Science under the microscope at Upton Junior School

Workshop on science through cooking

From panning for gold to creating chocolate bars and working with robots, children from Upton Juniors in Broadstairs have explored the wonderful world of science.

Year 5 pupils have investigated augmented reality by using a QR code (a quick response scannable matrix barcode) to bring a coloured image to life; and filtered water from the River Stour and evaporated it to be left with the salt before they went on to pan for gold.

They also used coding to create a path for a robot mouse using direction to help them, tempered chocolate and created their own tasty bar with their own toppings, and used Lego and motors to create vehicles in a problem-solving evaluation to see if their models would scale a ramp.

Their challenges were part of the annual nationwide British Science Week and the Upton children visited East Kent College in Broadstairs for those experiences.

They also took part in an engineering day at St Lawrence College in Ramsgate where activities included firing air rockets, a biology challenge, creating egg parachutes, spaghetti towers and water rockets. The visit was completed by a chemical magic show at the end of the day.

Athanasia Papa-Adams, Head of Year 5 and 6, said: “The children thoroughly enjoyed each activity at East Kent College and were engaged with each of the hands-on experiences. It was fun and creative, yet the children came away with brilliant knowledge of filtering, evaporating, coding, heating and cooling and use of motors.

“At St Lawrence, four Upton pupils worked together with children from other schools and each came away in awe at the activities they had enjoyed. We are so lucky that we have these amazing links with our local community.”

Upton pupils also visited The Charles Dickens School science labs for hands-on learning where teacher Kasia Pluckrose showed which materials were magnetic, how magnets operated and how to make an electromagnet more powerful.

Professional science company ‘Fizz Pop’ led separate assemblies to both Upton’s upper and lower school. Scientist Jade Wiltshire demonstrated very visual chemical reactions to an astonished audience including ‘elephant toothpaste’, separating sodium and hydrogen, and even set fire to Deputy Head Dave Walker’s hands (no-one was harmed).

Head of School Darci Arthur said: “Science, technology, engineering and maths are cornerstones of our education at Upton and our full programme of Science Week activities in school and as part of workshop visits has reinforced our children’s learning and further developed their skills in this important subject area.”

British Science Week is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. This year’s theme was connections and it was held between March 10-19. It is coordinated by the British Science Association and is funded by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI).