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Experiments create curiosity for academy pupils in British Science Week roadshow

Academy pupils from eight of Academy Transformation Trust’s primary and secondary academies in the Midlands took part in immersive, exciting classroom science demonstrations during the first ATT Science Roadshow. Science Lead Practitioner Dave Bickley visited the academies to celebrate British Science Week by bringing Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion to life.

Pupil-focused workshops were designed to demonstrate how these laws of nature can be applied to situations ranging from the car safety to the design of aircraft and rockets, complementing and supporting what pupils already learn in the classroom. In the spirit of Newton’s work, the pupils took part in demonstrations using everyday objects and materials, showing pupils that opportunities to investigate scientific ideas are all around them.

The roadshow was organised to promote an interest in the huge growth of STEM subjects, which open up opportunities for pupils to pursue a range of exciting career pathways in the future. The roadshow also demonstrated one of the ways in which Academy Transformation Trust uses specialist resources and expert knowledge to deliver world-class teaching and learning in its academies.  

Yakub, a Year 5 pupil at Jubilee Academy Mossley said: “I think this was a fun way of learning science.”, and class teacher Mr Johnson added: “That was brilliant. The class were really engaged and enjoyed the demonstrations.” At North Walsall Primary Academy, Year 5 pupil Ismaaeel said: “I enjoyed the practical science because it taught me lots of things about Isaac Newton.”, and Vice-Principal Mr Brownsword commented: “That was absolutely fantastic.”

Dave Bickley, Lead Practitioner for Science at Academy Transformation Trust said: “Pupils and staff were amazed at many of the experiments, which really helped pupils to understand Newton’s Laws. The demonstrations utilised the theories developed by Isaac Newton and pupils thoroughly enjoyed participating in the workshops.”

Pupils carried out experiments such as using air pressure to crush an aluminium can, using a leaf blower to keep a football stationary in the air, using the inertia of air to break pieces of wood and creating film canister rockets to explore the theories. At Sutton Community Academy, pupils also competed in the Egg Pilot Challenge – creating and building a lander to safely deliver an egg to the ground when dropped from a great height.

Dave Bickley, Lead Practitioner for Science at Academy Transformation Trust adds: “Our first ever Science Roadshow was a great way to celebrate the subject in an interesting and stimulating way, linking practical experiences to learning that is taking place in the classroom. The pupils, staff and I all loved taking part in the workshops, with genuine excitement and interest being shown at each academy. I hope that this experience will inspire them to maintain an interest in science and consider studying the subject to a higher level or pursuing a related career in the future.”

Lisa Crausby, Principal Improvement Director at Academy Transformation Trust commented: “Our Lead Practitioner has successfully brought science to life in a fantastic roadshow which prompted awe and wonder from ATT pupils. As a Trust, we invest in all aspects of Science and value its importance in the curriculum of our primary and secondary academies. Mr Bickley’s roadshow showed how we use our specialist resources to teach science in a different way. It prompted curiosity amongst pupils, challenging them to think outside the box, ask questions about science in the world today and understand how it is relevant in everyday life.”

The ATT academies that took part in the Science Roadshow were Year 5 and 6 pupils at Jubilee Academy Mossley, North Walsall Primary Academy and Star Academy Sandyford and Year 7 and 8 pupils at Bristnall Hall Academy, Pool Hayes Academy, Sutton Community Academy, The Dukeries Academy and The Queen Elizabeth Academy.

To find out more about British Science Week visit www.britishscienceweek.org

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