Primary Schools Outreach Events Spring 2006

For an "at-a-glance" list please visit the Recent Outreach Events page.

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25 April: Kingswood County Primary School Gloucs.

Kingswood County Primary School Chemistry Day

Bristol ChemLabS were invited to this village primary school to hold a ‘Chemistry Day’. The visit involved a demonstration assembly for the whole school, followed by a workshop for the 34 pupils from years 5 and 6. This practical workshop used three separate exercises to develop measurement and investigation skills. More importantly, the pupils also had fun! Postgraduate chemist Laura Croft engaged pupils in the delights of investigating slime formulations; stalwart postgraduate Alex Griffin taught the young chemists safe handling of acids and hydrogen pop testing, while investigating reaction rates. The third exercise involved the iodine clock reaction, which encouraged ‘fair testing’.

21 March: ’Chemistry Magic Show' at Embleton Primary School

Chemistry Magic Show at Embleton Primary School

ChemLabS Outreach was in action yet again in Southmead. A full day’s activity saw a chemistry demonstration assembly given to the whole school, followed by workshops for Y6 and Y5 pupils. Some new experiments were trialled along with the making of slime. Pupils investigated the effect of concentration on the speed of a reaction, made hydrogen gas and ‘popped’ boiling tubes of the combustible gas under the direction of postgraduate Alex Griffin. Steve Croker’s extension of a simple polymer chemistry practical involving the modelling of the thermoplastic ‘polymorph’ brought out some of the pupils' artistic skills.

20 March: ’Chemistry Magic Show' at St Michael's on the Mount

Third Year Undergraduate Chemist Sophie Fossett co-presented a ‘Chemistry Magic Show, to round off her time working at the St Michaels on the Mount school. St Michael's neighbours the School of Chemistry opposite the Cecil Powell building.

Sophie, who intends to train as a teacher on completion of her degree, has been working at St Michael's as part of her final year undergraduate project work since September 2005. During this time she has helped to explain concepts, planned and co-delivered lessons, and generally made science more fun and approachable for the pupils.

Sophie is one of a small number of chemistry undergraduates across the country who are opting to work in schools as part of their final year projects.

15 March: Science Week Visit to Bruton School

Collpasing balloons

Postgraduate students Dane Comerford, Nicky Elliott, Julie Pearce, Ruth Doherty and Joel Loveridge took a ChemLabS road show to Bruton primary school for the second year running.

A series of workshops were held on the theme of ‘The Chemistry of Colour’. In one workshop pupils made flags out of three different materials that once dipped into a dye mixture would come out red, white or blue.

The pupils investigated several different foods made up of varying amounts of protein, sugar and minerals. The pupils tested the foods for particular compounds by burning them and comparing the flames to previously prepared standards (e.g. prawns and copper sulphate)

In the afternoon, the postgraduate students gave a demonstration talk to close the day. The experiments included decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, blue bottles experiments, acid-base reactions, collapsing balloons and smashing flowers with the use of liquid nitrogen. This ended with some exothermic magic writing and a hydrogen balloon explosion performed outside. The children and postgraduates thoroughly enjoyed the day.

08 & 09 February: Paxcroft Primary School, Wiltshire

Bristol ChemLabS provided two days of activities for Paxcroft School's Science Week.

Four workshops were held for pupils from years 4, 5 and 6 and staffed by Zoe Roberts, Yvonne O'Connell, DC Cheng and Steve Croker. The pupils were treated to activities involving chemical clock reactions, making slime and the factors that affect how quickly paper helicopters fall. The pupils looked very much the part in their lab coats, safety glasses and gloves.

A full school assembly involving several dramatic demonstrations given by Tim Harrison was enjoyed by all 270 pupils and their staff.

The Head Teacher, Lyn Taylor, reported, 'The parents were in on Friday for our exhibition and it was wonderful to hear them talking about how much their children had enjoyed the week.'



30 January: St Michael's Primary School, Winterbourne

Tim Harrison talks to St Michael's children and teachers

Bristol ChemLabS was invited to participate in activities for St Michael's Science Week.

A full school assembly involving reactions of gases presented by Tim Harrison started the morning, and was enjoyed by over 200 pupils and their staff.

A workshop was then held for pupils from Y5 and 6, staffed by Alex Griffin and Steve Croker. The pupils were treated to circus of activities involving making strong structures out of spaghetti and marshmallows that were then tested to destruction, chemical timing and the other favourite of making different formulations of slime.

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