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Gillespie News: Science Spectacular 2017

March 22, 2017


As we said in our previous blog, we put on our annual Science Spectacular last week. This is to share what we have been doing so that children and adults are inspired to be curious and do science. The Science Spectacular is a show about science and engineering featuring experts in science and technology for example Sheila and Andres who were part of our Science Spectacular this year.


Setting up the top hall


Before the show started we organised three tables to showcase science and engineering projects that we have taken part in this year:

  • At the handling table there were lots of objects like meteorites, objects from space, which people could hold, look closely at and smell.
  • The Green Team explained about our air pollution project and asked for people to sign their petition.
  • The primary engineer competition is for young budding engineers to create design ideas. They had to pitch their ideas in a letter to engineers who judge the entries.
  • Daniel brought special guests up to Lab_13 and handed them over to Naomi to show them around. It was nerve-wracking as they were scientists and we wanted to make a good impression. It was enjoyable in the end!

The Show


The apple represents the Earth and the cherry tomato the Moon to show their relative sizes

Kiri and Reiss introduced the show by asking the question: is the Moon made out of cheese? They also explained that the Moon is about a quarter of the width of the Earth. They showed us this apple, saying that if the Earth were this size then the Moon would be the size of this cherry tomato, and they would be about 2m apart.


Andres, our rocket technician, setting up the hydrogen and oxygen generators

Daniel and Hamza came to the stage to help us learn how to get to the Moon. We invited Andres to help us because he is a technician who knows about rockets. He helped us to investigate pipette rockets and we tried to launch them and hit a drawing of the Moon. It was very fun as we first tried just hydrogen and tried to hit the Moon but it didn’t work. Then we tried oxygen and that still didn’t work. So then we thought mixing them together might work. We tried it and it worked! This was a combustion reactions, where oxygen and fuel (hydrogen) react to make water. But we needed the pipette rocket to get to the Moon and it only got half way. So next we added water (a propellant), hydrogen and oxygen and that was better but it still didn’t hit the moon. Finally we tried air, hydrogen, oxygen and water. It hit the Moon! Yay!



Sheila uses dry ice to cool down her comet ingredients

The next guest was Dr Sheila Kanani and she was introduced by Nimo and Choi ying, who also told some very funny jokes (funny and cheesy!). She showed us how to make a home-made comet and it was very engaging and funny. We learnt many things, we were most surprised that some comets have the ingredients for life in them. We were also surprised that dry ice is colder than the North Pole, but it also burns you.

The Moon


The Moon disc contained six different samples of Moon rock and soil

As for our big finale we wanted to see once and for all whether the Moon was really made of cheese. So we decided we needed a piece of Moon to examine so that we could find out. First we examined pieces of cheese under the microscope and then our big reveal: NASA had lent us a piece of Moon! Carole had been carrying it in her bag all along. We were over the Moon to have real pieces of Moon in our school, and we couldn’t wait to examine them. Our final conclusion that the Moon is not made of cheese, sadly.



One of our brilliant technicians, who put together and managed the powerpoint presentation

We found out in the Science Spectacular that science isn’t just about the scientists, but the technicians who work with them are also really important. Two members of the committee were our light and media technicians on the night and they did a brilliant job.

We all had a wonderful time, and the feedback we have received from guests has been so positive. Thank you to everyone who came and who helped us out!

Written by Naomi (Y5) and Daniel (Y6)

Thank you to parent Madalena Xanthopoulos for taking these fantastic photos – you can find more of her work on twitter 



Posted in: Lab13