The Green Light for Science at At-Bristol Science Centre

Date Posted: 24/04/2015

At-Bristol is a hands-on science centre and an educational charity with a mission to make science accessible to all. The centre attracts 60,000 school visitors each year, encouraging pupils to see Science as enjoyable, relevant and something they can all be part of.

At-Bristol offers schools’ workshops and exhibitions, science and planetarium shows and special theme days linking to the National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 to 4. Detailed information on the learning objectives, curriculum links, workshop or show content and potential hazards are available to be viewed before the visit online. 

High on fun, high on learning

The workshops and theme days are designed to combine direct experience with developing a deeper learning, supporting and complementing the curriculum to build the enthusiasm and confidence that enables students to succeed. They take place in dedicated learning rooms and labs to offer experiences that can’t easily be achieved in school.

The green light for Science

With Bristol as the European Green Capital for 2015 and it also being UNESCO’s International Year of Light, At-Bristol Science Centre has combined the two to offer a Green Light programme of events for 2015 and beyond, looking to raise awareness and engagement with local and global issues.

In September, At-Bristol is launching System Earth: a hands-on, fun and positive look at climate change to allow pupils to explore the core issues of caring for the natural environment – the Science, the causes and the consequences. Different combinations of engaging activities will cater for students in Key Stages 1 to 4, and will cover not just Science but also Geography, Citizenship and Maths.

Activities will include:

Stuff and non-science:

This workshop will provide an introduction to scientific method. Students can test their own ‘extra sensory’ abilities to predict Zener cards before they appear on a screen, and relate this to how we perceive evidence and how this might relate to big scientific topics of the day such as climate change.

Blue marvel:

A 3D fly-through of the cosmos in the newly redeveloped planetarium will allow pupils to look at the earth and consider its wonders and the challenges facing us all.

Greenhouse earth:

Here students will recreate the earth’s atmosphere and measure the effect of changing the amount of carbon dioxide.

The hot spot:

Students will make mini ‘solar flowers’ that demonstrate how the sun’s heat energy can be concentrated – and then try to cook some food in a big, silver, solar cooker.

Catching the sun:

Students will answer the question – what would happen if humans were literally green? Could we make all our own food? By removing and measuring the size of skins from life-sized model animals (tigers, dogs, rabbits, humans and mice) they can work out how much energy can be captured and also lost, before putting on green suits and adding additional surface area so that we can make enough of our own food. They’ll end up looking like a tree!

Walking with minibeasts:

Children use real insect specimens and follow a path to sort them into groups and learn about the biodiverse world of insects.

Let there be light:

A steam generator is used to make a bulb light before students take on the role of different energy sources and provide the energy to run a mini version of the national grid. A very practical way to consider the pros and cons of different sources of energy – from solar to coal to nuclear.

For more information on System Earth and for other school workshops and activities visit www.at-bristol.org.uk/education.html.

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