St Matthew’s Science Week started off with a bang with a visit from Dr Rebecca White from Southborough High School. We explored famous male and female scientists and discussed the importance of increasing the number of women in the industry. We also had a chance to look at Dr White’s specialism, chemistry, and explore a number of reversible and irreversible chemical reactions.
On Tuesday we welcomed Dr Jasmine Pradissitto from Pro-Education. A Physicist and Quantum Artist who recently designed a hat worn by the great grand daughter of Winston Churchill, Serena Churchill, at Royal Ascot. The beautifully designed headpiece was made of recycled plastic to raise awareness on sustainability. Dr Jasmine reminded the children that a “good scientist and engineer always wonders and uses their imagination.” Through a variety of exciting experiments, she introduced us to a number of ways we could use our scientific thinking and our imagination; all we need to do is “look at the world slightly differently.”
Dr Jasmine spoke of how and why she uses plastic in her artwork, explaining “plastic is amazing and shouldn’t just be thrown away; it should re-used, it should be explored!” We learnt about how scientists are now inventing ‘smart materials’ to re-use over and over again, putting an end to single use plastics and metals.
Have a go and recreating a few of Dr Jasmine's experiments at home.
1. Suspended Water
All you need is a ping pong ball, a bottle of water, and plenty of practise. Fill a bottle right to the top (watch closely and see how the water domes at the lip of the bottle). Then, place a ping pong ball on top and turn the bottle over. Does your water stay in the bottle? Can you roll the ball with your fingertip and keep the water in?
2. Painting the Perfect Circle
Place a penny coin and a squeeze of paint in a balloon. Inflate the balloon and then begin to rotate the coin within – watch how it will draw perfect circles on the inside of the balloon.
3. Paint Bottle
Get a large empty bottle and pierce holes into it using a pin. Either fill the bottle with paint or water and secure the lid. Now, when you squeeze the bottle your paint/water will fly out of the holes and paint patterns onto your choice of canvas. But be careful, as soon as you remove the lid, your paint/water will pour from the pierced holes. Why do you think this happens?
4. Not all bubbles are round
Using straws or lollipop sticks, construct a 3D shape of your choice. Submerge this in soapy water and see if you can make a cube or tetrahedron bubble.
“The most important thing you have is your imagination. If you have that, you’ll be future-proof!"