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Science Week 2017

APS celebrates British Science week 2017

This possibly would be better titled ‘Science Month’ as we have had events running from the end of February right up to the beginning of the Easter holiday with the British science week being slap bang in the middle from 13th-17th of March.

We started with a BAE/Royal Navy robotics show for the whole of Y7 on Monday 27th Feb. There have been trips to the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham for Y7&Y9, GCSE Science Live, with talks from illustrious scientists such as Jim al Khalili, Robert Winston and Andrea Sella.  Y10s & Y12s have benefited from both Physics in Action and Biology in Action trips.  We have had the Living Egg project with chicks hatching and growing with us for 2 weeks, the animal man has been in school for 2 days with his veritable zoo of reptiles, mammals and creepy crawlies.  Our Y9s had a science exam during Science Week; we rewarded their hard work with an explosive chemistry show from Dr Sydlo on Monday 20th of March.

Science Week itself was action-packed with science themed lessons happening across all subjects and multiple events every lunchtime and each day after school.  I knew it was going to be a good week when on Monday at 3.15pm I saw 150+ students rapidly heading for S20 to get involved in ice cream making!  We squeezed the first 40 in, I hope everyone who was keen to get involved but couldn’t quite fit in enjoyed at least one other event during the week.

Other highlights included the inaugural APS Fruit Drop where a range of fruit, including watermelons, were dropped from the 3rd floor and the data used to calculate the acceleration of freefall on earth.  Y8 student Charlie Maunders's gases and group one metals demonstrations; his understanding of the chemistry he demonstrates is truly impressive and of course the 16th annual APS Shark Lecture, where almost 100 students squeezed into our biggest teaching room to see Mr Nicholls whistle stp tour of UK sharks.

Thanks to all the science teachers and technicians that made this possible, also to Mr Danby and DT for spreading extracurricular science week events across the school with his Marble Run Challenge after school on Thursday.

We have squeezed a little more out of this month of science with our Easter community lecture, ‘The making of the Shard’ on the 28th of March and our 80 degrees below dry ice session which was postponed during Science Week due to a failed delivery of dry ice happening on the 29th.

Finally, Celia Warre and Veselin Velkov are with Mr Marshall in Poland for the final week of term as part of our all-expenses paid Erasmus+ project looking at fusion energy – more about that in the next edition!

Below are a selection of comments and pictures from science ‘week’ trips and events.

BAE, RAF & Royal navy – robotics roadshow

On the wet afternoon of Monday 27th February the whole of year seven were treated to an exciting science and engineering show looking at how we engineer, make and code robots to help deal with dangerous and difficult situations.

Students comments

I thought it was very interesting and entertaining. I thought everyone liked it when the robot and the drones were used. It was good fun.León 7X
I thought it was fun and exciting - I would do it again! It was interesting to see how drones operate and work. I liked the part when Maya was doing Tai Chi.  That was really entertaining and funny and I really enjoyed it very much! Eila 7L
Big Bang Fair feedback - 2017
Everyone at the stands were really engaging and were excited to hear my ideas on the future of STEM. Rosa
I liked the Virtual Reality activities. It was great to round to go to different stands and learn new things with my friends. Lexie
I liked the Heavy Metal Marine Biology talk and all the fun activities around Isabela
It was a great day. There were brilliant and interesting stands, experiments and shows - all funny, engaging and educational. We got to try out different equipment, pet ferrets and got some really helpful information on science. I even made new friends with the same interests as me! Other students

GCSE Science live

Very interesting, entertaining and overall a fantastic experience.
The lecturers were very good and knew their area of science really well.
Very informative about the exam and how to do better on it.
Robert Winston was funny, but so inspiring and interesting.
Andreas Sella was really cool – it was fantastic that there were brilliant inspiring women scientists who are experts in their fields. Comments from Students

Science week Comments

Ice cream making

It was very fun and tasty because we got ice cream on the first try. Husein Hassan 7X
It was a very fun event and it was great how we got instant ice cream! Lara Forkan 7X
Mr Danby's marble run session
It was very fun and interesting I liked it a lotGergana 7X
Science Week Overall Student Comments
During science week I went to the instant ice cream session and it was really cool to make. I also went to the 16th annual shark lecture, which was really good and interesting; I loved learning about all the different sharks and facts! Science week was really fun! Edie
During science week I went to the animal man. I liked it because we got to learn about the animals and hold them. It was really fun. I also went to the shark talk; it was really interesting and I got to learn about different species of shark for example Great White sharks are coming to the u.k. We also got a small fossil shark tooth. Maila

