Encouraging Curiosity at Science Club

Encouraging Curiosity at Science Club

Over the course of the last eleven weeks, over 20 Second and Third Year pupils have regularly spent their Friday lunchtimes investigating all manner of curiosities from the scientific world at Caterham’s Science Club. Each week brings a different theme, learning some of the theory not taught during lessons, allowing them to get stuck into exciting experiments and practicals and taking away with them bespoke fact-file cards with extra links to books, videos and documentaries to further unleash the beauty of science.

Over this term, pupils have grown dendritic tin crystals out of clear stannous chloride solution, dissected regurgitated owl pellets to find the skeletal remains of mice and birds, witnessed the brilliant violet flame from indium metal, and shown that the chlorophyll within leaves causes them to fluoresce red under ultraviolet light.

From making scented candles to investigating radioactive rocks, and from making the science lab into a giant camera obscura (and making photographs from silver nitrate solution) to investigating the properties of bone (and what happens when they’re left in acid!), no rock (igneous or otherwise) has been left unturned in our mission to understand the Universe around us. The first half term’s competition on investigating how to power London’s energy usage using hamsters(!) was won by Kiana and Marusia (Second Year) and I am looking forward to judging the new competition’s entries on medical heroes and villains.

Watching ‘For All Mankind’ as an additional after-school session was a special moment, showing our awe-struck members the amazing footage collected on the Apollo missions to the Moon. Next term, we await more exciting hands-on science: expect sessions on forensic chemistry, extracting DNA and magnetic fluids!

Dr Scott

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