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British Science Week goes off with a bang

Pupils at a North Tyneside school had a blast during some explosive events organised by Sunderland College to mark British Science Week.

Young scientists from Forest Hall Primary School witnessed an array of spectacular experiments conducted by Mike Fletcher, a biology and chemistry lecturer at Sunderland College, as part of the national celebrations.

The college has developed a specialist programme, called Spectacular Science, which is geared towards children of primary school age and is made up of startling experiments and practical workshops to excite youngsters.

Show-stopping experiments involve a ping pong cannon, burning methane and making elephant toothpaste by combining a mixture of chemicals.

Mike said: “We have created our Spectacular Science event as a way of inspiring young children to become passionate about science. Statistics show there is a drop off in children’s interest in science between the ages of nine and 11, so it’s really important to engage youngsters during this time by demonstrating science using a fun and hands-on approach.”

Sunderland College is rolling-out the programme following positive feedback from primary schools and is already in talks with other headteachers to bring Spectacular Science to their schools.

Mike added: “The event has been met with a fantastic reception and it is terrific to see so many young faces in awe as they watch me bring science to life.”

The visit to Forest Hall Primary School also included workshops around the theme of space in celebration of British Science Week, which involved pupils from year four analysing ‘Martian’ soil and students from year two measuring craters.

Steph Young, a year one teacher, said: “I loved the experiments – they were both fun and exciting. It was a real treat for the children who were fully engaged throughout the event.”

Ten-year-old Grace Armstrong, a year five pupil, said: “It was really good. At first I didn’t understand the science, but when he demonstrated it, I got it!”

British Science Week, which is running from March 10 to 19, celebrates science, technology, engineering and maths with thousands of activities organised in schools, colleges, businesses and cultural organisations across the country.

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