Last term the S1 pupils went on a school visit to the Glasgow Science Centre and I was invited to accompany them as a senior pupil helper. When we arrived, first on the agenda was a scientific show entitled “Fantastic Forces”. The show focused on the forces that are found around us in our daily life; gravity, thrust and air resistance. To demonstrate the effects of air resistance the presenter handed out balloons to show how the release of the air resulted in the balloon taking flight and whizzing around the room. This resulted in some laughs and giggles as the noise of 20 balloons letting out air filled the room!
After the show the pupils were let loose to explore the first floor where the optical illusions and space exhibitions were being displayed. As they walked around, they were able to explore the way in which our eyes perceive different things from different angles. There was a huge variety of exhibits on this floor, from the simple trick of the eye illusions to how our earth relies on gravity to stay in orbit. Then it was time for lunch, allowing everyone to ‘fuel up’ for the rest of the day ahead.
The Glasgow Science Centre is home to Scotland’s biggest IMAX cinema screen and this was our first stop after lunch. It was a real treat to watch a film on this massive screen and we learned about the effects that global warming is having on our ice caps and how this is affecting the polar bears that inhabit this environment. With the cinema’s high definition screen and realistic picture, it is no surprise that there were a few jumps and squeals when the ice appeared to be flying out of the screen! Despite being totally focused on the film, you couldn’t help but to look around and see the reaction of the audience during one scene where a mother bear had to defend her helpless cubs.
Pupils then got the chance to explore all other areas of the Science Centre. The top floor, ‘Bodyworks’ was filled with interactive games that got not only your mind, but also your body working. These games allowed pupils to physically see the effect that doing/not doing certain things can have on our body. However, it was not only the pupils who were participating as, along with them, there were teachers giving the interactive games a go; from Mr Harrison testing his reflex skills to Mr Lees trying to summon the force to move a ball with only his brainwaves.
The second floor consisted of more physics and engineering based exhibits, with circuits and building blocks which practically invited you to play with them. One of the exhibits that attracted the most students on the second floor was the air cubical: a vertical cylinder which blasted air from all around you. Apparently six pupils can all fit in it at one time, who would have thought?
Overall the whole day was a success at both educating and entertaining the young minds of the S1 pupils on the trip, hopefully inspiring a whole new generation of scientists.