Ogden primary science conference

10 July 2017

Last week, 42 guests gathered at Charingworth Manor, Gloucestershire for the second annual primary conference and dinner.

The dinner provided an excellent forum for networking and informal discussions as colleagues from primary, secondary and higher education were able to chat and make contacts. During the evening, the guests attempted a physics challenge, getting an ‘eggstonaut’ to safely zip wire across the room!

Tim Fitzigham, award-winning British comedian, author and world record holder gave an insightful and very funny after dinner speech about sailing a paper boat along the Thames and a bath tub across the Channel!

Tim Fitzigham entertains the delegates at the Primary Science Conference 2017
Tim Fitzigham entertains the delegates at the Primary Science Conference 2017
"Thank you for inviting me to a wonderful conference in an outstanding location. It was a fantastic experience and I learnt so much. What an enthusiastic and energetic group you are - truly fabulous! I am very excited about the next year and our partnership's continued work with the Trust. I look forward to seeing you all again."
Marianne Quinsee, Little Bowden Primary School

Thursday's conference was attended by 37 delegates; following the welcome address from the Ogden Trust’s National Primary lead Wendy Cox and new Ogden Chief Executive Clare Harvey, keynote speaker Dr Kierann Shah from the National Space Academy took the audience on a ‘Journey to Space’. Highlights included making a ‘whoosh’ bottle, a comet and using an infra-red camera.

A series of workshops followed, as the delegates got hands-on with the ‘Physics of Flight’ and took part in an ‘Ablative Shield Challenge’ as teams worked to prevent an 'eggstronaut' perishing on re-entry! These practical sessions all explored how space science can be used to provide engaging opportunities to assess children’s skills and knowledge in science. The workshops concluded with a set of simple demonstrations for primary science that can be used to explore the Moon landing conspiracy theory.

The afternoon comprised a showcase 'Phizzi 15'. Members from each primary partnership spoke for three minutes, outlining one of the primary science activities they are most proud of. Topics included EYFS in action, science fairs, outdoor science, physics in a flash and making Playdough planets! Not only was this session a fantastic way to share best practice, but the 'family fortune' buzzer added some drama and high tension – no one wanted to be buzzed off stage for going over time!

"Phizzi 15 was fantastic again – so many ideas"

"…Opportunity to discuss ideas with colleagues and hear simple, low tech ideas for use in the classroom…"

The day ended with a panel interview where final questions from the floor were answered and ‘Plickers’ was used to evaluate the day. Graphic Facilitator Sarah Hazelton captured the conference through a visual ‘learning journey’ and the artwork will be available to view soon! You can also relive the day on twitter #OTprimary17. 

“The second Ogden primary science conference has been a resounding success,” said Wendy Cox. “A fantastic occasion to bring together so many enthused colleagues in a beautiful setting in the Cotswolds, celebrating primary science. Importantly, it was an opportunity to thank all our Ogden partnership schools, teacher fellows and Regional Representatives for their hard work this year,” she concluded.

Guests get hands-on with science challenges at the Primary Science Conference
Guests get hands-on with science challenges at the Primary Science Conference
"As always, brilliant practical ideas"

"It is so inspiring"

"The opportunity to once again be amongst similar thinkers, the opportunity to share some amazing ideas in a creative and relaxing space"
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