Science Week 2017 Parents comments

Dear Mr Bragoli,
I would be grateful if you could pass my thanks to all those involved in putting together and delivering Science Week. The schedule was wonderful with interesting opportunities for all.
A school that offers 'The 16th APS Annual Shark Lecture' is one I am delighted to send my child to!
With all best wishes Susie Holden
Hello Everyone
I just wanted to thank you all (& I’m sure a lot of other staff) for an amazing Science Week which Eva got so much from. Admittedly, it was mainly to do with the no legged, 2 legged, 4 legged & 8 legged creatures she got to handle and find out about. She came home every day so excited about all the things she had learnt about rhinos, tarantulas, sharks, chinchillas, bearded dragons and many other things! She also ‘faced her fear of spiders’ getting the chance to hold Princess a number of times & loved looking after the chicks and watching them hatch and grow so thank you on behalf of Eva for such a brilliant week at school! Jenny Hansford
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Science Week 2017 - an article for BBC Schools report 2017

Science week is a yearly event that Alexandra Park School takes part in every year.  It is a great opportunity for students to learn about science whilst having fun too.

There were many events throughout the week, of which some I was able to take pictures of.

Monday - 'Minibeasts'

In this activity, we were investigating the effects of alcohol, caffeine and glucose on water fleas.  It was very interesting as you could see the microscopic life forms very clearly through the microscope, and the results were very interesting.

sci wk 01sci wk 02

Tuesday - Chemistry special

In the chemistry special, we did two activities.  The first was growing a chemical garden.  To do this we dropped different substances intto a clear substance and they grew into fascinating formations right before our eyes.  The second activity was called 'rainbow titration'.  By pouring different substances into the tube, an amazing rainbow slowly formed.

sci wk 03bsci wk 04c

By Helen Brookes
Science Week took place nationally from 10th - 19th March.  Read more about Science Week at APS here.

Spring chickens are hatching at APS

Susanne De Sena from year 12 writes...

After winning the Jack Petchey award, I decided to use the money given to us by the Jack Petchey foundation to fund a chicken project with the students at APS.  The project I chose was to incubate ten fertilised chicken eggs and I looked after the chicks for two weeks with the help of a group of animal lovers from key stage 3 and key stage 4.

After incubation, 8 of the eggs hatched perfectly healthily but one sadly died.  The other chick had to be removed from its shell by the talented technician, Mr. Davies and Ms. David, honorary midwifes, after some traumatic first moments of life.  We named him Rocky and he is now healthy and well integrated with the other chicks.

It was a very rewarding experience; bringing and looking after fluffy, chirping new life and seing how much joy it brought to the younger students, teachers and other people who wanted to see and hold the young chicks.

It was a great experience.  Thank you to the Jack Petchey foundation.

The entire hatching process was filmed over the course of a couple of days, and has been edited / condensed by our media technician Sam Redfearn.  Watch the hatching below.



Physics in Action day

23 Year 12 Physics students attended a Physics in Action Day at UCL.  This day consisted of a series of talks from experts in their field of research.  Our students heard from the science writer and broadcaster Simon Singh talking about the Big Bang, Andrew Steel from Cancer Research demonstrating the fascinating world of superconductivity, Lewis Darnel explaining how we could rebuild our world from scratch after an apocalypse.  After a short session on revision strategies and exam technique, Jen Gupta delivered a fascinating talk on the invisible universe and the final talk of the day was given by the wonderful Dr. Mark Lewney, who used the power of heavy metal rock music to explain the weird and wonderful world of string theory.  The students had a fantastic time and here are a selection of photographs and comments from our students.

The day was jam packed with a fantastic selection of talks on a variety of interesting topics. I found each speaker to be engaging and informative in their own right, delivering wonderful, cohesive explanations on equally thrilling subjects - rarely failing to elaborate on a particularly intriguing aspect of their talk.Tomasz  Mistela
The day held a range of interesting and intellectually extending talks about fields of physics that appear to be the solutions to the problems of the present and future. It provided an insight into the careers available to us as young physicists and has inspired me among many others to further research and pursue cutting edge areas of physics.George Burgess
The talks were very interesting and inspiring, they gave us better insight into physics beyond our textbooks.”Maya Vahidi & Mehmet  Avcil
I really enjoyed the trip and especially the talk about superconductors. I liked finding out how the maglev trains worked.Ava Mitchell
This was a very interesting trip to UCL. The man at the end was completely insane and that was pretty sweet!James Finn
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