Science Week 2016 goes with a bang!
Flour bombs, screaming jelly babies and exploding washing-up bubbles all ignited the interest of students in this year’s Science Week 2016 National Demo Day.
Chemistry teacher Miss Mckeever-Willis and Physics technician Mr Copper were out to show them, quite literally, some powerful truths about the energy in and around their food.
Creating flour bombs showed the dramatic effect of a change in surface area to the flammability of a material. Flour is not in itself flammable but once in a cloud it can catch fire when close to a heat source – a factor in the mill explosions of the past.
Everyone knows there’s a lot of sugar in sweets but just how much was demonstrated by placing a single Jelly Baby in a chemical solution. The noise it made as it oxidized sounded like a scream – adding appropriate emphasis to the surprising news that this contained around a 6th of our total recommended daily intake of sugar!
Meanwhile igniting bubbles of methane in a solution of washing up liquid, demonstrated the danger in one of the most common sources of cooking fuel.
Food and fuel were also themes at the school’s Science Fair, devised and run by students from Year 8. Stalls on offer ranged from investigations into balanced diet, energy and respiration to demonstrations about astronomy, fingerprints and volcanoes. Students from across the school visited the fair, including Years 5 and 6 from Junior School. Here’s a report from Year 8 student Margaux Brewin.
Science Week concluded with a final food-themed session, stirred up in the cookery suite – a celebration of the science of chocolate and the physical and chemical characteristics that make it one of the world’s most popular foods.