British Science Week at St. Giles

British Science Week has run from 6th to 15th March and is a celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. Here at St Giles, we have joined in the celebrations by having a science day in the infants and juniors, both of which have involved developing lots of scientific skills including observing, investigating, predicting, testing and answering questions.

On Wednesday, the Juniors were visited by Sci-Man (Simon Edward)and his sidekick, Lizzie, who talked to us about Diversity and Genetics, for instance, if you can roll your tongue, it is possible that you may have inherited this trait, though you can also learn to do it. We looked at whether earlobes were joined or not, and if people had dimples.

We also looked at some of the findings of Charles Darwin, who said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” and “In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”

This led to a discussion and some investigations about people who have had to adapt their lives due to disabilities, such as the blind cyclist Daniel Kish, who has adapted his hearing and uses echo-location to help him ‘see’ where he is when he is cycling.

Our first investigations came with the title: Are You King Kong or Peppa Pig?

By measuring our heights, and our arm spans, then comparing the difference we were able to establish that Sci-man was the most King Kong, along with George, Jolie, Mrs Scully and Lila! Alice and Izzy were most Peppa Pig, closely followed by Lois, Claira and Andrew! Of course there were some Sponge Bob Squarepants in the middle, whose arm span and height were almost the same: Dylan, Summer, Emily, Rose, Maisey, Mrs Whithorn, Owen, Ava, Alfie, Isaac and Lizzie all fell into this group.

We also looked at what it would be like to be visually impaired by wearing special glasses designed to hinder the vision of those with relatively normal eyesight. The challenge was to see how many skittles you could knock down before and after wearing the glasses. One of the most obvious differences was the ability to distinguish colour. The darker skittles disappeared into the carpet once the glasses were put on. In Class 3 only yellow skittles were used and the colour was less of an issue.

This led to some interesting discussions about how sports could be adapted to meet he needs of visually impaired athletes. This included adding LED strips to each skittle, changing the colours so they were neon, or placing a bell into the ball that was being bowled.

Our final experiment, we looked at taste buds and how we all taste things differently. After eating a rocket leaf we split ourselves into the ‘lovers’ and ‘haters’ of rocket. Two or three from each group were licked to have their taste buds counted.

By dying the tongue blue with food colouring, and placing a piece of card with a hole punched in it on part of the tongue, we were able to count the taste buds. Those who had fewer taste buds fell into the ‘lovers’ group, whilst those who had more generally did not like the rocket leaves.

It was a fun day, and we would like to thank Sci-man and Lizzie for coming in and leading our Science Day.

On Friday, the infants started to work towards the CREST Star award which involves participating in eight challenges that involve solving a real-world problem. The characters Gem and Cosmic pose a question and make predictions and we tested their ideas and shared our own ideas too.

We worked on three of these investigations: 'Brilliant Bubbles' which involved investigating whether we could make bubbles of different shapes and colours, 'Sniffly Sneezes' involved testing different materials to find which would be the best handkerchief in terms of absorbency and softness and 'Testing Timers' which was a challenge to see if we could create a minute timer using a paper cup, sand and a sharp pencil.

The children really enjoyed their day of being scientists and amazed us with their thoughtful predictions, observations and conclusions. We are looking forward to completing more CREST challenges to gain our Star awards!

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