Skip to content ↓

Cambridge Science Centre visit Junior School Fitzwilliam Building

Published on 13/07/22

We were privileged to welcome Mario Satchwell and Katy Roper from the Cambridge Science Centre, to present a show to our Year 5 pupils, titled “Join the Crew”.

The theme was how we can use our understanding of forces to get into space and how forces affect how we live and work in that most extreme of environments. This was the perfect way to round off this term’s Year 5 Science topic, ‘Forces in Action’, in which the children have been learning about a wide range of forces and, more recently, how we can use simple machines to multiply the amount of force we can generate, thus making tasks easier.Cambridge Science Centre visit Junior School Fitzwilliam Building

This was a very interactive show, with plenty of opportunities for pupils (and, in one case, a teacher!) to take part in the demonstrations, many of which were literally ‘whizz-bang”, including a large plastic bottle rocket propelled by a mini explosion and air being violently compressed in a transparent stick, igniting the gas inside. Newton’s three laws of motion, essential knowledge for any space traveller, were vividly demonstrated in an imaginative variety of ways, including riding on a large disk, propelled on a cushion of air, and letting an inflated balloon fly across the room as the air escapes from it.Cambridge Science Centre visit Stephen Perse

A particular favourite with the audience was the practicalities of living in space, especially coping with microgravity and the absence of air pressure outside the spacecraft. The children learned that many of the things we take for granted here on Earth can present astronauts with huge problems, such as how do you eat and drink without bits of your meal and refreshment just floating away? The issue of how you go to the toilet in space caused predictable mirth, as illustrated by a mini vacuum cleaner, bubble mix and a fake ‘poo’!

All in all, a highly enjoyable presentation, and we are extremely grateful to the Cambridge Science Centre for coming out to inspire our young physicists, who may include some astronauts and space scientists of the future!