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30th June 2020

Pupils continue to enjoy scientific experiments

Despite not being able to experiment in the classroom, Science pupils have not let that slow them down, and continued to carry out good practical science, up until the final week of term.

Lower 1  pupils were studying the Solar System and Gravity, and the pupils looked at meteorite craters by modelling them at home. Using balls or marbles as meteorites, they dropped them into flour or sand, then measured the resulting craters.

Graphs were drawn to see if there is a relationship between the height that the ball is dropped from and the diameter of the crater.

Some interesting conclusions were drawn, including this very astute observation that “the crater depth didn’t change greatly but the amount of flour that got sprayed certainly did.’

Mrs Helen Martin, Teacher of Chemistry, explained, “Judging by that quote, I’m very relieved I suggested that they should take their equipment outside before they started dropping balls from any height!”

Mrs Martin also reported that the Form 4 pupils were learning to adapt to their new constraints in creative ways. Unfortunately, due to the inability to recreate laboratory conditions, “Middle School pupils are not as a rule able to do practical work at home, as the tasks are more complicated and can’t necessarily be translated into ‘kitchen chemistry’.”

Instead, they have been doing virtual experiments and simulations, such as using the Royal Society of Chemistry task which investigates a chemical spillage and assesses its impact on a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

In lieu of a titration experiment, it covers all the stages of such an investigation and requires the pupils to do each task to a sufficiently high level of scientific accuracy and skill before they move on to the next task.

Well done to our staff for working tirelessly to find such creative and innovative ways for supporting learning during the lockdown and ensuring the best educational experience for our pupils.

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