Growing Great Science Minds in Y5-Y8

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Growing Great Science Minds in Y5-Y8

It has been another busy year in the Science Department for Years 5-8. Back in September, our Year 5 boys were introduced to the department, learning about safety aspects in the lab and how to take various scientific measurements. They were delighted to use Bunsen Burners at last and were rewarded with certificates to confirm that they can safely do so. They have since studied units on Materials and Properties of Materials. More recently, they investigated Properties of Light and Earth in Space. We are looking forward to their Earth in Space presentations and projects – these will be displayed in the Durston STEM Science Fair in June. Earlier in the Spring Term, we welcomed Year 5 Harvington girls to the Science department. Our Year 5B boys demonstrated to them how to make periscopes which the girls took away with them. We are grateful to 5B boys for working cooperatively and responsibly. We look forward to Durston boys and Harvington girls working together as one school in September!

The MTS Science Challenge 2023 for pupils in Year 5 will be hosted this year by the Physics, Chemistry and Biology departments on Friday 28 April.  We have been invited to this prestigious event and intend to enter a team of four Year 5 pupils from Durston House to complete experiments in three different Science challenges. The aim is to stretch the Science enthusiasts, for them to problem solve and learn across all three Sciences. We wish them the very best well in advance!

Year 6 have focused on Variables, Electricity and Electromagnets. In addition to studying the basics of Circuits, they had the opportunity to see a Van de Graaff in action and conduct various other hands-on Static Electricity Experiments. They had fun making their own circuits involving different components. They are now busy working on their Electromagnets Project which includes making a ‘new’ innovative device which uses an electromagnet. This includes submitting a full business plan and ways of marketing their ‘unique’ product.

Year 7 studied the fundamentals of Chemistry using the good old Periodic Table. All the experiments involving some very reactive and explosive Group 1 Alkali Metals, such as elements Lithium, Sodium and Potassium, were demonstrated in the playground outside. For once the Science department was not responsible for triggering off the fire alarm! More recently, Year 7 pupils have looked at the journey of food and air in detail (Digestive and Breathing systems). In the final term, they will investigate Motion related topics examining speed, acceleration and air resistance.

Year 8 boys have been busy throughout the academic year completing the ISEB Science course and preparing for their Senior School Examinations. We are pleased that they have all secured places in prestigious schools in London and beyond. The scholarship boys are now preparing for the CASE and other scholarship final examinations. We wish them the very best for these exams and to all the boys too for the end-of-year exams.  It is traditional in Durston for Year 8 boys to set up and run the Science Fair as part of the STEM week in June. We are grateful to them and wish the very best as they approach their Graduation.

During the British Science Week (13-17 March), our boys participated in the Poster Competition – the theme this year was ‘Connections’. We look forward to viewing their work, five will be selected to enter for the final competition. During the week, students also interacted with other scientists via Webinars (with the British Antarctic Survey, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature and National Farmer’s Union). Hopefully, this will provide our young scientists an understanding of what real scientists do in real time, in the real word.

On the side-lines, the department is also involved in various Enrichment activities this year which includes STEM related hands-on practicals with Mr. Egvay, Wildlife Photography, Treasure Hunt and Armchair Detectives (Murder Mystery) with Mr. Datoo.

A busy year indeed, and it’s not over yet!

Mr Datoo – Head of Science