Monday, 16 December 2013

Christmas Greetings

Have a wonderful Christmastime

and a 
Peaceful New Year
Helen and Sue  

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Winter Tour 2013

Well what a week it has been! Busy - certainly, tiring - definitely. fun - OH YES!!!
Over the 3 days of the road trip we visited 6 schools, delivered 8 shows and shared science with over 1000 pupils.
Monday was a preparation day so I was running through the various demonstrations we would be doing, checking equipment and making sure the experiments actually worked.
Tuesday was spent weighing out chemicals, packing up our boxes and then the car and working out directions to the schools plus timings for journeys.
Wednesday morning we were off!
First stop St Ambrose Barlow CHS in Sefton.
We were in a super amphitheatre style lecture hall with great acoustics.
This school is definitely into social media and very quickly we were trending on Twitter with a flurry of super pictures, tweets, retweets and favourites.
Iron filings

bubbles from dry ice

All too soon the first show was over and we were off again - this time to Kirky High school in a small lecture theatre after being assured we wouldn't set off the alarms ( fingers crossed!)
We were close to the hall so carrying all the gear was easy and we were soon set up and ready to go. First we had year 8 who certainly enjoyed the show and joined in enthusiastically. The venue was too small for all the pupils so we did a shorter show and then went straight into a 2nd show with year 9 who were full of questions about how the science worked.

Thursday morning was so windy it became a real problem to load the car but off we went to Knowsley Park Centre for Learning. Their caretaker was such a huge help because we couldn't cope with the high winds and our boxes - lids flying off, doors slamming shut, car doors flinging open. It was a relief to be inside and out of the wind.
We had a great time with year 7 who were really amazed at some of our science demonstrations and had lots of questions. Mr Reed from the school was taking photos and the results are incredible as you can see - especially the long exposure whoosh bottle from our finale.
dry ice

the plasma ball

is it magic? neutralisation demonstration
notice the pink liquid turning to clear

With help from the caretaking staff we managed to pack the car and gingerly drove to Maghull - police were out in force to guide cars across some of the more exposed bridges. Finally we arrived at our only primary school of the trip - St Thomas'.
Two shows - one for the infants - such a delight especially with the colour changing straws and the freaky hand. Then the juniors and a special guest appearance for two strong gentlemen from year 6 hoping to be scientists one day who helped us to unload, as they became amazing human light switches with our plasma ball
Helen catches a dry ice bubble

dry ice fun

how hot are your hands?

the faces say it all

Friday- so it must be Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy in Runcorn- a beautiful new building but the Learning Plaza where we were performing was a real wind tunnel which caused huge problems with the milk powder flame ball - I think I still have most of the hairs on my arm!!

Finally off across country to Lymm High School and a huge traditional school hall with tiered seating at the back for over 300 yr 7s who were very excited to be having a show on a Friday afternoon!!
Again we had problem with draughts blowing out our Bunsen burner this time, but the welcome was HOT HOT HOT and the audience applauded everything  so you can imagine the noise when we set off the whoosh bottle finale. We brought the house down - a standing ovation lasting a good 5 minutes.
At last we trekked home to unpack and wash all the glassware, clean out the boxes and finally put our feet up..... until Tuesday when we are off to Daresbury again!
I love my job
the whoosh bottle
taken on a long exposure
notice the red trail of the lit splint as it shoots out of the bottle