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Year 2

S4 is currently running an intensive three-year program with over 500 young people from seven partner schools in South Wales. Each participant attends between three and six events every year on the Swansea University campus, taking part in hands-on, interactive science workshops in Bioscience, Chemistry and Physics.

In year two, participants attend five days: Sustainable Earth (autumn term 2019), Dependence on Nature (autumn term 2019), Space Day (spring term 2020), Exploring Electronics (spring term 2020) and Who are we? (summer term 2020).

Sustainable Earth

 
What is it about?

Pupils will begin the day by learning about water resource management and how we can test for contaminants in drinking water. They will then explore renewable and non-renewable energy sources by investigating the Greenhouse Effect and exploring hydrogen as a fuel source. The day will end with a series of hands-on activities all about pollution, with a focus on the environmental impact of plastics.

 

Learning objectives

Links to Science in the National curriculum for Wales (KS3)

  • How human activity affects the global environment, e.g. acid rain, greenhouse effect, and the measures taken to minimise any negative effects and monitor them
  • Technologies under development 
  • The properties of sustainable materials and how these are related to their uses in everyday life and the importance of sustainability

 

What will participants learn?

Physics

Living sustainably is vital for life on Earth. Pupils will learn about the Greenhouse Effect and how burning fossil fuels for energy enhances the Greenhouse Effect, leading to global warming. We will then explore renewable energy sources and how emerging technologies such as hydrogen fuel cell cars can reduce human’s impact on the climate.

Chemistry

Next, pupils will discuss the importance of water as a resource and learn about how human activity pollutes water. We will explore water monitoring techniques by carrying out qualitative tests for anions commonly found in fertilisers.

Biology

After learning about climate change and air pollution we will discuss how plastic pollution has negative impacts on wildlife and the environment, focusing on ‘marine litter’. Pupils will have an opportunity to see how easy it is for animals to ingest plastic or to get stuck in it. They will discover plastic alternatives and make their own plastic free drinks pods like those used in the in the 2019 London Marathon.

Dependence on Nature

 
What is it about?

Students will be exploring humankind’s relationship with and reliance on nature and the resources available to us. In biology, they will be learning about the importance of food webs and how some species perform vital ecosystem services. The physics workshop will be about radioactivity, what it is and how it can be useful or dangerous. In chemistry, the students will be getting familiar with amino acids, what they are, their structure, and why they are vital for proper function of all living organisms.

 

Learning objectives

Links to Science in the National Curriculum for Wales (KS3)

  • The physical and chemical properties of some elements, compounds and mixtures
  • How renewable and non-renewable energy resources are used to generate electricity and the implications of decisions made about their use
  • Technologies under development, which may lead to more efficient use of energy resources or using them in new ways
  • The interdependence of organisms and their representation as food webs, pyramids of numbers and simple
    energy-flow diagrams
  • How and why food webs are affected by environmental factors, e.g. light intensity, water availability, temperature, and their fluctuation
  • How human activity affects the global environment
  • The beneficial and detrimental effects of some drugs on the organs of the human body and other consequences of their use, e.g. insulin, steroids, paracetamol, caffeine
  • Applications of science, medicine and technology that are used to improve health and the quality of life, including those in countries with different levels of economic development

 

What will participants learn?

Biology

Organisms living in ecosystems affect each other’s populations. One way they do this is through food webs. Students will learn how food webs describe the feeding relationships between different organisms, and how these interactions impact each species and the ecosystems they live in. Students will also be introduced to the concept of ecosystem services. Many species fill a specialised niche in their environments that can have a huge impact on the function of their ecosystems. For some species, such as bees, this can have a benefit to humans. Students will undergo two activities directly related to each of these topics, an owl pellet dissection and building bee hotels.

Physics

In previous workshops, students discovered that all things are made from atoms. In this workshop students will learn that these atoms can split apart, releasing particles and energy into the environment in a process called radioactive decay. They will investigate which objects give off radiation, the different types of radiation and how it may be useful or harmful to us and the environment.

