opportunity to explore and embed some of the key UKS2 learning.

On Tuesday, we had a visit from Simon Engledow, a Rollright parent who is a genomics scientist.  He used a fantastic and memorable demonstration involving his wife and children, and some recipe books, to help explain how genetics work, and how we inherit our genes from each of our parents.  We’ve referred to and used this since, and really learnt a lot from this visit!

In the afternoon, we completed the ‘Egg Drop Challenge’ with Mrs Collard.  We were split into teams and all given the same equipment to create something that would protect an egg when dropped from a height.  This was a great activity, involving a lot of team work and practical application of Newtons Laws of motion.

On Wednesday, we were spoken to by Charlotte Street talk about being marine biologist and how she had decided to study in this area.  She also talked about being a Science teacher.  We had lots of questions about what she had seen and discovered on beaches – and really enjoyed seeing all the photographs.

On Thursday, Kathryn and Phil, parents of Eliza in Ocean Class visited to talk to us.  Kathryn talked about microbiology and we found out about her research into TB.  Phil works in Formula 1 and lots of the class were fascinated and keen to question him lots about his work. We loved hearing about how science and engineering play such important roles in the development of fast and safe cars.  We also had a talk from Ronan who is a doctor working in A&E who told us all about how he was inspired to get into medicine, as well as some interesting and slightly gory cases!  Finally, Ozzie’s dad, Mr Baker, visited us to show us how we could use fruit and vegetables to conduct electricity.  He also showed us how we could create a motor using a magnet, some wire and a potato!  This was great fun!

Over the week, we also started building our ‘Beetle Robots’ using our science knowledge about electricity to design and make a circuit using components to power a robotic toy.  We have learnt to safely use a soldering iron to connect the electrical elements.  We have then been busy decorating these and fine tuning their movement.

The Ocean Class

Science week in Ocean got off to a bang with some chemistry.  We sucked boiled eggs into bottles using a lit piece of paper, then blew up a balloon using the chemical reaction created by mixing baking soda and vinegar.  We then went into the dome and learnt some mind-blowing facts about the universe, finishing the afternoon with an engineering challenge, where we built the strongest and then tallest towers using newspaper.

On Tuesday we learnt about genetics from Simon Engledow, a Rollright parent and genomics scientist, working as the project manager for the Oxford Genomics Centre, University of Oxford.

Back to chemistry, we found the best substance for cleaning pennies (lemon juice, followed closely by ketchup!) and ‘sucked up’ water into glasses by placing a glass over a lit candle surrounded by water.

On Wednesday afternoon, we listening to Charlotte Street talk about her work as a science teacher and marine biologist – I think that will inspire a few of us in that direction.

Thursday was a mixture of making circuit cards (not all successful yet, but that’s science!) and listening to a fabulous mix of expert talks from people who use science in different ways.  Eliza’s parents spoke about their jobs, Kathryn in microbiology and Phil in F1, finishing the day with Ronan who is a doctor working in A&E.

The message from all the scientists seemed to be that if you are someone who likes to ask questions and find out how things work, science could well be a good career path for you!

The Woodland Class .

We made Oobleck, a non-Newtonian fluid made from a mix of corn flour and water. It can feel like a solid when you hold it in a ball, but it becomes liquidy when you let your hand go loose. It takes the shape of whatever is holding it!

We also made homemade lava lamps, learning about the properties of oil and water and observing the reaction when we added citric acid and sodium bicarbonate (alka seltzer), which formed bubbles of carbon dioxide carrying the coloured water into the oil, giving a lava lamp effect. We also conducted a “dancing raisins” experiment, looking at the reaction of water, vinegar and baking soda and how this made our raisins dance about. Finally, we made our own magical lily pads and added them to water to see them open up by themselves and reveal our homemade bug! This taught us about absorption and expansion. We tested different papers to find out which was most absorbent.

The Meadow Class

We had great fun in the Meadow and enjoyed a huge variety of experiments and scientific demonstrations. We started our week by exploring the changes of ingredients when we mix and cook them. We demonstrated force with some of our building items. The children also enjoyed making their own ‘supertatos’ from clay and then we investigated different materials to make a waterproof cape for our superhero. We conducted the lava lamp experiment to see what happens when we try and mix oil and water. We did the dancing raisins experiment, made rainbows using skittles and water and explored rain and clouds with shaving foam, water and food colouring. We finished the week by making a magical secret picture using kitchen paper, felt tips and water and then we explored the absorbency of paper by making our version of lily pads in water. What a busy week!