We hosted a Science Fair at Aurora Redehall School on Thursday the 8th of February for all our students from ages 6 to 15.
The day started with an outdoor activity where students were placed in their class teams and had to design and build a bug mansion from materials given which included palettes, bamboo canes, soil, straw and shells. Wrapped up well in warm clothing, as it was rather chilly, they demonstrated excellent teamwork to create two incredible hotels that any bug would happily live in or pay a flying visit. We hope to see ladybirds and beetles and so much more. Towards Easter when the weather is warmer they will complete the task by planting grass and wildflower seeds to encourage other insects such as butterflies and bees.
We then moved inside where there were 16 different sets of activities and demonstrations. These included making tin can phones and students were positioning themselves at either end of the corridor as the sound travels by a form of mechanical telephony. This kept them amused for some time.
The students were able to set up electrical circuits including lamps and buzzers and marvelled at the potato and lemon clocks. How can a potato power a clock? Another form of chemical energy. That’s how!
Would be engineers were building strong and aesthetically pleasing towers one of our students successfully built a tower that could hold 4 eggs!
They saw the dissection of a pig’s heart and wearing gloves many students wanted to feel the heart. They appreciated its size is similar to that of ours and understood what the heart does.
We looked at magnetism and they enjoyed the magnetic fishing game and learned about the opposing North and South poles.
Apologies to parents if students came home a little messy as they thoroughly enjoyed making volcanoes from scratch, which included making a bread like dough for the volcano and the classic mix of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda for the eruption. They also made cornflour slime, a non-Newtonian fluid, and enjoyed the sensation.
Two of our KS4 students supported the day and helped with various activities, including the creation of lava lamps using plastic bottles, vegetable oil, food colouring and Alka-Seltzer tablets.
The day ended with the classic diet coke/Mentos geyser experiment and we discussed preconceptions as to why the gas releases so quickly. The surface of the Mentos sweet compares with that of the moon and has many craters increasing the surface area and so the dissolved carbon dioxide escapes rather rapidly giving a geyser effect.
Both students and staff thoroughly enjoyed the day and a big thankyou to all staff members and KS4 students for making the day a huge success!
Miss D Janus – Science Lead, Redehall School
The Aurora Group
The Aurora Group is an innovative provider of education and care for children and adults with special needs.