Bradfield College Science Competition
Before anything else, I would like to point out what an inspirational and memorable experience this has been. I came back with a huge smile on my face, and I am sure my teammates did too. I was so impressed when I saw that the school had 15 science lab rooms! I thoroughly enjoyed working inside three of them, and I couldn’t have enjoyed the tasks more! We first did Chemistry, then we did Biology, and then we did Physics. I will now talk you through what we did in all these different periods…
A large handful of chemical reactions produce heat, such as elephant’s toothpaste. However, we did an experiment that produced quite the the opposite! It cooled liquids down. We used citric acid (a compound found in some everyday foods, such as limes, oranges, and lemons) and another chemical named sodium hydrogen carbonate. When we mixed the two reactants together, they immediately started fizzing up! It started to cool down after it stopped fizzing. For us the experiment worked very well! We carried it out multiple times, each with different amounts of sodium hydrogen carbonate, but for our best try, the citric acid started off as 21°C, and when the sodium hydrogen carbonate was added (three small scoops, in this case), it went down to just 5°C!
After chemistry, we did a biology experiment. We had two tasks to do: We had three microscopes, each with a slide on them. The slides showed cells from different types of leaves. We had to guess, looking at the slides, whether the leaves came from hot conditions, UK conditions, or wet conditions. Then we had to suggest how they could have adapted to those conditions to help them survive. For this experiment, we had a tube full of maggots (not very appealing!) and we gave them food to eat. We had to observe them eat the food, and also did an experiment to see whether they liked light or dark more.
I reckon physics was my favourite part of the challenge. For this, the physics teacher showed us a sound speaker – however the sound wasn’t very loud. He wanted us to create a device to increase the volume of the speaker. We also then decorated the speaker. After the competition, we all came together outside where the director of science did a chemistry demonstration including some fun explosions, indicators to change the colour of liquids, and a gigantic elephants’ toothpaste! Before I finish, I would like to thank Mrs Rowlands, my Y4 science teacher, Dr Leslie, the Head of Science, Mrs Smith, my current science teacher, Mr Wood, for driving me to the competition and for providing some much-needed support, and my teammates, Luke , Harris Lafferty, and Connor Batchelor, for excellent collaboration. All of you, thank you so much. Sebastian Shelton Y5
Sebastian Shelton, Year 5