Chemistry

Proteins are vital for living organisms to be able to grow and function properly. Students will learn about the structure of proteins, building their own models with wire. They will also learn about how the food we eat fuels our bodies’ need for protein, how protein is used by the body, and will discover which foods contain protein by testing them with biuret solution.

Space Spectacular

 
What is it about?

In these workshops pupils will be exploring space. They will learn about the stars and constellations that we can spot from here on Earth, and discover how we can find out what they are made from. They will also take a look at whether we, and other animals, could survive in space.

 

Learning objectives

Links to Science in the National Curriculum for Wales (KS3)

  • How human activity affects the global environment, e.g. acid rain, greenhouse effect, and the measures taken to minimise any negative effects and monitor them, e.g. by Earth observation satellites.
  • Investigations into the patterns of behaviour of elements and compounds and their use to describe and predict their behaviour in chemical reactions.
  • The properties of solids, liquids and gases and how the particle model can be used to explain these properties.
  • The basic structure and function of some cells, tissues, organs and organ systems and how they support vital life processes.
  • Applications of science, medicine and technology that are used to improve health and the quality of life.

 

What will participants learn?

Physics

The stars in the night sky can be grouped into 88 imaginary pictures known as constellations. In this workshop, pupils will learn how to identify them, and discover some of the stories behind them. They will use their new knowledge in a ‘Pictionary’ style game where they will build the constellation shapes themselves. Finally, they will recreate the phases of the moon and explore how they are created.

Chemistry

Pupils will learn about spectroscopyand how it is used to study stars and the Universe. They will discover how we can use colour to find out what distant stars are made from, and will build their own devices that will show the colours emitted by different elements.

Biology

Pupils will discover what life as an astronaut is really like, and explore what happens to the human body as it enters space. They will learn about the weird and wonderful things that their bodies can or cannot do when under zero gravity, and will look at some organisms that can survive in space.

Exploring Electronics

 
What is it about?

This workshop is all about electricity and electrons. Pupils will learn what electricity is and how we use it. To do this, they will build and test their own circuits and explore how the electrical current in their circuits is created by moving electrons. Next, pupils will discover the relationship between electricity and chemical reactions. They will carry out reactions where elements can lose or gain electrons – these are known as redox reactions. Since electrons are moving during redox reactions, they can be used to create electricity. They also reveal some interesting properties of the transition elements which we will explore in the workshop. Finally, they will look at how our bodies use electricity to sense and react to the world. They will test their own responses and explore how electrical signals are sent around their bodies.

 

Learning objectives

Links to Science in the National Curriculum for Wales (KS3)

  • The basic structure and function of some cells, tissues, organs and organ systems, and how they support vital life processes.
  • Applications of science, medicine and technology that are used to improve health and the quality of life, including those in countries with different levels of economic development.
  • The physical and chemical properties of some elements, compounds and mixtures and how mixtures can be separated by simple techniques – Pupils will learn about the oxidation states of some elements.
  • Investigations into the patterns of behaviour of elements and compounds and their use to describe and predict their behaviour in chemical reactions . • The behaviour of current in electrical circuits.
  • How familiar devices/machines work by using electricity, light, sound and other energy transfers.

 

What will participants learn?

Physics

Pupils will learn about different electronic components and their uses. They will explore what is needed for a circuit to work and how electrons move within them. They will then learn how a variety of circuits behave, and choose one to build and test ourselves from a range of electrical components.

Chemistry

Pupils will learn about chemical reactions that can be used to create electricity. These are known as redox reactions. They will explore the applications of redox chemistry and carry out their own experiment to discover what happens when manganese reacts with glucose in alkaline conditions.

Biology

Pupils will be learning about bioelectricity and how living organisms are regulated through internal electrical signalling. They will explore how their cells generate, and use, electrical currents to signal to one another. They will then see how their bodies run on electricity, test their bodies’ responses, and watch a demonstration where we can control another person’s hand by over-riding their electrical signals.