December’s ECO Science Club was all about Coral Reef Science. Y5 and Y6 pupils learnt how vital coral reefs are to the marine environment, how climate change (through warmer sea temperatures and ocean acidification) is detrimental to the reefs’ survival, and how coral reefs fluoresce in UV light (so providing their own natural sun screen).
Both the topics of ocean acidification and fluorescence were then explored by experiments. The children enjoyed making a pH indicator from blackberries; the blackberry juice turned red in the presence of acid. They were also fascinated by fluorescence and witnessed first-hand how tonic water, turmeric dissolved in alcohol-based hand gel, and a ripe banana, all fluoresce under UV light.