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British Science Week

The national theme of this year’s Science Week was “the journey“. Students across Key Stage 3 were given the opportunity to take part in exciting activities based around this topic.

Students in Year 7 experienced a lesson on mummification, considering the journey into the afterlife: this tied in with recent work they have carried out in history, studying ancient empires. After learning how the ancient Egyptians prepared bodies during the mummification process, students had the opportunity to put this into practice – in a small way! – by scooping out the flesh of an orange, drying its “corpse”, packing it with fragrant spices and finally wrapping it in bandages. The students are eagerly awaiting the results of this experiment, although they probably won’t wait thousands of years before taking a look!

Year 8 students took part in an activity called “game changer”. This focussed on how the industrial development of humanity has contributed to climate change and how climate change is likely to impact on our daily lives as we journey into the future. Year 8 has recently explored climate change in geography and the students were keen to share their knowledge with each other when designing and making their climate change board games: unfortunately Donald Trump didn’t fare too well in most cases! The games that the students created were factual, creative and great fun to play.

Year 9 students examined how DNA is used by scientists and archaeologists to journey into the past. They explored technological advances in DNA analysis and found out how the mystery of the Cheddar Man was debunked due to improvements in technology. Students had the opportunity to “design” their own ancient people and had great fun painting faces, designing hair styles and applying other facial features. Once dry, students were able to employ genetic coding to construct a genetic code for their ancient person, deciding their name, where they were born and how long ago they lived.

In addition to these lessons, a number of fun lunchtime activities and demonstrations took place, including biomimicry and glue-making, explosive chemistry, dry ice, the Van de Graaff generator and a rocket display. Unsurprisingly, these were all exceptionally popular, drawing large, enthusiastic crowds.

Huge thanks to all of the teachers, technicians and Key Stage 3 students who took part in making science week such a resounding success. We look forward to more of the same next year!