Hastings children take hands-on approach to science

Teacher  Mandy Hinxman pictured with some of the children that have taken part in a science contest at ARK Little Ridge Primary Academy, Hastings. SUS-150630-093811001
Teacher Mandy Hinxman pictured with some of the children that have taken part in a science contest at ARK Little Ridge Primary Academy, Hastings. SUS-150630-093811001

Students have been given a more hands-on approach to learning about science.

Bicarbonate of soda and vinegar volcanoes and the fiery Whoosh Bottle experiment have helped lessons go with a bang at Ark Little Ridge Primary Academy.

The academy, in Little Ridge Avenue, Hastings, was the first in Sussex to trial a project run by the Empiribox Primary Science Trust, which offers practical science lessons every week of the year.

Teacher Mandy Hinxman said the pupils had been “very excited” to be able to take part in experiments.

She added: “It’s a practical approach to science so children are more used to handling the equipment so when they go to secondary school it’s not such a shock.”

The Whoosh Bottle experiment showed pupils how some vapours reacted when ignited in an enclosed space – something which impressed them all while teaching them the importance of lab safety.

Empiribox staff spent time training the teachers and jogging their memories about science lessons from their own school days.

Mrs Hinxman said: “It’s really useful. The more training we’re doing the more we realise we do remember it all. It’s revisiting those things that we learned at school.”

The academy has signed up for a second year with Empiribox and is examining the progress made by the pupils.

One influence which has already made itself known is the enthusiasm of girls for the science lessons.

Mrs Hinxman acknowledged the shortage of women who take up careers in the science world and added: “This will definitely help because the girls are a lot more engaged in science. The boys can see and the girls can see, well Mrs Hinxman is doing this and she’s a girl! Through their own experience, the hope is that spark will ignite so they can see that science is fun, science is for girls.”

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