Science Taster Morning

On Monday, ten Year 6 Grace Dieu Manor School pupils and their teacher, Mrs McDermott, visited Ratcliffe College to spend the morning in the Science Department in a series of  exciting and thought provoking workshops related to the topic of Forces.  The day began with a trio of demonstrations, led by Mr Chorley, Head of Science at Ratcliffe College. The children observed how a push from the air can speed things up, how a magnetic force can slow things down, and how air pressure, or more specifically the lack of air pressure, can change the shape of an object. After being wowed at the sight of magically expanding shaving foam, the children were then ready to start the first of their two science workshops!

The first of these workshops focused on an investigation into how the shape of an object can affect the time it takes for the object to fall through a liquid.  The pupils dropped marbles covered in Playdoh into different liquids, and recorded how long the marbles took to fall depending on both the shape of the surrounding Playdoh and the thickness of the liquid.  The shapes the children had to mould out of Playdoh varied from simple balls, to streamlined tear drop shapes, to even more inventive turtles, arrows and even fish shapes!

In the second activity, the pupils were tasked with designing and building an air powered rocket that could carry a fragile quail’s egg as far as possible, without breaking the shell of the egg.  The children were again given the chance to showcase their creativity and attention to detail, whilst using the scientific knowledge that they had gained from the first marble drop activity.  The rockets were even given names by the children: Jack and Sofia built the Red Rooster, which travelled 6.8m, Eleanor made the Missile, which travelled 13.1m, Isaac and James built the Yuri 500, which travelled 1m, Olivia, Alisha and Lucy made The Egg Rocket, which travelled 3.3m, and Patrick and William made The Accelotape, which travelled 5.5m.  All five team’s rockets were launched successfully, in all cases, the delicate egg remained intact!

It was a superb day of scientific discoveries and a wonderful event linking our two Collegiate Schools.