Year 8 took part in the third Science Fair for Pinewood leavers this week. Since their return from their trip to France Year 8 have been working in small groups on independent science projects investigating an area of science that appealed to them. This year the variety of projects was extraordinary, ranging from investigating the relationship between body mass and ability to do pull ups, to finding the best launch angle for a long distance rocket.
Within a relatively short time each group had to organise their equipment, carry out the experiment, collect and interpret results and produce a display board. The display boards allowed the pupils to show their understanding of the projects and principles of scientific investigation.
At the fair each group had to discuss their project with our judging panel of senior school science department heads: Mr Bliss from Abingdon, Mr Clegg from Bradfield and Mr Townley from Cheltenham. The judges were really impressed by the originality of the projects and enthusiasm of our pupils when describing what they had done and found out. The display boards were well presented and provided a visual reminder of what had been done. As always the judges made suggestions and pointers on how the projects could have been improved, but all the pupils spoke with confidence about variables, fair testing and what investigations they would like to do in the future.
The following were awarded prizes for their work:
Best Overall Project: Flora Fletcher, Olivia Redman and Alex Taylor, who demonstrated that girls have better peripheral vision than boys.
Best Discussion: Alfred Beadman, Alexander Hankinson, Gregor Hawkes and Henry Woods, who discussed how the concentration of soap solution affects the height of a bubble tower.
Best Display board: Kitty Graham, Charlotte Hannon, and Meredith Powell-Turner, who showed that a ROKIT launched at an angle of 35o travelled the furthest.
In addition the judges were impressed by the following groups:
- Harry Fuller, Alex Ross and Charlie Robinson’s investigation into short-term memory.
- Max Owen, Henry Pritchard and Tom Pritchard’s test on the effect of hydrochloric acid on different foods.
- Rose Dillon, Claudia Campbell and Imo Koe for the exuberance with which they described their experiment on Cola Bear sweets.
- Emily Conner also received an honourable mention for presenting her Skittles investigation with confidence and clarity, despite being on her own at the fair.
Miss Wise and I were delighted with the way in which all the pupils approached the challenge and worked diligently into their penultimate day at Pinewood. All deserve congratulations for their efforts. Well done! We hope that the Science Fair experience is one of the many special Pinewood memories that the children take with them as the leave us for the challenges of senior school.