Celebrating British Science Week

21st March 2024

To celebrate British Science Week 2024, Winchester College invited over 150 students from local primary and secondary schools to a series of Science enrichment activities.

The Science and Policies of Greenhouse Gas

The week began with a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) Day for 75 Year 10 pupils from UTC Portsmouth, Park Community School, Crestwood Community School, The Bourne Academy and Cowplain School. Pupils had a taster for studying STEM subjects at A-Level with a series of talks, workshops and practical activities.

Pupils also looked at an ENROADS model to see the effects of different strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit warming to the 2°C target. They then decided which policies would be most successful in reducing emissions, from taxes and levies on fossil fuels, carbon pricing, improvements to energy efficiency, reductions in deforestation and carbon removal technologies. 

The day was followed by a series of short talks, including a session on Real World Physics; The College's Fellow of Natural History guided students through the plight of Orcas for those interested in pursuing Environmental Science and a math session showed how graphs can be used to interpret information. The students then applied this later in the afternoon, matching up different graphs with the scenarios they represent.

A look into the microscopic world

It was then time for some hands-on workshops. Pupils constructed geodesic domes and learnt about the compression and tension forces that make these structures so strong. Then off to the labs for some practical activities. In Biology there were rat and frog dissection demonstrations, as well as looking at flagellates, ciliates, protozoa, paramecium, and amoeba under the microscope.

In Physics the students looked at the optics of a camera as well as a series of physics experiments that brought the subject to life from paper speakers to static electricity. In Chemistry the students used chemical reactions to solve a crime.

Chalk streams, Strawberries, and DNA

On Wednesday we hosted more than 40 pupils from Sparsholt Primary School for our Primary Sciences afternoon. There was a heart dissection to learn about how the heart works and the structures that make this happen; the story of a jam sandwich looking at the stages of digestion; a science quiz led by Winchester College students; a practical extracting DNA from strawberries; as well as a Chemistry session.

On Thursday 30 students from Winnall Primary School joined us for our Primary Chalk Streams enrichment. This project, which runs throughout the spring and summer, teaches pupils from local primary schools about the importance of our chalk streams. It involves sampling the river to observe tiny aquatic invertebrates, learning about the riverbank ecology, the importance of the site for Atlantic Salmon and an introduction to river hydrology with our Geography teacher Clare Talks.

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