Science workshops with year 5 students from 3 of our local primary schools
Over the last three weeks we have had the pleasure of year 5 students from Barley Mow, Portobello and Ravensworth joining us for a chemistry lesson. The lesson‘s focus was on permanent chemical changes, which is in the upper KS2 curriculum. The students were able to work in our laboratories to watch demonstrations of sugar burning in acid then potassium permanganate igniting with the addition of glycerol. These had two purposes, first to see reactions that they wouldn’t otherwise and second, to highlight safety issues before they worked with chemicals themselves.
Students initially carried out a mini investigation, observing the changes when copper wire was added to a solution of silver nitrate. Following this, they moved to their main activity, to produce and test hydrogen.
Students from all schools showed attributes of our 5R’s + 1 ethos. Resilience was evident when initial attempts to collect and test hydrogen proved unsuccessful. By the end of the sessions every group had been rewarded with a ‘squeaky pop’ as they put a lit splint into the mouth of their tube, proving that they had achieved the aim of filling it with hydrogen gas. Students were in both answers that were given to my questions and questions posed they posed to me. All groups were responsible, performing safely at all times with fantastic behaviour and excellent manners.
The squeals of excitement they produced when the session ended with hydrogen rockets being fired across the room could be heard in several of the surrounding labs. A good indicator of their enjoyment which their accompanying staff and I found infectious!