Event - Mad Science Day

18 March 2016

At Gerard's School we took part in National Science week 11-20th March 2016, with a special Science day. The theme for this year is about different spaces where science can be found.

During a Mad Science assembly, there were lots of exciting experiments demonstrated, with the children completing engaged and eager to participate. Lots of new learning took pace too. Some of the show included:

Magic trick - three pieces of string, can they put it together magically? The children came up with three magic words, which everyone shouted out together and then the three pieces of string magically joined together.

Investigation on lung capacity - two volunteers came out to the front to help. They each had to blow into the wind bag to test their air capacity. Using science, they were able to improve their scores by allowing air to travel easier.

Does it hurt more to be stood on by an elephant or a high heel? Children tested this out using paper cups. It was discovered that all of the weight and pressure from the high heel is more focused on one area and this causes more damage. In comparison, when seven children stood on top of paper cups on a circular surface, as their weight was spread out more easily, it caused far less damage...so it's worse to be stood on by a high heel than an elephant's foot!

Hot air balloon experiment - using the heat from a hair dryer, they were able to make the balloon go up into the air. What makes the balloon go up into the air, is that hot air is lighter than cold air. Gravity stops it from rising further into the sky.

Shooting air out of a cannon - we can't see air, so how do we know what shape it is? The cannon created smoke to blow around the room, so the children could actually see the air travelling.

Hover board - all of the air is collected underneath it, which raises it and then the sheer force of the air moves it forward. It was amazing!! What a fantastic experiment to finish off the morning assembly!

After the assembly all year groups took part in an enjoyable workshop with either Atomic Abbie or Jammie Jade, where we carried out astronaut training. During our workshop we learnt what astronauts need to wear in space. We then put on our space gloves to carry out a skills based challenge that helped us to improve dexterity and hand eye coordination.

We worked together to build a tower wearing our space gloves. Lots of us found this tricky, as it wasn't easy to bend our fingers with the gloves on. We found out that astronauts need good dexterity, hand eye coordination and problem solving skills for tasks in space, like repairing satellites and conducting experiments.

We then had volunteers to imagine they were wearing a space suit. One child had balloons on their arms and the other child had balloons with rubber bands on their arms. We found out that the rubber bands pull the balloon in. This is like the space suits. There is lots of air the astronauts space suits to protect them.

To end our interesting workshops each class launched their own rockets, it was great fun!

Throughout the day all year groups carried out their own space activities and experiments.

Children helping with a magic trick.
We were really impressed by the trick!

Would you like to be stood on by an elephant?
Atomic Abbie explaining the science behind the experiment.

Key Stage One workshop.
Hot air balloon experiment.