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Super cool science day

Published: 13 March 2020

Last week, Radford Primary Academy of the Sidney Stringer Multi-Academy Trust, and part of the Ogden Coventry Partnership, held a whole-school Forces and Materials science day to celebrate the official opening of their new Ogden Phiz Lab.

With support from special guest ‘teachers’ including Dr Jenny Watson (Ogden Regional Rep), Hayley Smith (from the National Space Academy), Dr Rachel Edwards and Ally Caldecote (University of Warwick), and Dr Steve Essex (Sidney Stringer Academy), the school delivered a series of hands-on workshops: floating & sinking, planetary landings, magnetic materials, pendulum swings and slippy shoes were just some of the investigations in this celebration of science.

teachers and pupils at the phiz lab opening

“During the day, the children were able to explore many areas of forces and materials,” explains Dr Steve Essex, Partnership Co-ordinator who led the day. “With the support from The Ogden Trust, the National Space Centre and the University of Warwick, we were able to involve the whole school in this science showcase.”

The nursery children explored magnetic materials, whilst Year 6 explored the properties of pendulums. Both Years 5 and 6 enjoyed a brilliant Space Masterclass, investigating the importance of the white paint found on rockets, before designing and launching their own rockets. In Year 1 and 2, they were treated to a liquid nitrogen demonstration, identifying how materials can change when they are super-cooled! Years 3 and 4 spent the day using Ogden resources from the recent partnership Phizzi CPD. The pupils used UV beads to create funky bracelets, which also indicate how strong the Sun is, and Year 4s are now pulley experts!

science investigation

“The Phiz Lab will be a hub for STEM throughout the school,” explains Steve. “It already hosts a weekly science club for Year 2, following the CREST Star award. It was home to students from eight primary schools recently for a Royal Institute Masterclass!

“As we embed the use of the Phiz Lab at Radford, the students here will play a hands-on role in running it,” continues Steve. “Each class at Radford will now have dedicated science lessons in the lab, and the other partnership schools can book lab time online to make sure the benefits of this space are shared. We expect to see many great investigations taking place in the weeks and years to come!”

“It was fantastic to be a part of this science day,” says Kirstin Greygoose, Ogden Trust Programme Manager who attended the opening. “The excitement and enthusiasm of the children was clear to see – they were all so engaged in the investigations and workshops; the school was buzzing.”

pupils and teacher in the phiz lab

“The Phiz Lab will hopefully give pupils a real sense of science and of working scientifically. It is a fantastic space to get hands-on with investigations and will be a real asset to the school, partnership and the wider community,” adds Kirstin. “I am looking forward to hearing more about the investigations and discoveries made in this fabulous Phiz Lab!”

“We cannot wait to come and do more science in the Phiz Lab! It is exciting to have so much new equipment to use, as we love doing experiments.”
Year 5 student Hasina

The science day concluded with a science assembly where the school science fair for 2020 was launched. With support from Dr Jenny Watson, four other partnership schools have had similar assemblies within the past week – a partnership grand final will be held on 7 April.

student with telescope

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