Particle physics experiments

Students learn about the power of potatoes in science week experiments

Chickens, potatoes and crystals were all examined under a microscope at Kingsbury Green Academy as students celebrated British Science Week.

Coordinated by the British Science Association and funded by Swindon-based UK Research and Innovation, the ten-day program celebrates science, engineering, technology and maths.

Kingsbury Green Academy in Calne, part of the Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Trust, challenged its students to explore different aspects of science and technology and design their own experiments to learn about chemistry, biology and physics.

Among the experiments, budding young scientists in grade 7 set out to research which types of potatoes can conduct the most electricity, whether the amount of salt or sugar in a solution can affect crystal size products and on the growth of different species. of chicken and looking at characteristics such as size, egg size and comb length.

Grade 7 students weren’t the only cohort involved. Grade 8 students researched, designed and then piloted self-propelled cars, while Grade 9 students designed and launched bottle rockets. In grade 10, they made and tested calorimeters, and grade 13 students presented research projects to a grade 11 audience.

The teaching and learning coordinator for KS3 Science, Dr Natalie Skinner, said the key to success was ensuring students were engaged with the subject.

“We want to engage students in science both in the regular classroom and outside of the curriculum, so to give Year 7 students the opportunity to study a science area that interests them and to develop their inquiry skills and practices, we have introduced a UK science week. project.”

“The students chose to research and perform experiments related to the theme of growth, and then produce an exhibit for our own KGA Science Fair.

She explained, “In addition to equipping students with relevant education and knowledge, science also encourages students to develop transferable skills such as math, literacy, critical thinking, organization, work teamwork and problem solving.

“This has always been a key topic, as global issues such as climate change, biodiversity and pandemics have made clear. By educating students on issues that can impact their daily lives, such as how vaccines work or a good understanding of health issues, we enable them to make informed decisions that can affect their own lives, those of people who surround them and their environment. .”