Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from EHS

Investigation and inspiration: British Science Week

13 March 2020

British Science Week is one of the most popular educational weeks in Britain. It’s a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths that takes place annually in March. This week, EHS joined in the celebrations by hosting special events to raise awareness, foster enthusiasm and provide a platform for our students to showcase their learning. With the importance of science-related disciplines to the UK economy, hopefully one day these young people will go on to become the scientists of the future and help make a positive difference to our lives and our planet.

Dr Rajp kicked off British Science Week with a whole school assembly on the science of emotion. This engaging talk focused on how emotions are your brain’s best guesses for what your body’s sensations mean, based on your situation. Mr Sabotig ended the week with an entertaining and thought-provoking assembly on the science of music, exploring frequencies and wavelengths of sound using instruments played by the staff and students.
All students in Senior School are getting behind British Science Week.

This term Year 7 are studying Space Physics which involves looking at the Earth and its place in the Solar System and the Universe. One aspect of the programme of study involves the girls finding out about how astronauts survive in space. Pupils in Year 7 will visit the National Space Centre in Leicester next week. They have also been carrying out forensic investigations, looking into the pretend theft of a pair of very expensive trainers using a number of forensic techniques including chromatography and fingerprint identification.

All pupils had the opportunity to attend a film night where they enjoyed popcorn and watched the film ‘Hidden Figures’. This film was chosen as it showed the journey of three female African-American mathematicians who played a pivotal role in launching astronaut John Glenn into orbit. The girls were inspired by the film, with some expressing a wish to work at NASA. 

As part of a lesson on physics exploration, Year 8 groups were set the challenge of following the Scientific method for themselves this week, with no ‘right answers’ provided! A series of weird and wonderful effects were given to them: diving raisins; mirror drawing; exploding containers and levitating lemons to name a few. The girls then had to develop and test their own theories to fit their observations and share them with their fellow scientists.

The special Physics Quiz was an opportunity to seek out the best Year 8 Science brains. The girls were tested on their knowledge of inventions, animals and space and were given chemistry puzzles to solve. Spot prizes were awarded along the way, but congratulations goes to team ‘Firecracker' (Grace, Renee and Chiyevo) who won the quiz overall and to St Andrew who were the winning house. 

Year 9 have been challenged with a two week homework task to read a non-fiction book related to the topic of ‘our diverse planet’ and will be producing a book review to summarise what the book is about.

Schools from across the city were invited to join EHS for a twilight session exploring the physics of oscillations. With springs stretching up to 8m and a 10m pendulum (a child’s swing seat) hanging down from the roof of the octagon, students had hands-on experience of the nature of repeating cycles. The octagon was awash with waves as youngsters used electric toothbrushes to generate standing waves of various frequencies. Aluminium bars were rubbed and produced piercing sounds as the metal was persuaded to resonate simply through careful rubbing along its length. Star of the show was the Kundts Tube, in which cork particles actually stood up when subjected to certain portions of a wave. Frequency, wavelength and speed were all subject to thorough investigation in this cacophony of scientific discovery. There was well over an hour of oscillation and vibration of all sorts and the Octagon is probably still ringing!

So far, British Science Week at Edgbaston High School has offered investigation and inspiration and has been a real success. Thank you to all pupils for approaching the tasks and challenges with such energy and enthusiasm.

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