On Sunday 29th April The King’s School invited over 60 children, parents and carers to take part in science experiments together in their annual Family Science Day aimed at raising aspiration in science. The event has grown out of the King’s School’s successful series of science masterclasses called “Saturday Smarties” – now in its fifth year.
The Year 5 and 6 children came from local primary schools with transport provided if needed and a crèche for younger siblings. After a morning of fun and exciting science, a delicious Sunday lunch was shared by all our guests and volunteers. Certificates were presented by Rosie Duffield MP and The Lord Mayor, Councillor Rosemary Doyle.
The ten- and eleven-year-old pupils were amazed as they explored a feast of different activities, learning alongside their parents and carers for the day. Physics, biology, and chemistry teachers guided the participants as they lit Bunsen burners and explored different coloured flames, investigated wriggling water fleas under the microscope and even made their own pinhole camera to take home. They loved putting on their lab coats and goggles to become scientists for the day, a taste of things to come before the children move onto secondary school.
The feedback was very positive, with over 90% of adults and children rating as “Excellent” their enjoyment of the day and the science activities; every single participant said they would recommend the day to a friend! One child excitedly told us “I especially loved burning the compound in the Bunsen flame as we saw beautiful colours. I also really enjoyed seeing the Daphnia because it was transparent and you could see its insides and it was laying eggs!”
Many parents commented on how enjoyable it was to spend quality time with their child, learning science together. Research has shown that for this age group it is crucial to have support from home in encouraging children with STEM subjects.
Rosie Duffield MP said: “ Thank you to The King’s School for hosting the event and for confirming to all the children (and parents…and me!) just why science is such an amazing subject. We need to encourage our young people to pursue STEM subjects as they progress through the curriculum. The aim of the day was to encourage & raise aspirations in science. The Year 5 and 6 students I met were bright, funny and full of love for this subject. These are the wonderful bridge engineers, oceanographers, star-gazers and molecular biologists of the future.”
Our King’s School volunteers also really enjoyed their day with one saying that “sacrificing my Sunday in exchange for the intrigued faces I saw in the science labs was very rewarding.”.
We are already planning our next Family Science Day and looking forward to inviting more exciting young scientists and their parents and carers to another day of fun in 2019.