Enthusiasm was contagious when Marion Catholic Primary School Horsley Park opened its Super Science Day with a bang.
Flaming bubbles and elephant’s toothpaste – a fizzing, hazy chemical reaction using hydrogen peroxide and potassium permanganate – set the tone for a full day of experiments on October 21 which aimed to inspire a love of Science in students and further classroom work on scientific process.
Pupils from Kindergarten to Year 6 worked in mixed-grade groups on science activities. They made lava lamps, seismographs, fossils and slime, and learned about inertia and energy transference with marshmallow rockets.
About 20 parent volunteers helped supervise the activities and donated many of the low-cost materials for the day’s experiments. Students were given safety goggles and show bags of take home experiments.
Science is not just something we do at school, but something we can take throughout our whole lives.
Science coordinator Michelle Muscat said students were grouped according to different areas of Science “to give them awareness that scientists are more than just chemists doing crazy experiments”. An afternoon assembly presentation on living things meant all areas of the primary school science curriculum were covered on the day.
“We had paleontologists, geologists, chemists, seismologists, meteorologists,” she said. “They hear the weather every morning but don’t see that there’s a whole science behind that.
“Parents were very generous in offering their time and support and donations to help this day go ahead.”
Ms Muscat said the students had been very inquisitive in the lead-up to the day, researching and asking questions.
“My Year 2 students just love Science and it’s one of those subjects that sometimes get pushed a bit to the side because of other priorities,” she said. “I really wanted to get all our students excited about Science because it’s so practical and useful in the real world.
“I think this will be something that they always remember, and really make them think that Science is not just something we do at school but something we can take throughout our whole lives.”
They’re learning without realising it and they’re having fun.
Year 1 student Johnson Tsakirakis described the day as ‘cool’. “I used a tablet, food colouring and some water to make a lava lamp,” he said.
Year 3 student Damian Borg sad he enjoyed making a lava lamp and the motion experiments.
“The marshmallow rockets were my favourite,” he said. “I nearly got the marshmallow in the bucket. I’ve been trying really hard. I think it was more about moving science.
“The sound swing was good too because it really makes a weird noise if you listen to it.”
Parent volunteer Nicole Azzopardi helped to organise the day.
“My eldest son absolutely loves Science,” she said. “He had a birthday party where the CSIRO came out and did all different things, and I thought maybe we could do a similar hands-on experience for the kids. We’ve also put together take-home packs so at the end of the day there are science experiments for them to do at home.
“Being a smaller school we’re able to do these things. Here you have awesome supportive teachers who do a lot of unpaid hours to make things like this possible.
“I love watching the kids – they’re learning without realising it and they’re having fun. As a mum, that’s the best thing to see.”