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Physics fans

Primary pupils are innovating for the future with workshops exploring physics, sustainability and citizenship.

Published: 14 April 2022

With funding from The Ogden Trust, education consultant Christina Astin has delivered two free workshops to more than 500 pupils at primary schools in East Kent. Developed around the theme of Innovating for the Future, the inspirational workshops explored the primary physics curriculum, introduced new technologies and careers, and considered important messages of sustainability and citizenship.

In the workshop, WIND POWER: ARE YOU A FAN? students learned about the physics of forces and wind power; they learned about UK offshore wind farms and plans for future harnessing of wind. They designed and built their own turbine to test on a model dynamo, measuring its output. Each school was also linked with a careers role-model from the wind power industry and were encouraged to organise follow-up careers Q&A conversation with them.

a lady in a classroom ready to present to a pupils who are not shown in the picture

PLANET-TASTIC PLASTICS was on sustainable alternatives to plastics. Students sorted plastics they had brought into school, learning about material properties, thinking about how plastics are made and how they can be recycled. Pupils explored the problem of sustainability and the damage to the environment which plastics cause, before looking at innovative alternatives to plastics. They conducted experiments on samples of cellulose film and starch packing chips, as well a mixing cornflour and water to observe the unusual behaviour.

“Pupils were encouraged to talk to people at home about what they had learned,” explains Christina.  “They were given suggested follow-up activities, including the creation of a ‘zine’ to record what they had learned. Schools were given resources to help them repeat and embed activities,” adds Christina.

Feedback suggested that the workshops had a positive impact on the pupils and provided strong foundations on which the schools and their pupils can build. The workshops started important conversations about  physics, careers, sustainability and citizenship.

“Thanks to your engaging and informative workshop the children went on to study the impact of plastics on our planet’s health and then create fact files full of their new learning plus helpful ways to reduce plastic consumption. The children especially enjoyed being able to meet a scientist in person as it brought learning to life in a fun and immersive way.”


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