• Senior

Throughout the Summer term Year 9 have been exploring some very different experiments:

Homopolar motors

Bouncing Custard balls

Sweet and fruity smells

Hoop gliders

They have been able to trial Chemistry and Physics ideas which are beyond their curriculum in order to investigate more challenging concepts. These include cross-linking polymers to make custard into a ball which can bounce.

They discovered that sweet and fruity smells are produced by esters, which can be found in sweets, perfumes, soaps and other cosmetic products. Identifying the smell from each reaction launched a heated discussion.

In the initial session, we investigated the Physics of flight. Hoop gliders were built using a common template after which the pupils grew creative, adapting the design in the hope of constructing the glider which would fly the furthest. There were lots of innovative and considered ideas, which led to some very amusing test flights.

Week four saw the assembly of homopolar motors.  Electric motors are vital to a wide range of everyday devices, in this session the pupils had the opportunity to assemble a simple motor.

This was a trickier endeavour than they anticipated! Once the glitches had been successfully solved, they had a wide assortment of rotating structures.

The STEAM Ahead activities have allowed pupils to see the possible applications of advanced ideas, as well as giving them the opportunity to have a more open-ended play in the Sciences albeit with a good background in theoretical concepts.

All who have taken part appeared to have enjoyed these 30-minute sessions, and had some success in their endeavours too!