Workshop Two

Getting Girls into Science – Workshop Two – ‘The Show Business of Science’ February 14th 2013

On Thursday February 14th 2013, Samirah, Rahima and I joined some students from the lower school and members of staff to encourage our year five primary school children to get encouraged about Science. This was the second workshop, and this is what happened during this workshop.

The theme was Special Movie Effects and I personally found it fascinating.  Mrs Hurst and Mr Graham carried out the first activity that pupils from the primary schools had to create a Non-Newtonian Liquid which is basically a liquid that can also be a solid at the same time. When the substance was made, we were so excited seeing it, so really for once Science actually amused us (I’m only kidding- Science proves to be a lot of fun at times!). Non-Newtonian Liquids can almost be compared to quicksand for if you keep your hand on it for too long, it starts to sink.

Another activity led by Mrs Hurst and Mr Graham that was set for the students, was for them to make slime or ‘silly putty’! This is something that most of my year group had experienced beforehand in Chemistry with Mrs Gardener, and it is extremely fun to do.  Unfortunately, I am unable to remember how it is made, but just ask any of the Science department if you want to know; they might let you know if you’re nice!

The last activity was led by Mr Williams and was the creation of the ‘Vortex cannon’ and the science of pressure waves! The vortex cannons were really easy to make; with students making sure that only one hole in their box was visible and the others were sealed appropriately. How the vortex cannon works is that the box exerts a small force of air when it has been impacted by hitting the sides of it. Once all the students had made their own cannon out of a cardboard box and pens and pencils to decorate it, they took part in a mini competition to see whose cannon could have the most impact in knocking plastic cups over.   The boxes were then filled with smoke from the smoke machine and the pressure waves and smoke were aimed at the target.  There were four teams in total; two from each school. The teams from St James’s Primary were tied for first place.

The time we spent with the schools were very pleasant and had enlightened many of them, as they all thought more about wanting to study science throughout school and maybe for their future careers.

Reported by Ruksana, 10Pendleton

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