Explosive science workshop is big hit with primary schools

January 23, 2015

Explosions, Harry Potter-style magic potions and roses cooked in dry ice were among the mind-blowing demonstrations put on for primary school children at a science workshop.

Nearly 1,000 pupils from the area gathered at the Blake Theatre to watch Monmouth School’s ‘Chemical Brothers’ Dr Martin Clarke, Head of Chemistry, and Dr Jon Danks put on their explosive whiz-bang show on Wednesday.

From creating a rainbow of colours in beakers, before making them all disappear, to firing a Fanta bottle from a canon and showing how a trifle sponge soaked in liquid oxygen can become a raging fire, the enthusiastic showmen had cheering children on the edge of their seats.

Split over two performances, the workshop was put on for pupils from 17 schools including Monmouth Montessori, Osbaston and Cross Ash Primary School.

It is the third time Monmouth School has organised the event.

Dr Clarke said: “Teaching science is quite easy if you grab the children’s enthusiasm early on.

“Through the workshops we give them an idea of what’s around them – what’s out there and what might happen. It sparks their interest in science.

“The nature of science is to investigate and discover.

“It’s quite an easy subject to teach because if your attention wanders, you can just blow something up.”

The colleagues are always dreaming up new ideas for upcoming shows, to the delight of their fans.

“We get some great letters from the children afterwards,” Dr Clarke continued.

“Kids were high-fiving me at the end of the workshop and asking if they could have a piece of the banana we cooked in dry ice as a souvenir.”

Imogen, 10, a pupil at Walford Primary School, said: “It was really exciting – I really liked all the bangs.

“It inspired me to learn more about science.”

And her schoolmate Lucy, 11, said: “Some things I thought were going to go ‘bang’ were silent and it made me think differently about science.

“I predicted one thing was going to happen, and then my predictions were wrong – it was really unexpected.”

Their classmate Annie, 10, added: “I thought the workshop was really good.

“Most of the time I was covering my ears but I liked the explosions and the changing colours.”

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