Exploding chemical reactions that go whiz, bang and pop were used to inspire young minds at Greenbank Preparatory School when King’s Sixth Form students gave a masterclass in the ‘cool, weird and wonderful world of science.’
As part of King’s Outreach programme, a team of top Sixth Form scientists visit neighbouring primary schools every Wednesday afternoon to allow the youngsters to explore the life scientific.
Former Greenbank pupil Fran Southern, 17, who is now in Year 13 preparing to take A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and English Language with a view to reading Medicine at Liverpool University, said: “I first got hooked on science when my parents bought me a chemistry set when I was little and I loved making up my own soaps and seeing how different substances made so many different reactions.”
Gwen Rayworth, 16, in the first year of the King’s Sixth Form, added: “Science is cool, weird and wonderful and we all just love seeing the children’s eyes light up.”
They were accompanied by King’s Head of Science, Jim Street, who gave the Royal Society of Chemistry’s annual Christmas lecture last year and Chemistry teacher Dr. Becky Williams who has a PhD in Developmental Biology from Manchester University, and said: “We use everyday items that the children will be familiar with, such as Skittles sweets and washing-up liquid, and turn them into colourful and dramatic science experiments to demonstrate basic chemical reactions such as diffusion. We also make ‘everlasting bouncy balls’ and ‘rainbow fizz’ which are hands-on experiments the children love.”
Greenbank pupil Georgia Heinekey, 9, said: “I love the whizzes, bangs and pops and watching all the different experiments.”
The King’s Sixth Form outreach team has worked with over 1,500 young people across the locality and Jim Street said: “Our students love working with these young minds and gain so much from the experience from this teaching experience, often using it on their university application forms to show they have volunteered to teach enthuse, engage and manage a full class of 9 – 11 year-olds, which is much easier said than done.”