During the week of 11 January, a number of Science related events took place around the School. In the Prep School, the Science Department celebrated Science Week with the theme of ‘Science in Cinema’. A treasure hunt required pupils to identify the famous scientists that were portrayed in various film posters found hidden around the School site. The Prep School also enjoyed lessons in which they made invisible ink, inspired by the film National Treasure; they extracted DNA, much like in Jurassic Park and they examined experiments that modelled some of the questionable Physics found in movies such as Superman, The Avengers, Frozen, Transformers and Star Wars.
During Lunch and Enrichment times, the Senior School Science Societies hosted ‘Hogwarts’ lessons on Herbology, Potions and Transfiguration that were enjoyed by the many pupils in attendance.
Science Week also saw the culmination of the inter-House Science competitions that started in the Autumn Term. Both finals were hotly fought contests with very impressive levels of knowledge on display. In the end, in a close match, Downes House defeated Fox House in the Prep School final and Nightingale House defeated Smith House in the Senior School final. All teams should be congratulated for their enthusiastic participation in such an exciting event, as should all those who contributed to Science week. Many thanks to everyone involved!
During the week of 18 January, students in the Lower School took part in a wide variety of Space themed activities.
Mrs Veldman, a parent from Year 3 with a degree in Astrophysics, came to talk to Year 5. She talked to students about Earth’s position in the universe. She also discussed the history, current developments in and the future of space exploration. She also helped students to understand the vast distance involved just in our solar system by scaling down the universe to fit into the 6th floor Multi-Purpose Room.
Students throughout the Lower School also carried out a number of exciting experiments with their class teachers. They made rockets using film canisters and effervescent tablets. The rockets sat on the Launchpad and we waited with great anticipation before they finally took off. It was particularly exciting to see the rockets hit the ceiling!
The students also learnt about convection currents by emptying a tea bag, standing it upright on the desk and setting fire to it! The tea bag almost burnt into ash before taking flight. In another activity, students used flour, poster paint and glitter to simulate the moon’s surface. They then dropped clay asteroids onto the surface to simulate the effect of an asteroid striking the moon. Students then discussed the effects that the height and angle of the asteroid has on the size and shape of the crater.
In Literacy, students learnt how to describe the weather on Mars and how this can create atmosphere in their writing. In Mathematics, they thought about the different 2D shapes that could be used to make a picture of a rocket and in Facing Challenges they considered personality traits that would be useful in becoming an astronaut.
The highlight of the week was probably the visit to the Astrodome at the end of the week. Students entered the huge inflatable planetarium and were treated to a talk on space and the different planets in our Solar System.