To celebrate the start of British Science Week (11th – 20th of March, 2022) and to launch their new topic on Materials, the Year 2 classes made a trip to Truro Senior School’s Chemistry Department for some brilliant science fun. Led by Dr Brogden, the classes were helped by some Sixth Formers as they got hands-on with science.
After learning about lab safety, the Year 2’s were tasked with sorting some tricky materials; sand, slime and cornflower. This prompted some interesting discussions, as none of these behaved like typical solids or liquids.
The groups then took on the challenge of burning different materials, with predictions being made about what might happen.
First up were solids in the form of magnesium ribbon, copper foil and iron wool. There were sighs of amazement as the different solids heated up. Lullah described the iron wool as being like Fire Feathers from How to Train a Dragon. The magnesium ribbon burned to create a bright light like a ‘lumos’ wand from Harry Potter.
The groups then became ‘mad scientists’ by mixing a volatile mixture of hydrogen peroxide and manganese dioxide that created oxygen and water vapour, before making ‘squeaky pops’ in test tubes by lighting hydrogen they had made by combining hydrochloric acid with magnesium.
Finally, the groups were treated to two displays of pure chemical wizardry as Dr Brogden set fire to the floor (using pentane) and then created a firebomb (via a balloon of hydrogen) on the ceiling. The squeals of delight were lovely to see and it was fabulous to see Chemistry being brought to life in such a dynamic and inspiring way.
With thanks to Dr Brogden and all of the staff and Sixth Formers who made today such a great learning experience, with curiosity sparked in abundance.