Students from two of our Trust Primary Schools visited Brooke Weston to take part in exciting chemistry experiments that ended with them making bath bombs. The students, from Beanfield Primary School and Oakley Vale Primary School, were accompanied by their teachers and the session was led by Mrs Hegarty from Brooke Weston. The students saw practical examples of exothermic and endothermic reactions that release and absorb heat energy respectively. Examples included pouring hydrogen peroxide onto a piece of liver. The liquid rapidly foams due to the action of the enzyme catalase. Others included igniting magnesium powder and producing a luminescent liquid by combining two chemicals.
She said: The aim of the session was to introduce the students to the idea of energy changes, chemical reactions and new terminology and mainly to enthuse them about chemistry because generally there are limited opportunities to experience chemistry at primary level.
‘The students were responsive and very mature in their approach. One stand-out experiment was the oxidation of luminol. There are two solutions, one clear, one turquoise, you switch the lights off, poured them in together and they gave off this gorgeous pale blue light and the students actually went ‘wow!’ Exothermic is where you get an increase in temperature due to a release of heat into the surrounding environment and endothermic is where you are taking in heat from the surrounding environment so you see a decrease in temperature. They loved the liver with the hydrogen peroxide because it was like something from Harry Potter. They loved the fireworks as well which is magnesium powder in a flame which gives lots of sparkles. They seemed to enjoy what they did and many of them produced a bath bomb which they took away with them.'
Further sessions are planned with our Trust primaries, including Gretton and, by the end of this round of training, at least 90 Year 6 students will have taken part in the scheme.