Just before the Easter holidays, seven science teachers from Hedingham School set off in a minibus filled with all sorts of exciting experiments to spend the morning at St John the Baptist CEVA Primary School, Pebmarsh. National Science Week is held every year in March and the visit was designed to encourage children at the school to be inspired by science.
All the children at the school aged from 5 to 11 years had the chance to be involved in chemistry, biology and physics activities and there was a real buzz of excitement as the pupils went into classrooms to see what fun they were going to participate in! In chemistry the children used household acid and alkaline substances to paint paper fish soaked in indicator made from red cabbage. Some very creative and stripy fish emerged at the end of the session. Hydrogen was also made using metals and acid. In physics, children learnt about forces by constructing water rockets which were then fired off into the sky outside. To learn more about biology, pupils started looking at different examples of vertebrates and invertebrates brought from Hedingham School including snakes, sponges and scorpions and trying to guess which had backbones. The highlight of the session was the ‘maggot racing’ where the shouted encouragement the maggots were given to win could be heard across the village!
The morning ended with all the pupils and staff of the primary school out in the playground to watch a spectacular finale. Flame tests on metal compounds carried out using a blow torch gave plumes of colour whilst the bang created when hydrogen filled balloons were ignited made all the children jump out of their skins. The ‘Cocomentos Fountains’, created using fizzy drinks and sweets, reached hugely impressive heights and only narrowly missed soaking everybody! The last demonstration involved putting a large amount of ‘dry ice’ into a bowl of hot water which resulted in towering clouds of fog which then swept across the playground bringing squeals of delight from the children.
Pebmarsh teacher Miss Charlea De’ath, who organised the event with Hedingham School, said, ‘Just watching the amazement on the children’s faces when they saw all the inspirational experiments made it all worthwhile’. Leader of Science at Hedingham School, Dr James Finn commented, ‘Being able to visit Pebmarsh Primary School gave us a great opportunity to enthuse young children about the wonders of the world of science.’
Headteacher, Karen De Pietro said that ‘a rich and varied curriculum is of upmost importance at St John the Baptist Primary School and we were delighted to welcome Hedingham School as part of our Science Week’
It was particularly rewarding to visit Pebmarsh School as two of the teachers, including Miss De’ath, were students at Hedingham themselves in years gone by and some of the other staff have children currently at Hedingham School.