Recent Primary Schools Outreach Events


Bristol ChemLabS Primary Science Workshops in Jersey Schools

photo of very enthusiastic students at a chemistry assemblyA part of the joint Bristol ChemLabS/AIMS Science Week in Jersey schools, a primary outreach team ran 5 days of chemistry workshops in different primary schools across the island. The team was led by Alison Rivett, ably assisted by hard-working postgraduate chemist SEAs Steve Henshaw, Kate Hanford, Linda Sellou, Phyllis Fiadzomor & Preeti Kaur.

Throughout this fun & hectic week the team received warm welcomes everywhere and was delighted by the friendly atmosphere and enthusiasm shown by pupils and teachers alike.

Monday 31 March

Photo of students making slimeThe week started at Jersey College for Girls Preparatory School in St Helier, where the 200 KS2 pupils enjoyed a demonstration assembly given by Alison Rivett.

The rest of the day was taken up with chemistry workshops for the 100 Y6 & Y5 students who enjoyed creating sticky slime, learning how to make a chemical clock and, particularly, popping the hydrogen gas formed when magnesium metal reacts with hydrochloric acid. As the girls chorused at the end of the day: "3 Cheers for Hydrogen!!!" indeed.

In the afternoon BBC Radio Jersey visited to find out more about what would be happening during the Science Week and interview some of the JCG girls.

Tuesday 01 April

Photo of d'Auvergne students enjoying a chemistry workshop

No April Fools today as the primary team descended on d'Auvergne School for some serious chemistry. Alison's chemistry demonstrations in assembly received a lively reception from the 120 Y1, 3, 5 & 6 pupils who watched it.

40 Y6s were then joined by 10 pupils from nearby Mont a l'Abbe Special School and all worked eagerly together during a morning of science experiments, learning how to determine the amount of sugar in fizzy drinks, finding out about the properties of different polymers and solving the mystery of the 'Unknown Acid'.

In the afternoon 26 Y5 pupils from nearby St Luke's Primary came along to take part in the science workshops.

Wednesday 02 April

The team ventured to the north of the island as Science Week came to St John's School. Here the whole school (160 pupils) were fascinated by frozen eggs and foam 'monsters' in morning assembly, given by Alison Rivett, all about the different gases in the air.

Photo of Alison rivett giving her assembly

For the rest of the morning the 50 Y5 & 6 pupils worked hard at 3 experiments in the science workshop, followed by 40 Y5 & 6 pupils from nearby Trinity School in the afternoon. The students got to do experiments and use apparatus which they normally wouldn't encounter until secondary school, or even university!

Sarah Johnson, the Jersey Education Department's Learning & Science Coordinator, also visited to see for herself the activities and the excitement they were creating.

Thursday 03 April

SEA Steve Henshaw led the team at Grouville School in the east of the island that day. The audience of 350 primary pupils (the biggest of the week) gave Steve's assembly about the chemistry of the atmosphere an enthusiastic response.

Fifty-two Y5s then took part in science workshops for the rest for the morning, putting into practice concepts such as 'a fair test' & 'making predictions', as well as learning new skills like reading a calibration graph. The Y6 classes from Samares & St Clement Schools (50 students) then came along in the afternoon to do the same.

Friday 04 April

Photo of BBC Radio journalist interviewing pupilsThe final day in Jersey took the team to the west of the island, and Mont Nicolle School. Here the whole school (175 pupils) was joined by Sophie Le Sueur & Andy Gibbs from the Jersey Education Department for Alison's assembly about the different gases in the air, including some familiar ones like nitrogen, oxygen & some more unusual one like nitrogen dioxide and acetylene.

While the 50 Y5 & 6 pupils got on with making some gloopy slime, investigating chemical reactions and discovering just how much sugar is really in fizzy drinks, Carrie Cooper from BBC Radio Jersey came along to find out how the Science Week had gone. During a 20 minute feature Alison Rivett was interviewed about all the different events which had been happening, the Mont Nicolle pupils explained the experiments they were doing and a banana was frozen in liquid nitrogen and smashed live on air!

In the afternoon the 50 Y5 & 6 pupils from Les Landes School also enjoyed taking part in the final set of science workshops.

All in all, it was a very busy, but thoroughly enjoyable week, in which the primary team engaged about 1200 pupils from 10 different schools and generated a massive amount of interest and passion for science amongst the children and adults across the island.

Watch a clip from ITV Channel News about the Science Week

Report on the Jersey Science Week in the University's News section

Jersey Science Week activities for secondary schools

scan of extract of Mont Nicolle Newsletter

extract from the Mont Nicolle Newsletter

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