More than 4,000 pupils from 22 schools across South Gloucestershire learned about the impact of human activity on the environment during a virtual school science day and experiments organised by the council.
Integra, the part of the council that provides a range of support services to many schools in South Gloucestershire, teamed up with the Primary Science Teaching Trust to run the third online pupil science day. The theme this year was ‘Science around our school’, and online learning was bolstered by some hands-on exploration.
The children took part in experiments to highlight the challenges birds face finding food for their chicks, considering the impacts of noise pollution, and were taught about how important gardens and open spaces can be in creating natural habitats.
Pupils in Early Years and KS1 were tasked with building nests that could withstand all types of weather. They had great fun testing them out, simulating rain with watering cans, wafted card to make wind and even managed to recreate a snow shower.
Pupils in Years 3 and 4 explored noise and made their own seismometers. There were plenty of opportunities to test them out around the school, measuring the noise levels of dancing, drumming, singing and shouting – all in the name of science!
Pupils in Years 5 and 6 investigated Charles Darwin’s worm experiments, digging for wriggly creatures around the school grounds, classifying them and recording their results in pie charts. The largest worm recorded on the day was over 25cm. Children then conducted a ‘Worm Watch’ in the afternoon, which offered a worm’s eye view of the important role they play in our ecosystem.
Councillor Erica Williams, Cabinet Member with responsibility for schools in South Gloucestershire, visited St Michael’s CofE Primary School in Winterbourne, where she joined in with the experiments with pupils. She said: “It’s fantastic to be able to put on days like these for our children. It is always a real pleasure spending time in schools, seeing how engaged they are with their studies.
“We want to see standards in South Gloucestershire schools continue to improve and we are seeing that happen, with real benefits when we work together.
“At St Michael’s, I was able to talk to pupils and teachers to hear first-hand how we the Council are supporting their learning and what more we can be doing.
“It’s also so important that we’re doing all we can to teach future generations about the little things we can all do to help tackle the climate emergency and nature crisis we face.”
Pupils are already looking forward to the next Science Day, which will take place on 8 December.