Wow! What an exciting day we’ve had. A team of scientists from Discovery Park come in to share lots of fun and practical experiments with the children. In Key Stage 2 there were 4 rooms with different activities and challenges in each.
Activity One was the Bubble investigation, where children had to investigate the effects of blowing air into a soap and water mixture. The children had a variety of equipment to use and the question was posed, ‘Can you make a square bubble’? Kian, y5, tried by using a pipe cleaner and making it ito a square shape, “No, it still ends up round!” he concluded. The scientists told us that to make a square bubble you had to use a 3D cube shaped frame to blow the bubble through. Ellie, yr5, remarked, “I found out that as the water evaporates, the bubbles got weaker and that is why they eventually pop!” Snowdon saw that, “They added glycerine to the washing up liquid mixture to make the bubbles stronger. We made massive bubbles in the playground!” We learnt that he glycerine stops the water from evaporating and that having grooves on the bubble wand holds the bubble juice in place longer. Jasmin, yr4: “It was really cool and fun to do!”
The next experiment was the Infrared Camera. The children were given thermal cameras which detect infra-red radiation. The greater radiation changes the colours. Through the thermal camera, they looked at their hands and then observed how the colours changed when they ran their hands under cold water. Ryan, y4, stated, “If its cold water your hand will go blue on the screen, it its hot water the image will go red.” We also discovered that heat will transfer on to the table when hands are wiped across it. You can see the ‘red’ heat streaks through the camera.
Activity 3 was the chemical challenge to discover the ‘Unknown Powder’ by mixing a variety of substances (baking powder, cream of tartar, cornflour and X) with different liquids. The children were required to measure out the powders and add a liquid (vinegar, indicator, water, iodine) and observe and record the effects; by working systematically the children were able to deduce what the mystery powder was; Owen, yr4: “Depending on which powder you mix with the iodine or indicator it changes colour.” And Libby, yr6, observed that, “I really enjoyed the experiment. I learnt that it’s important to work systematically.” Faith said that “We’re testing out the powders and they’re doing something different every time. It’s really fun.” And Elliot,yr4, commented that, “We feel like actual scientists”.
The final activity was called ‘Patient Potions’. Children were investigating the effects of the concentration of liquid to the speed of a reaction. They were adding drops of water to starch and iodate, adding a sulphate and timing the reaction. The variable was the water. Ellie explained that the water was almost like a barrier- the more water there was, the bigger the barrier so the longer the experiment took- the scientists were very impressed with this explanation! Ashton, yr 5, said that “I really like watching the chemical reaction. It didn’t just change to blue, then dark blue to black; it went straight from clear to black. It was great!” and Faith, yr4, noticed that, “It’s like all the blackness went puff!”
A huge thank you to parent scientists Mr Henderson and Mrs Comlay and their team for giving us such a fun day, and a big welcome back to past student, now scientist, Rhys Janssen who returned having left Parochial in 2011!