Going for gold
Published: 12 February 2020
The Abingdon School Primary Science Club started in 2017. The scheme is now part of the school’s co-curricular after school programme and this month, the current senior science ambassadors received their CREST Gold Awards. Jeremy Thomas, Abingdon Science Partnership Co-ordinator, explains more about the science club and the ambassadors who run it.
The club was initially led by a science teacher. However, sixth form students assisting as mentors decided that they wanted to plan and run it, under supervision, in order to develop leadership skills or for Duke of Edinburgh volunteering opportunities.
After half a term of planning, testing and risk assessing suitable activities, the newly formed team of science ambassadors invited Year 5 and 6 pupils from the Ogden Trust Abingdon Science Partnership schools to attend an after school science session, and the club was started.
The original team, who started the club in its present form, documented their ideas, lesson plans and risk assessments and also carried out evaluation exercises to test the learning and changing perceptions of the children attending. All of this was then written up into a report and submitted to the BSA for assessment for the CREST Gold Award.
Since its inception, the club has grown in popularity with around 30 science ambassadors volunteering each week and 25-30 primary children attending the weekly after school sessions that are run at Abingdon School.
Ambassador training is carried out by the senior, experienced ambassadors who run a two team system, one team delivering an activity while the other plans for the following week. This maximises the number of science ambassadors that can be involved. The activities range from flame tests to laser maze challenges, fish dissection and egg drop challenges. Last week they did chromatography.
“It’s really exciting and you learn a lot of things” (Shenara, Y6)
“Chromatography and egg drop have been the best activities” (Josie and Katie, Y6)
“It is a unique opportunity to be able to work with the primary school science club,” explains Alfie, one of the current Year 12 ambassadors. “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with students of all ages and being able to give back to those in the local science community.”
Freddie agrees: “The primary science club has been a fantastic scheme to take part in since its inception three years ago when we first started planning the lessons. Since that time, we now have over 30 volunteers who come each week and help which is amazing. The programme as a whole has been an incredible leadership and learning opportunity. I always find it satisfying to see someone go out of their way to learn more about what they have been taught in the lesson.”