Temperatures soared at Brixham College when it hosted an Ogden Trust partnership event to investigate the physics of heat, engaging the region's top GCSE physics students and encouraging them to apply their classroom knowledge in a competitive, inter-school timed challenge.
Gifted and talented students from Brixham College were joined by others from the South Devon Partnership (Ivybridge Community College, Kingsbridge Community College, King Edward Sixth Community College and St Cuthbert Mayne) for the thermal-themed event which kicked off with an engaging talk about the thermal properties of space craft before students raced against each other and the clock to complete a series of tasks, missions and challenges.
Tooling up with thermometers they created thermal images of faces, ranked chocolate according to their melting points without the use of lab equipment and made paper kettles that would be impervious to the flames of a Bunsen burner.
"Students were tasked with making the best insulated beaker but had to earn the materials to do so by completing a range of smaller challenges. As well as testing teamwork, time management and knowledge of thermal physics, the event was very hands on and demanded the use of practical problem-solving skills," explains Tom Norman, physics teacher at Brixham College and the partnership co-ordinator who helped deliver this STEM challenge. "Prizes introduced a competitive element to the process but the main purpose was to have fun; engage, stretch and challenge the students; and encourage independent, critical thinking," he adds.
Thermal imaging cameras were used to judge some of the tasks and the winning teams went home with thermos-chromatic silly putty.