During the last week of term, 30 grade six students from a local Primary School arrived at Edinburgh College for the very last Science Enrichment Program held for the year. Located in the Science building on the Secondary Campus, students were introduced to a science experiment-fest involving Bunsen burners, plasma, dry ice and of course, safe practice in the Science lab. Mr Michael Croft (Secondary Science Teacher and Head of Science Department), spoke on neutrons, atoms, gases, solids and liquids, introducing the chemical compound of Carbon Dioxide (or in it’s frozen form, ‘dry ice’). After the introduction, Mr Croft threw some tricky questions to the students on matter and states with some very bright budding scientists offering insightful answers.
Eager students donned their safety glasses and coats, ready to rotate through the six different pracs and start experimenting. Every two students were accompanied by an Edinburgh College secondary student volunteer, who explained the changes of the states of matter (solid to gas) and helped each student predict outcomes of the experiments. During this time, students had the opportunity to:
- Make bubbles in a beacon using Carbon Dioxide and detergent
- Extinguish a small flame using Carbon Dioxide
- Make the compound ‘sing’ by using a spoon
- Create an explosion, using Film Canisters and Carbon Dioxide
Introducing a love of science
For some students, the Science Enrichment program provided a valuable opportunity of being in a science lab for the very first time. Discoveries were made and theories were put to the test as gasps, laughter and wide-eyed wonder were experienced by students and teaching staff alike as theory became practical in front of their eyes.
As the program concluded, the secondary student volunteers discussed what they had studied in their first year at Edinburgh Science, covering topics such as Man v Wild (an outdoor science based program), CSI (a mock whodunnit involving chemistry to find the culprit), and Mythbusters (designing your own investigation to test common myths).
Afterwards, students from Chirnside Park Primary said:
“Edinburgh College was a brilliant place to visit, it has sparked a new love for Science in us”
“It was a great experience to investigate the results of dangerous experiments in a stimulating yet safe environment”
“Everyone came away from our experience excited and eager to investigate Science in a deeper way”
Teaching staff also were quick to highlight the benefits for their students:
“A fantastic experience – it was hands-on and also provided a range of activities, not just one experiment. The program was run efficiently and smoothly”.
“There was a clear connection between the learning intention and how the experiment demonstrated that. It was also excellent to see the Year 7 students and college captains supporting the younger students”.
“We love to welcome primary students to share the joy of science experiments together with us. Our secondary students are quick to volunteer and help the younger students discover a natural interest in the discipline of science”
Mr. Michael Croft, Head of Science
“It’s great to be able to share our science department with other schools that may not have the same facilities in their school”
Asher, Edinburgh College student volunteer
The day finished with students boarding the Edinburgh College bus to be transported back to their school. For some students, this was their first foray into, and development of, a newfound interest in the field of science.
Thank you to all of our partnering schools that have participated in the Science Enrichment program this year – we look forward to seeing you again in 2019 for more awesome science with our secondary students.
About the Science Program
Edinburgh College hosts a number of local primary schools throughout the year as part of their Science Enrichment Program. Since its formation in 2017, the program has partnered with public schools locally and has introduced more than 400 primary students to science with support from older students and teachers in a lab setting. Led by the Head of Department, Mr. Michael Croft and Mrs. Bronwyn de Beer (VCE Science Teacher), up to 16 Edinburgh College student volunteers are on hand to assist younger students as they rotate groups through the experiments.