Science Festival

RHS Science Festival 2017

The RHS Science Festival came to a close last week after a fortnight of experiments, observations, testing, questioning and, of course, fun - culminating in the Year 8 Science Fair.

The Festival began with 'Cake for a Science Fact' which saw a flurry of pupils eager to share their weird and wonderful facts in exchange for treats.

Pupils were then transported among the stars in a mobile planetarium that popped up in the assembly hall. Flying through the solar system to examine each of the planets and beyond to look at galaxies, stars, constellations and asterisms. Whispered "wows" and "ahhs" were heard as the 360 degree projections took star-gazers to the surface of the moon, our sun, Mars and onto the International Space Station to peek at Earth through its rotating windows.

The science corridors and laboratories were transformed for Year 7 Spooky Science evening; mist rolled through the hallways, glowing eyes peered out of the darkness and spider's webs hung from every surface. Pupils were led through the creepy labyrinth where inside an even greater horror lay waiting – the teachers who were dressed as witches, zombies and skeletons as they appeared to make magic with curious chemistry, smoky potions and shocking electricity.

The Battle of the Brainiacs saw the library packed for a Senior Science Quiz with almost every House represented. Howe girls took home the prize.

The finale was the Year 8 Science Fair where visiting experts judged each stand learning about everything from 'Testing the Absorbency of Paper Towers' and 'The Science of Optical Illusions' to 'How Hand Warmers Work' and 'The Effect of Music on Concentration'. Hypotheses were tested, questioned, repeated and demonstrated with Year 7s being invited to come and be 'guinea pigs' as they took part in the practical experiments. The winning project was 'Roses are Dead' which investigated what can be added to water to help keep cut flowers fresh. They tested commercial flower food along with other common things used (such as lemonade and soda) as well as some unusual additives such as honey or apple juice. They found that the results indicated that commercial flower food really is the best.

Maggie Egan-Smith, Head of Science commented "We've had a brilliant couple of weeks and all the pupils and staff have really enjoyed themselves. I hope the pupils have had fun and I'm sure they've learnt more than they realise along the way; in the very least that science and questioning how and why things are, can be a really enjoyable process. Thank you to all of the judges who gave up their valuable time to judge the fair and to all the science staff for all of their hard work and enthusiasm."

Science Fair Winners

1st place - Roses are Dead
Mia Scowen, EJ King and Zara Graham

2nd place - Testing the Absorbency of Paper Towels
Zion Abeta, Will Sellers and Noah Arumlampalam

3rd place - The Science of Optical Illusions
Kate Clayton, Sapphire Beard-Griffith and Lily Ironmonger