Science Week at Mattersey: March 2016

Mattersey Primary School was literally fizzing with excitement during British Science Week when they hosted a food and science themed event on Tuesday 15 March 2016.

At this community event there was a range of exciting workshops to help connect children and big kids to science.  Local companies provided workshops for free and professional providers cooked up a range of interactive, interesting activities including:

Premier Foods sensory team provided a taste testing trial which illustrated how visual impressions can affect taste and how the sense of smell plays are part in food technology.  Dressed in white lab coats and at the cutting edge of the food industry, the three Premier graduates showcased jobs in the food industry that would be available to local people aspiring to work in the sciences.

Local farmer Jean Bere, with the help of two gorgeous spring lambs explained the science behind sheep farming, helping children to connect with this element of the food industry.  Providing information about life cycles, agricultural sciences and importance of valuing British food production all ages found information about Pusto Hill farm interesting.

Kiddy Cook’s Laura Northage ran hands on experiments with children where they investigated why lemons float, how ice cream stays frozen in a bake Alaska and much more.  Making lava lamps and testing the strength of egg shells, one mum commented “she is having so much fun she doesn’t realise how much she is learning”.  Recipes with “The science bit” were taken to cook at home.

The essential role of bees in the food chain was explained by Alan and Sue from Doncaster Beekeepers.  Close up science showing the anatomy of the bee, its tongue and how honey is made was made even more enjoyable with a honey tasting session.  Families were fascinated to see 5 different jars of honey, all different colours and flavours.

A solar workshop helped children to understand the importance of photosynthesis.  Generating energy through building a circuit and discussion about renewable energy gave the children ideas for future topics.

Making vegetables into musical instruments was one of the more quirky activities and the children loved it.  The science behind vibration, how sound travels and how to change the notes on a carrot flute made the vegetable orchestra workshop a popular activities.  Buzzybeatz founder, Lis Harris sent  children home with butternut squash, carrot and aubergine instruments and lots of ideas to make at home.

Popping corn over a fire with Maddy Holroyd, Forest Schools Tutor, was a fun way to learn about how heat changes the nature of food.  Using easy to reproduce equipment, children toasted, popped and ate the sweetcorn.

In the Happa Zome workshop, children worked with Fran from Austerfield Study Centre to hammer vegetable dyes onto cloth using different coloured pigments to create colourful artworks.

Grinding corn with Paul from Tuxford Windmill demonstrated how gritstone reduces wheat to flour.  The grading process and properties of cereals were explained.   This hands on workshop gave children the chance to make their own flour.

Budding scientists learned about the calorific value of snacks by setting fire to them with Teacher Mr Mason from The Elizabethan Academy.