By Teo Bulichi (Year 3, MPhys Astrophysics)
Although the summer break has started for most university students, primary school children are still engaged in lots of online science experiments thanks to the Physics Outreach Team. We are indeed still running weekly STEM sessions with a primary school we have been working with continuously since last year.
Here we will share with you an example of a typical experiment we run during such sessions. This particular experiment was led by year 3 student Annabelle Avery, and can be easy to be done at home.
The materials needed include a 9V battery, sticky tac/blu tack, steel screws, magnesium salt mix, pH indicator strips, a petri dish and water. The experimental set-up can be seen in the picture and all the children involved managed to create it without difficulties, despite the lack of in-person support from the Physics Outreach Team volunteers.
The pupils managed to notice how electrolysis happens and showed a great enthusiasm. The Physics Outreach Team members were pleased to see that the children understood very quickly how the electricity is conducted in the solution in the petri dish, how dissolved salt facilitates the process, and how water molecules split due to this phenomenon. The children were also able to see the change in colour of the pH paper – blue for the negative electrode and red for the positive one.
This experiment was one of the best received, even though it involves aspects of complex science. Everyone remained engaged throughout the experiment and managed to gain a great insight into the physical phenomena behind this simple and fun set-up!
Learn more about the Physics Outreach Team
If you are interested in being involved in the School’s Physics Outreach Team, contact Dr JC Denis: Jean-Christophe Denis
Read more about work of the Physics Outreach Team: Physics Outreach Team