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Not chasing rainbows – making rainbows!

Published: 12 June 2020

Ensuring that students continue to learn using practical hands-on science is one of the many challenges with online learning and home school. Sherborne School for Girls, hub for the North Dorset & South Somerset Partnership, is trying to get their students to do practical work at home wherever possible and they have achieved some impressive results.

Jason Blake, physics teacher at Sherborne, explains more: “One Year 9 student, using a piece of string, some cellotape, a ruler and her phone as a timer, did the classic pendulum experiment. Tamara managed to achieve a fantastic value for Earth’s gravity with a value for g close to 9.8m/s2.

“Other Year 9 investigations have included measuring the decay of the froth on a drink and investigating shadows. The girls have really engaged with these tasks and obtained some excellent results. Coco’s froth experiment, for example, made a great exponential decay and Ella’s shadow measurements gave the expected ‘y = mx + c’ graph.”

“Whilst children in primary schools have been asked to draw pictures of rainbows for the NHS. The Year 9 at Sherborne were asked to try and make their own rainbows. Using a CD in some bright sunlight, Tamara was able to project a beautiful spectrum through a crack into a dark room. (Shown top right).

“I have been so impressed with their enthusiasm and ingenuity whilst at home and away from their school science labs,” concludes Jason.

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