90 students from years 5 and 6 of Steeton Primary School joined us at the academy for a special Science event on 6th February.
The youngsters took part in lessons, with academy staff, to investigate the effects of acid on metals and plot the cooling curve of stearic acid. For many of the students it was their first time in a science lab and after a safety talk they had a lot of fun experiencing the science apparatus and working with the solutions.
These lessons gave students opportunity to learn some new skills such as recognising the meniscus of a liquid, order to measure accurately, handling unfamiliar equipment and solutions, observing closely and recording the effects of the experiments and presenting their findings in graphs and tables. Students were also given a demonstration of the ‘squeaky pop experiment’; a technique used to test for the hydrogen gas being produced by metal reacting with hydrochloric acid.
In the afternoon students were tasked with designing and building towers, using only newspaper, dried spaghetti and marshmallows. The youngsters, who were working in teams and timed against the clock had to identify the best way of building a tower, the categories being: tallest tower and strongest tower.
The activity helped the youngsters explore structural forces, such as compression and tension, as well as develop their analytical skills by testing and developing their ideas. There was a 3-way tie for the strongest each being able to hold 400g, the tallest tower was just over 90cm in height.
Academy staff were extremely impressed with the behaviour of the primary students, their resilience in trying new tasks and their enthusiasm for science.