On April 29th, Laxton Junior School in Oundle held their biennial Science Fair, with every child in the school participating. The school Hall was full to bursting with enthusiastic children eager to explain their investigations to visitors.
Reception children proudly presented their work on colour mixing, for which they had done lots of different experiments involving coloured paints, liquids and lights. Year 1 were experts on Floating and Sinking, and Year 2 created a buzz with their electric circuits which included lights, buzzers and motors.
The Junior children had all performed an investigation of their own choosing and the variety of topics was enormous, highlighting the wide range of pupils' interests. The effects of different pressures in tyres, the difference in the sensitivity of skin on your fingers compared to your arm or leg, differing amounts of yeast and soda in baking, and who goes fastest down a zipwire were all investigated. Magnets were heated and cooled to test their effectiveness, bones were soaked in vinegar, and the fur and hair from different animals, including zebras and camels, was examined under a microscope.
Millie Hamilton-Charlton and Felicity Mansergh, both in Year 4, used an app to investigate the loudness of different sounds and researched the level at which damage is caused to the ears. Their interest in decibel levels arose because Felicity's Granddad was a gunner during WWII and his hearing was affected permanently.
The Judges had a hard time deciding the winners, but in the end the Best of Fair award went to an investigation into dunking biscuits! Year 6 pupils Brandon Ingle, Florian Martin and Marcus Raudnitz tested a wide range of biscuits and came to the conclusion that the best type for dunking was Rich Tea, because it held its shape best and did not just disintegrate into the drink! As well as including lots of good Science, their project was beautifully presented, and very popular because they were giving away free samples!
During the morning, a 3D printer on loan to the school courtesy of Mrs Louise Haidar of Eximgo in Oundle, printed a whistle and a model of a racing car, provoking much excitement and discussion. A model of the soon-to-be-built SciTec Campus at Oundle School was also on display. Once completed, the school will be one of the first in the country to have a dedicated STEM campus for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. The children of Laxton Junior visit SciTec regularly, where they get to meet a variety of exotic animals, see some explosive Chemistry demonstrations, try their hand at making hydrogen themselves, and even dissect eyeballs!
Overall, the Science Fair was a roaring success, enjoyed by pupils, staff and visitors alike. Mr Mark Potter, Head of Laxton Junior, complimented the children on their ingenuity and scientific understanding, as well as their excellent presentation skills. The level of interest and competence that the children displayed reflects the importance that Oundle School attaches to Science from the very earliest years right through to university entrance.
Background Information Laxton Junior School
Laxton Junior School is an independent co-educational day school. It is situated near Peterborough, about eighty miles north of London, in the small and attractive, quintessentially English market town of Oundle.
Oundle has many ancient buildings, intriguing alleyways, ancient inns and one of the finest churches in the Midlands; the beautiful church of St. Peter, whose tower and spire form a conspicuous landmark for miles.
The aim of Laxton Junior School is to provide the best possible preparatory education in the area, where pupils' strengths and weaknesses are recognised and nurtured, in order for them to begin to fulfil their potential as young learners.
Laxton Junior offers a wide variety of extra-curricular activities, where pupils are encouraged to express themselves through sports and hobbies. It is acknowledged that the importance of play cannot be stressed enough and is a vital component to a rounded education, complementing the teaching and learning that occurs within the classroom.