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Centre for Life!

What a week we have had!

Year 3 and 5 have both had tremendous trips to the Centre for Life in Newcastle for their science topics this term.

On Monday, year 3 had a day packed full of excitement! We had a light workshop where we were able to experiment and test some equipment, learn more about scientist Isaac Newton and see some cool tricks too. One fact we did find was that the technical term for a rainbow is a spectrum.

On Tuesday, year 5 continued the fun with a workshop about their current topic of space.  We started our workshop by talking about how satellites are used and the importance of making sure they work properly. We were introduced to the technology used in the form of remote-controlled robotic arms and with no explanation on how to use these robots we were given instructions to remove broken satellites from the model in front of us and replace them with new ones. The children needed to use their resilience and teamwork skills to figure out how to control the robotic arms. The children preserved and were successful in replacing the satellites – the trick was remembering which control moved what!

The second part of our workshop was to investigate food eaten by astronauts and why it is different to the food we consume on Earth. The children were given three different types of strawberry to taste test. The first were fresh strawberries that we all recognised and enjoyed. The second were freeze dried strawberries that some children referred to as ‘similar to those found on certain cereals’. The final group of strawberries were called ‘dehydrated’ strawberries – there were very mixed reviews about these some words of choice to describe them included ‘chewy’, ‘stringy’, ‘rubbery’. The children then had to decide which type of strawberry would be the most appropriate to take up to space and why.

The final section of our workshop was to find out how astronauts go to the toilet in space! Our scientist for the day gave us all some astronaut ‘wee’ and talked to us about Maximum Absorbency Garments (MAGs). These garments are designed to hold a lot of the astronaut’s urine so that they can go to the toilet as and when they need to. The children were given the task of finding out how much liquid this material could hold. Adding small amounts of liquid at a time we eventually concluded that each MAG could hold up to 2 litres of liquid!!

Both year groups also had the opportunity to explore many parts of the centre including the brain, creativity and space zone. We were also one of the first schools and groups of children to explore the new wow zone and it is safe to say that there were some definite WOW moments! Not only that, but we had a visit to the planetarium and were treated to a science theatre show.

So much to fit in one day but it was a fantastic visit for both year groups! Check out the photos below: