Scientific Adventure for Primary School

Mark Warren and Catherine Harrison write …

On 11th June, Penguins class (years 5/6) at Long Wittenham CE School recently made history as the first primary school class to tour Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron facility and then made history all over again by being the first primary school to tour the Satellite Applications Catapult which supports the UK space industry.

The visit offered an educational adventure on many scales – the children zoomed in to see objects visible to the naked eye, objects observable only with a microscope, and then down to the atomic level with the help of a synchrotron.   Then they zoomed out to see the globe as viewed from a satellite and all the information this tells us about how our earth is functioning and how well we are looking after it.

During the tours, the children visited the synchrotron’s inner workings.  They observed the powerful magnets used to accelerate electrons to near light speeds, the application of liquid nitrogen, the functionality of high-power lasers, and the operation of robotic systems.  Highlights included imaging a fly using electrons and hearing about all the different people involved in putting a satellite into space.

The scientists leading the tours were particularly impressed by the children’s imaginative questions, enthusiasm, and their quick grasp of challenging ideas.  This experience not only showcased the wonders of advanced scientific research and technology but also highlighted the curiosity and potential of young minds when exposed to the frontiers of science!

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One Response to Scientific Adventure for Primary School

  1. Sally Duff says:

    What a fantastic opportunity & experience for young enquiring minds.
    Congratulations to all that made this visit possible.

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