On Tuesday 28th November, our year 7 pupils visited Prior Park School Gibraltar. The Science workshops were organised by the Science Department, where pupils experienced mini lessons in Biology, Chemistry and Physics in Prior Park’s state of the art Science Labs.
Pupils were split into three groups and went off to their first lesson for the afternoon, Physics with Headmaster Mr. Watts. Pupils were to be taught about friction. With the objectives set, the pupils were soon following the instructions. With balloons being blown up, pupils were soon rubbing balloons on their hair, giving the balloon a charge. This experiment was to investigate how two opposites attract, with static electricity being the imbalance of positive and negative charges. The pupils then looked at how charging two different plastics could be used to attract and repel an object, thus creating motion. The third experiment was to highlight the safety aspect of the charge through ignition. Mr Watts also showed how the source of charge could be passed through his body to ignite a Bunsen burner using a Van De Graph generator, thus showing how sparks can be dangerous around flammable vapours and materials.
Chemistry was our next lesson, taught by Mr Kennedy. Lab safety was first on the agenda, ties tucked in and safety spectacles on, time to explore Chemistry. The pupils used the Bunsen Burners to see what reactions occurred by introducing an ignition source. Splints were dipped into different chemicals and then held over a blue flame. Pupils were amazed by the different reactions that occurred, something they could not have predicted was a lovely turquoise colour being emitted from the flame. The pupils were also lucky enough to be shown an experiment that they could show parents at home. This was how you can extract the colour from a red cabbage, making red, blue and purple liquids.
Biology was the last lesson, taught by Mrs Devincenzi-Clemens. Looking at the human body, our organs are crucial for our survival, especially our lungs, which is where we began. With three experiments lined up, the pupils were soon introduced to how they could measure their lung capacity. After thinking about the combination of the respiratory system and energy the pupils were soon on their feet doing star jumps. Analysing how and what they felt like the pupils commented on “feeling hotter”, “the heart beating more”, “out of breath”. This confirmed that the pupils must have used up energy, but how did we burn off the energy and where does it come from? A little test with balloons at the ready, pupils now knowing that energy is linked to breathing is was time for a competition. With boys versus girls, the individual results were written on the board, averaged to find out which gender had the better lung capacity, and it wasn’t always the boys!
To see what food energy looks like, the pupils were taught about how the body starts to extract energy from the food consumed as soon as it enters the mouth. Moving on through the digestive system, the body uses glucose to provide energy, hence the reason why energy food and drinks have a higher level of glucose. With safety spectacles on the pupils were asked to predict what would happen if icing sugar is burnt, after all we all love eating cakes and becoming active afterwards! With a exhalation of breath through a tube, the icing sugar was blown through the flame and into the air. The result, the fine particles of icing sugar burnt, thus giving energy, heat and a great flame that wowed the children.
The pupils and staff of Loreto Convent School would like to thank everyone at Prior Park School for a truly wonderful experience.