All fired up

20 May 2019

Early this month, Ivybridge Community College hosted the latest Ogden physics event for the South Devon & Torbay Partnership. The physics and chemistry departments at the school teamed up to explore the physics (and chemistry) of fire at an event entitled: Pyromania.

Students from across the partnership came to Ivybridge; an expert speaker did some fantastic demonstrations before the students split into groups for hands-on workshops getting to grips with Emission Spectra, Activation Energy, and Convection in some exciting practical work.

Emily Slaughter, Year 10, Ivybridge Community College explains more: “During my time in Year 10, I have been lucky enough to participate in several Ogden physics trips and learn about useful real life topics but in a cool, fun way. They have all been brilliant, but my favourite event was Pyromania at my own school.

"Dr Roy Lowry visited the school to show us many experiments demonstrating how interesting fire is with a variety of mixtures, elements and compounds.

"His best demonstration was the digestive biscuit test. He placed an ordinary digestive in liquid oxygen at minus 183 degrees and set it alight. It quickly went up in flames and burnt straight through a metal gauze. He was swiftly met with excited comments saying ‘woah, how did you do that!?’

"Another session involved a gas called methane. We set methane bubbles alight and the flame rose to the ceiling with a strong heat. It was really intriguing because we could all get involved.

"His last experiment was also great fun to watch. He used a Bunsen burner on a naked flame and sprayed different elements into it. He created a purple flame and a green one and lots more.

"It was utterly amazing and a great experience. I highly recommend participation in these awesome activities!”

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