Harrodian Science Week brings real life excitement and engagement to pupils across the School studying STEM subjects.
At the heart of British Science Week, which takes place across the UK in mid March every year, is the desire to bring Chemistry, Physics and Biology out of school labs and classrooms and to reveal its relevance, power and fun in people’s lives.
Harrodian teachers and pupils don’t need to be asked twice to enjoy their science and pupils across the school threw themselves into all the planned activities and events with gusto. ‘We love participating in Science Week,’ says Taryn Oldacre, Harrodian Head of Science. ‘It allows us to show how being a good scientist requires skills that have a much wider application – the ability to investigate, for example, or to get inside practical problems and solve them by building or engineering something.’
Science Week allows us to show how being a good scientist requires skills that have a much wider application - the ability to investigate, for example, or to get inside practical problems and solve them by building or engineering something.
Taryn Oldacre, Head of Harrodian Science
In the Pre-Prep, a day was dedicated to Science and special workshops were delivered by Sublime Science. Reception and PP1 children made and tasted sherbet, in PP2 they created slime and PP3s experimented by making different types of weather from windbags, tornado tubes to fake snow. The children all enjoyed these hands-on activities examining reversible and irreversible changes in materials.
Our Reception children were also treated to a special lesson with Head of Chemistry Jak Cooper. He spoke about dinosaurs, one of the topics that they are learning about this term, and the world that they lived in, with a particular focus on volcanoes and eruptions. Much to the delight of the children, he then created a mini volcanic eruption outside in the Pre-Prep garden. On their return to the classroom, they then worked in pairs to combine two liquids (water and citric acid) and measured the temperature both before and after mixing.
In the Lower Prep, our 8s (Year 4) rose impressively to the challenge of constructing robust structures using the unlikely combination of dry spaghetti and marshmallows as building materials, our 9s (Year 5) got their head round the tricky task of building marble runs from cardboard, tape and other household items destined for recycling bins, and our 10s (Year 6) relished the challenge of creating parachutes or cushioning/shock-absorbing cases to protect an egg from breaking when dropped from an upper-storey window.
'With all the different experiments and activities happening across the Lower Prep, it has allowed children to see the importance of Science and STEM and have a bit of fun whilst doing so,' says Lower Prep Science Co-ordinator and teacher, Annabelle Morrow. 'The children really worked together, sharing ideas, solving problems and showing great resilience when their plans didn't always go as they had planned or hoped'.
Meanwhile, in the Upper Prep our 11s (Year 7) were tasked with inventing their own scientific experiments and presenting them to their peers. A few pupils from each class were then shortlisted and selected to present their findings at the 11s Science Fair. One of these pupils, Isabelle, conducted an experiment that she called 'It's MAGNE-tastic!,' where she investigated how electric cars work and impressed her science teachers by building her own micro electromagnets and testing the strength of the motor. Another pupil, Harrison, investigated the best conditions for growing plants, used different liquids to water his plants and recorded his findings. Meanwhile Tabetha brought in her pet budgerigar to present her findings about whether these birds respond to lower or high pitched noises best. Other experiments ranged from investigating how far bottle rockets can travel, which stains are the hardest to remove, how quickly bread goes off and becomes mouldy, and whether we have a subconscious or not. The standard of both the experiments and presentations was so high this year that the judges are still deliberating and the winners will be announced in the end of term assembly.
With all the different experiments and activities happening across the Lower Prep, it has allowed children to see the importance of Science and STEM and have a bit of fun whilst doing so.
Lower Prep Science Co-ordinator, Ms Annabelle Morrow
The 12s (Year 8) learnt about structural engineering, the kind of structures used in bridges and those that aren't and the reasons why. They then had to 'buy' materials and build a bridge from just glue, lollipop sticks and string. The final lesson then tested each of the bridges to see how well they could withstand weights being added. The results were good and some held over 12kg!
Our 13s (Year 9) learnt about the physics of rollercoasters and teams were set the task of competing to build one from scratch out of card templates that would take the longest possible time for a marble to travel down.