Guest post by Jane Thomson, School Projects Manager, Biochemical Society.
41 very excited 8 year olds and their teachers attended the first ever Gopher Science Lab, hosted by Aylesbury Grammar School last week. As part of their training, pupils learnt to suck eggs into bottles, skewer balloons, and use chromatography to work out who stole their prizes!
David Lidington MP and the Bucks Herald joined in the shennanegans at the finale as AGS chemistry teacher, Matt Neill made balloons go WOOF and demonstrated what happens to very naughty jelly babies!
The majority of primary students enjoy science at school and are bursting with questions about how their world works. As these questions become increasingly tricky to answer, it can be tempting for adults to fob curious children off with excuses (even as an enthusiastic ex-science teacher, I am guilty of this with my own children). By the time these children reach secondary school, can we really blame them if they stop asking?
We collaborated with the Society of Biology on the Gopher Science Lab scheme as a way to encourage the most inquisitive youngsters by rewarding them with a morning of fun hands-on science. We hope that participants will spread their excitement with the packs we are sending back to the primary schools. The science behind the fun is explained by sixth form ‘Gopher Trainers’ so the freshly trained ‘Gophers’ can share the experiments to their classmates back in school.
Thanks to everyone who made the day such fun!