Science Week 2020 at the Prep and Pre-Prep – Girls took part in some amazing activities with the help of some fantastic visitors and of course our science specialist Dr Latham, all of which inspired them to find their inner scientist!
The week started off with a focus on biology. We had a visit from Gary at ZooLab and he brought along some very special guests. These included a tarantula, hissing cockroach, gerbil and – the girls’ favourite – a stunning corn snake. He told us all about the biodiversity of animals and how a species’ adaptations mean that they are perfectly designed for their habitat. Some of the girls were lucky enough to hold these amazing creatures and were all surprisingly taken with the ‘cuteness’ of the cockroach.
On Wednesday, we shifted our focus towards physics. Our hall was transformed by an inflatable planetarium and Charlie and James (Explorer Dome) took us on amazing journeys through outer space and into the centre of the Earth. Year 5 had a tour of the night sky and learned about the origin of the universe and life on other worlds; while Year 3 ventured below the Earth’s crust and learned about the movement and forces that have shaped the surface of our planet. Year 6 took advantage of the dome to learn more about light; and discovered how much fun you can have with UV ink!
Charlie returned on Thursday (with Dave this time), to venture into the world of chemistry. Year 4 were treated to a spectacular ‘states of matter’ demonstration including, how liquid nitrogen can be used to freeze roses almost instantly and how dry ice can be used to make some Harry Potter style potions. Reception had an equally fun-filled talk about bubbles; some of the girls were lucky enough to have ‘heavy’ bubbles balanced on their heads and the session ended with some exploding bubbles! The day ended with Years 1 and 2 being entertained by some ‘science magic’ with different types of gas; ‘pouring’ carbon dioxide over candles to put out flames and using hydrogen mixed with different chemical elements to create a rainbow of explosions.
In science lessons, the girls worked with Dr Latham to overcome some engineering challenges. Years 4 and 5 tackled the Marble Run Challenge, in which the girls had to design a course that would slow the descent of a marble down a ramp (measuring 27cm). They came up with some very inventive strategies for their courses and our champion groups were able to slow the descent of the marble so that it took a staggering 15 seconds to reach the bottom of the ramp.
Year 6 tackled the Post a Pringle Challenge. The challenge required the girls to design and create packaging to send a single Pringle crisp through the post and be delivered back to the school unscathed! Resource materials were minimal so they needed to think about the strength of different 3D shapes and techniques used in car safety, such as crumple zones. The girls turned out to be expert engineers because the majority of the Pringles returned to school intact and most others only received minimal damage (only one Pringle did not make it home)!
Years 1 and 2 came to the Prep School for science sessions with Dr Latham. Year 1 had a ‘Clangers’ inspired investigation. They created rocket mice and saw how far they could launch them. We had some mice flying well over 5 metres! They discovered that lighter mice flew further than heavier ones. Year 2 investigated how quickly petals on paper flowers opened when they were placed on water. Flowers were made using a variety of different paper such as tracing, grease-proof and sugar paper. They discovered that bigger flowers opened more quickly than smaller flowers and those made of sugar paper opened the quickest of all of the paper types.