A sixth former from Abingdon School is encouraging youngsters to explore science by running an after school club at St Edmund’s Primary School in Abingdon.
Carl Olavesen, who is 17 and from Farmoor, said, “Science is a fun activity that everyone can do, it doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s great to take a look at everyday things from a scientific perspective. The children really enjoy the practical activities.
Carl continues, “I was nervous at first as I didn’t know what to expect but it’s been fun for me as well, the children are really keen and they really want to learn.”
Fay O'Brien, who is the Science Leader at St Edmund's welcomed the opportunity to run the Science Club, she said, “Carl has made a positive impact on science at the school; the club is very popular with boys and girls. It helps children to make links between scientific concepts and real life by enabling them to participate in practical projects which run over a few weeks. They are able to be the investigators and to develop important problem solving skills.”
Last term the club looked at a project to build houses that can withstand flooding, based on the ‘Practical Action’ initiative. The children learnt about the scientific principles involved and built models using real world material: Straws represented bamboo, tin foil - steel, lolly sticks - wood etc. The costs of materials had to be taken into account and students learnt about the causes of flooding and places most at risk.
Carl said, “The children remind me of myself at that age when you realise that science opens up a completely different world and you just want to find out more.”
Carl is hoping to go on to teach science and maths in Zambia during his gap year before, A level results permitting, he takes up a place at Oxford University to study Chemistry.
The after school club is made possible by, and is just one of the initiatives of, the Ogden Trust Abingdon Primary Science Partnership of which St Edmund's is a member along with four other Abingdon primary schools.