Totally Awesome Science Day with Higher Horizons+

What do you get when you mix slime, paint and a lot of excited students? Some, totally awesome science, that’s what.

We were at Keele Hall on Monday to provide workshops for students from schools from across the region and show them how fun science can be. As part of the Higher Horizons+ ‘Totally Awesome Science’ programme, we joined another individuals in promoting the wonders of science and what it can achieve. We wanted to offer workshops that were creative with visible results and so chose to set up challenges that encouraged artistic (and rather messy!) results.

In our Pendulum Madness workshops, we talked about momentum, gravity and equilibrium. It was then time to put the theory into practice! To get students really thinking about how pendulums worked and how they could manipulate the motion, we encouraged students to get creative, by using fine white sand to make patterns on paper positioned beneath the pendulum. After giving an initial demonstration of how patterns could be made and varied using different lengths of string, it was time to get the neon paints! We asked for a volunteer from each group to step up and decorate the paper with a different colour, creating a vibrant design.

In another workshop, we got musical, by talking, hearing and looking at frequencies. What can we hear? What can’t we? We looked into different sound waves and how to manipulate them, and discussed how they affect other everyday objects and our surroundings. We started off with ping pong balls, then watched frequencies go through sand and liquids, before finally making bright slime hop to the vibrations of our speaker as students learned about non-newtonian fluid (fluid that changes its structure under stress and pressure). While the learners got the chance to experiment, we discussed how non-newtonian fluids behaved differently and discussed everyday examples of this such as ketchup.

After hours of fun, we had some great artistic (and rather gooey) examples of what the students had learned about. Learners enjoyed having the chance to get hands on with science and many were enthusiastic about learning more about the topics we discussed.

With the next event on 1st February, we’re looking forward to thinking up even more creative workshops for some budding scientists. Make sure to keep an eye on our social media pages to find out what we get up to!

Mary FletcherLittle Wave, STEAM