Thursday, 23 March 2017

Out the Other Side - a review of Science Week 2017

Wow! I hope you had a good science week - we certainly did!

Our BSW started early because there were just too many schools to fit into one week.
We decided that as this year the BSW theme was Changes and we had such a great programme that fitted we would create a 50% discount offer for anyone booking the shows and workshops during the two weeks we had set aside as science week.

As soon as we published the details the phone went mad and our email account was red hot with schools asking for information and securing a date.

We publicised the offer on this blog and gave a good rundown of what schools could expect on their day. We had plenty of info on the website and we kept pushing it on Twitter.
Our friends and supporters passed the news around and soon we were down to the last few dates left.

One school even took advantage of the offer by booking us for two days!

All the schools apart from one were new to us - which is great news for us because the more contacts we have the better.

Our first school was Florence Melly primary school North Liverpool and we were there for two days. Our first morning we set up in the large sports hall for two shows. All Change for KS2 and Amazing Science for KS1. We had a great time especially blowing up a teacher and creating fire balls of milk powder. The teachers took some super images:

Day two was full of workshops - we set up in the sports hall and the classes came to us.

 The next school was Bidston Village CPS on the Wirral and we were eagerly waiting for a delivery of dry ice to the school very early in the morning. The van pulled in after us so a surprised delivery man laughingly handed over the ice as we pounced on him!
Many thanks to Chillistick for their very reliable service throughout this busy time.

The day went really well - the school was friendly and welcoming and although it was our first time with them we felt right at home.
In the afternoon we were with year 2 and year 5 making bath bombs. Year 2 did very well following instructions step by step and everyone got a good quality bath bomb to take home.

Next up we were off across the countryside to a very pretty school St Thomas of Canterbury. We were not able to do our flames and fire bit here so we added extra amazing smart materials and plenty of dry ice using the popping lids as a finale. Huge fun.
We had an extra session with Early Years sharing some of our smart materials like the colour change straws and thermal paper and then we had alot of fun with the rainbow glasses.

Then we were in Runcorn so a hop skip and jump for Helen. Victoria Rd is an old school that has been beautifully redesigned inside especially the foyer. We pulled into the school yard to unpack and then I took the car off site to find a parking space. I think Helen thought I'd gone home because I had to wander quite a distance down the road and round the corner until I found a space!
The children were very excited and we had such a good time - again we couldn't do fire but it really didn't matter we had such good material to share. As this was the last day we would be using dry ice we were able to have a fantastic dry ice finale and the school took video of it all!!

We spent the afternoon with years 3 and 4 who were very excited after our morning show! We really enjoyed being with this school and hope to go back soon!

Our final day was with our friends at Summerhill Maghull for a totally different show. This school chose to do  Into the Future which looks at inventions and discoveries that we use everyday.
From nappies to torches to lasers to books with a good look at toys for the younger ones. We love this show because as we find out about the latest discovery we try to add it in. In the afternoon we worked with years 3 and 4 looking at Pretty Amazing Polymers from slime through polymorph to an investigation to see just how much liquid a disposable nappy can hold. A great time for everyone.

So this has been our most successful BSW ever. We took more bookings than ever before and met many more new schools. Helen kept a rough tally and we think we have shared science with more than 1500 pupils through 10 shows and 14 workshops and made over 400 bath bombs.
Now time for a lie down.......

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Getting Ready for British Science Week

In case you haven't heard - and where have you been??
British Science Week takes place  10th - 18th March.

This past week we have been collecting our resources for our BSW events - my postman always asks me what I've bought this time - he loves my job!!
Parcels have been arriving sometimes with chemicals, sometimes weird things - like 500g of hydrogel balls, sometimes everyday but we will not be using it that way!

We have 150 baby nappies - toddler size - for a workshop on 17th.

We also have 2000 paper mini muffin cases and 100s of tubes of bubble gum fragranced oil for bath bombs not to mention 15kg of bicarbonate of soda!!

I shall be making up 5 litres of PVA this weekend for slime.

Helen has just been to buy 2 litres of vinegar because we plan to do our giant freaky hand demo which was such a hit at Big BangNW last summer

One of the things I love about social media is the fact that so many schools especially primary schools have now got really active Twitter accounts and use them to share the excitement of whatever they are getting up to.
For example on World Book Day my feed was crammed with pictures of 100s of children and teachers dressed up.
Lots of the schools we visit then follow us so as a courtesy we follow back and this means we get a glimpse into their everyday world.

Right now schools and organisations are gearing up for British Science Week. In fact many schools have already started - we are out this week in schools and we are fully booked for the main week.
I am loving seeing the ideas, experiments and events that schools have planned.

AllAboutSTEM worked with Birkenhead School to run a mini BigBangNearMe for uniformed organisations last week. They filmed and photographed the activities and shared them on Twitter so we saw some very excited cubs and brownies having a go at experiments and watching a science show but what I was really impressed with was that the school pupils were doing the experiments - what a great way to inspire the next generation!! Well done!

Just today I've been out in the garden with my hubby going through a demonstration called Lilac Flame  (using potassium permanganate and glycerine to apparently spontaneously combust and produce copious smoke and a lilac coloured mini volcano)
Our neighbours know we are science mad and were laughing at us but hubby is doing this demo as part of a lecture and needed to see quite how violent (or not) it would be so that he can do an accurate risk assessment for the university he is visiting.
this isn't a picture of him doing it....we were outside and there was much more smoke than flame!

There will be talks, debates, science parties and of course lots of demonstrations especially on Thursday 16th when teachers and technicians are encouraged to share in DEMO DAY. We will be out in school doing our All Change show that day which will have lots of demos and we plan to teach the staff of that school how to do a demo - they don't know it yet!
this is the anti gravity bottle demo which we will be teaching staff

I do hope your school is able to take part and that you have a great time.