News & Events

Celebrating British Science Week at Glendower Prep School

2024-03-04

British Science Week, commencing on the 8th of March, marks a significant occasion for fostering scientific curiosity and innovation. At Glendower Prep School, we are delighted to embrace this celebration with a myriad of engaging activities tailored to inspire our young learners.

To kickstart the week, our esteemed Head of Science, Ms. Helena Ross, will commence proceedings with a thought-provoking assembly. This year, the overarching theme of British Science Week revolves around the concept of “Time”. Ms. Ross will delve into the intricacies of this theme, offering insights and perspectives that encourage our students to explore how Time relates to their everyday life as well as science in the lab.

In addition to our array of activities, Glendower Prep School will be running the poster competition as part of our British Science Week festivities. Every girl within our school community is encouraged to participate, regardless of age, fostering inclusivity and promoting creativity across all year groups, from our youngest learners to the seasoned veterans of Year Six. The five most outstanding entries, representing the very best of our school’s talent, will be chosen to proudly showcase in the prestigious British Science Week competition. This opportunity not only celebrates the artistic flair and scientific imagination of our students but also reinforces the importance of collaboration and excellence in our pursuit of scientific knowledge.

As part of our enriching British Science Week program, Glendower Prep School eagerly anticipates the visit of a STEM ambassador who will engage with our Year Six students. A seasoned engineer, she will grace us with her expertise, dedicating an hour and a half to enlighten our students on the pathways into the field of engineering. Through an insightful presentation, she will demystify the journey towards a career in engineering, elucidating the requisite skills and qualifications. Following this informative session, our students will have the opportunity to put theory into practice through hands-on building activities. Collaborating in teams, they will embark on the challenge of constructing towers and bridges, applying the principles imparted by our esteemed guest. This immersive experience promises to ignite the passion for engineering within our students, inspiring them to pursue their aspirations with confidence and determination.

Within our curriculum during British Science Week, a variety of engaging activities await our students, designed to cultivate curiosity and foster a deeper understanding of scientific concepts. In our lessons, students will partake in a stimulating quiz, organised into house teams, focusing on topics related to time and its intersection with science and mathematics. From the number of seconds in a minute to exploring the celestial mechanics governing our calendar, students will embark on a journey of discovery, blending scientific inquiry with mathematical precision. Moreover, Year Three and Five students will delve into the realm of experimentation, investigating the factors influencing the oscillation period of a pendulum. By altering variables such as drop height, string length, and mass, students will engage in hands-on exploration, honing their skills of observation, experimentation, and analysis. Through these meticulously crafted lessons, we aim to instil a lifelong passion for scientific inquiry while empowering our students to become adept problem-solvers and critical thinkers.

The culminating events of British Science Week at Glendower Prep School promise to be nothing short of extraordinary. On Friday, Year Four students will embark on an immersive journey into the world of STEM at the Natural History Museum, indulging in the creativity and ingenuity of LEGO STEM workshops, curated to inspire their scientific minds. Meanwhile, the afternoon heralds the eagerly awaited Science Fair, a grand finale to a week filled with exploration and discovery. For our Year Five and Six students, who have been diligently preparing since December, this event is the pinnacle of their scientific endeavours. Tasked with creating stalls on topics of their choosing, they demonstrate their autonomy and passion for scientific inquiry. While participation is voluntary, the commitment and enthusiasm displayed by our students are palpable as they engage in thorough investigations, methodically documenting their findings and presenting them with clarity and precision. As the fair unfolds, excitement permeates the air, drawing in not only fellow students but also parents and esteemed judges from institutions such as the City of London and Francis Holland. Together, we celebrate the triumphs of scientific curiosity and innovation, fostering a community of lifelong learners who embrace the wonders of science with zeal and determination.

The emphasis on fostering a solid foundation in scientific investigation is a cornerstone of Glendower Prep School’s approach to education. One of the principal objectives for students upon leaving is to imbue them with the requisite skills and methodologies for conducting rigorous scientific inquiries. Throughout their journey at the school, a concerted effort is made to instil in them the importance of formulating predictions, establishing aims, and meticulously documenting their findings. From Year Three onwards, students are introduced to structured templates that delineate the various components of an investigation. As they progress through the years, the complexity of these investigations evolves, with the introduction of multiple variables and a deeper understanding of concepts such as independent and dependent variables. By consistently reinforcing these principles, the school ensures that students depart with not only a wealth of scientific knowledge but also with the confidence and capability to navigate the intricacies of scientific inquiry in their future endeavours.

Promoting the excitement and inclusivity of science, particularly for girls, is a key focus at Glendower Prep School, especially as we marked International Women’s Day last week. To celebrate the occasion Year Four and Five students were assigned the task of creating posters highlighting female scientists. These scientists need not be famous figures; they could be someone within their own families, reinforcing the notion that science knows no boundaries. The enthusiasm among the students is palpable as they eagerly discuss their choices, realising that scientists come in all forms, not just those clad in white coats. Additionally, our Year Six students have been delving into the stories of remarkable female scientists such as Mary Anning, igniting their curiosity and admiration for these trailblazing women. We strive to inspire our students to recognize their own potential and to envision themselves as the scientists and innovators of tomorrow, and come to see that “Scientists” are not just “men in coats”, but that the possibility of a career in Science is just as open to them as anyone.

A big thank you to Ms Ross for putting on such an exciting week for the girls! Ms Ross herself has been at Glendower for 4 years now, having initially trained as a Secondary Chemistry teacher. Her love for working with children in the Prep years brought her to the younger age group, but she still admits she is surprised at just how advanced some of the content is that the older pupils can understand and the questions that they ask. 

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