Mad Science, wicked weather workshops – Spring Term 1 2020

As a start to the year 1 topic ‘Weather Experts’ the children had a visitor, Dr Dee Enay, from Mad Science. She started with a whole school assembly focussing on how electricity travels. Dr Dee Enay explained how there were tendrils of electricity trying to get to the Earth as quickly as possible and that materials are either conductors or insulators. This built on the children’s learning from last term (everyday materials) and provided them opportunities to ask questions to further their understanding. She explained how the electricity could travel through a human circuit and demonstrated with several children from Reception and KS1.

“The electricity went through 6 people”.

“Dr Dee Enay made a dimmer switch with the children she said dim dim dim off and it turned off”.

Afterwards Dr Dee Enay worked with each year 1 class to explore rainbows and how light bends.  She started by discussing the children’s previous science learning, how they had been observing the changes in the seasons, and provided children opportunities to share their own experiences. The children discussed what they knew about the sun and light and Dr Dee Enay extended their learning by providing fun facts such as:

  • The sun is 93 million miles away
  • The light from the sun is called white light
  • If you bend the light you can see the colours of the rainbow

The children were able to wear special light bending glasses to observe all the colours in white light. They also discussed how white light and laser light are different. Finally the children witnessed how the lightning in the Vander graph could create static electricity. The children learnt that static electricity is caused by friction and that it could be transferred to others.

These sessions extended the children’s current science skills and knowledge and prepared them for the learning that will be taking place this half term. The children are now enthusiastic to learn more and become Weather Experts!! Each class will be completing an enquiry where they observe changes over time. The children will create weather diaries recording what they could see and hear. After each recording the children will discuss the similarities, differences, patterns and changes between the weather we have. We are looking forward to some exciting science this term!