Aspiring Scientists Help to Stop the Spread
Last week we hosted ‘Stop the Spread’, a two-day STEM workshop led by our Head of Design Technology, Mrs Cole, and Head of Science, Mr Hayden.
The workshop enabled 15 Year 6 pupils to explore the world of microbiology. The first day was spent learning about infectious and non-infectious diseases, how diseases are spread, and the importance of hand washing. The pupils tested their hand washing skills using some special microbe powder and a UV light, which showed them areas which had not been removed by their efforts. Graphs were drawn and lines of best fit established, before pupils drew their own conclusions and evaluations. Most, however, concluded that they were not that great at washing their hands!
The children were also delighted to make use of our new Cookery School to demonstrate using ‘useful microbes’ (yeast) to make bagels! Once they were clear on what conditions were necessary for the fermentation of yeast, the important task of trying what they had baked could then commence!
On the second and final day, the pupils were tasked with designing a hand-washing device using a limited range of materials. Mrs Cole was astounded by the creativity of the pupils and only one word could describe their efforts – ‘brilliant’. The day concluded with a Dragon’s Den-style presentation, which saw the pupils present their final designs to a panel of enthusiastic teachers.
Commenting on the workshop, Mrs Cole said: "The children have had a wonderful time getting to grips with the basics of microbiology. The study of STEM subjects is becoming increasingly popular with children, so it's now about identifying new and unique ways to engage them. We certainly think of bagel-making activity did the trick!"
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