Sparking pupils' interest in science
FVC science team inspire pupils to save the planet
A science team from Forth Valley College used their expertise to introduce a class of primary seven pupils to science and engineering experiments recently.
Shieldhill Primary School in Falkirk was the venue on Thursday 21 February and volunteers from FVC’s Engineering and Science Department as well as some NPA Early Years (Department of Care, Sport and Construction) students helped inspire the youngsters throughout the day.
Based on the ‘Moodle STEM’ (Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering) course the pupils had enrolled previously, they followed the story of the ‘Famous Four’ to ‘save the planet’.
During the day’s hands-on workshops pupils were challenged to find the best way to keep the warmth in houses, explore if solar panels work on a cloudy day and how to build a storm-proof, weight bearing bridge to name a few. To set the day off to an exciting start, Science Lecturer Kerstin Doig and Engineering Technician Ross McGeever carried out some demonstrations on energy and electricity including generating static electricity, creating Star Wars style light sabres and showing how electricity can be conducted.
Kerstin, said: “We were delighted to come along to Shieldhill Primary School and introduce them to the world of STEM with some wow experiments they might not have the equipment and knowledge to carry out themselves. Through some basic, but fun experiments the pupils seemed to enjoy themselves and at the same time learn a lot from the workshops and the interaction with our college students. I know for a fact that experience like this really benefits our students too as they are learning how to communicate science to different age groups, so it is a win, win for everyone.”
Shieldhill Primary School teacher Isla Dyer, said: “The pupils all thoroughly enjoyed taking part in experiments that they would not otherwise have been able to experience. The children are looking forward to transferring their knowledge and skills into their everyday lives. For example they enjoyed exploring how to keep heat within a house using a variety of materials, this will hopefully enable them to save money on energy bills when they are adults.
“The pupils now understand how wind turbines operate and the fact they are controlled from a hand held tablet on the ground, surprised the majority of them. Whilst making their bridges or shelters the pupils had to build on their communication skills to ensure they got the best end result possible. This was a valuable day for the pupils and myself to gain insight into a variety of STEM activities.”