Science comes alive in Jersey schools
8 April 2008
A team of scientists from Bristol took Jersey schools by storm in a week of hands-on science events on the island at the beginning of April.
The Mobile Teaching Unit, a lorry that expands to turn into a seminar room and lab, is run by AIMS, the CETL based in the Faculty of Medical and Veterinary Sciences at Bristol. It was based at Hautlieu School during Jersey Science Week, with students from other island schools visiting to take advantage of the hands-on anatomy and physiology demonstrations. The team from the Faculty of Medical and Veterinary Sciences ran up to seven workshops a day.
A team of chemists from ChemLabS, meanwhile, was busy visiting schools across the island. Bristol ChemLabS (Bristol Chemical Laboratory Sciences) has devised an innovative outreach programme, designed to engage with students of all ages from outside of the university and inspire them about chemistry. It runs regular outreach activities both in the UK and abroad. During the Jersey Science Week, a team of postgraduate Science and Engineering Ambassadors led by Dr Alison Rivett, Primary Science Outreach Consultant with ChemLabS, ran assemblies in primary schools about ‘The Gases of the Air’ and workshops with experiments involving measuring, investigatory and teamwork skills. Tim Harrison, the Bristol ChemLabS School Teacher Fellow, dedicated himself to secondary schools, delivering a demonstration lecture (involving liquid nitrogen, oxygen foam, dry ice and a few explosions) entitled ‘A Pollutant’s Tale’ to students from Years 7 to 13.
Such was the success of the visit that the ITV Jersey evening news reported extensively on the event; a video is available on its website.
Tim Harrison said: ‘This visit followed on from some very successful input into the National Science and Engineering Week in the UK, where Bristol ChemLabS engaged with 1,980 school students from 51 primary and secondary schools across the south of England. In Jersey, ChemLabS engaged with more than 4,300 students in a mammoth outreach effort. The team we have operating here is a credit to itself and the University of Bristol.’
Sarah Johnson, from the Department for Education, Sport and Culture, said: ‘We are delighted that this wide range of novel and exciting workshops was offered to local primary, secondary and post-16 students.’
For more information on the Bristol ChemLabS primary science workshops in Jersey, see the news item on the ChemLabS website.