A group of A-level physics and chemistry students from Badminton School in Bristol have been wowing local primary schools with a Liquid Nitrogen and Dry Ice show. Ice-cream created in minutes and nails made from Blu-Tack were just two of the demonstrations used to enthuse Year 5 and Year 6 students of Tickhenham Primary School near Clevedon. IOP South West Regional Officer Miranda Addey went along.
Led by David Williams, Head of Science Outreach at Badminton, the group have been touring local primary schools ready to teach and amaze children in the wonders of science. Thanks to a Public Engagement Grant from the Institute of Physics they have already been to four schools in the area this year and hope to go to at least five more schools before Christmas as well as host many more at Badminton school.
Students Sophie Brown, Louisa Lim, Georgina Morrison (pictured) and Hetty Taylor demonstrated a wide variety of phenomena including fog on demand, shattering bananas, Blu-Tack nails, jet propelled spinning balls, shrinking balloons and crumbling flowers. The 60 or so primary students were very excited by the visually exciting show, and asked many questions at every stage. It provided a fantastic opportunity for the A-level students to engage younger students in a subject they enjoy, and they were very clear and competent in explaining the science and answering questions.
The primary students learnt about sublimation, when substances pass from the solid phase straight to the gaseous without first passing through the liquid phase, the boiling point of Liquid Nitrogen at -196°C and about the Leidenfrost Effect, which allows skin to come into contact with very cold liquids for a second without suffering any ill effects.
The show finished with the creation of luxury fruit ice cream which was very much enjoyed by staff and students alike. The morning was a great success for all those involved.
If you teach at a local primary school and would like the show to come to your school please contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more about other projects funded by the Institute of Physics’ Public Engagement grants this year.