A series of early evening lectures usually at 6:30pm on the 4th Wednesday of each month which feature scientists and science communicators discoursing on a wide range of general science topics.
The Squashed Tomato Challenge
A fun hands-on and brains-on challenge for KS2-5
Challenge your students to take on a real life problem affecting people in Nepal.
The problem: In Nepal many farmers living on the mountainside grow fruit and vegetables, including tomatoes. To earn a living they need to sell these at the local market. The problem is getting to market involves a long, dangerous walk down the mountain side and over a river, at the end of which the tomatoes may well be a bit squashed.
The challenge: To design, build and test a way of moving tomatoes that won't squash them!
Students from Chichester High School completed the challenge as part of a visit to Intech recently. We were delighted that Julie Pollard from “Practical Action” who devised the challenge was able to visit.
Read her report of the day:
Today was a really inspiring day for me. I got to see lots of groups of 12 to 13 year old students taking part in the As Robin Barclay, one of their teachers said to me ‘the students are really getting involved, it’s great to see them working together and coming up with solutions. It brings in the sustainability angle as well which is so important now in everything we teach.’
Their designs were measured on how many tomatoes they could transport in two minutes, reliability of the system and ease of operation. Points were deducted for dropped and squashed tomatoes and any human ‘intervention’ that took place to make the system work.
Mrs Webb, the students’ science teacher thought the activity was ‘fantastic’ because it showed them how they could relate what they learnt to a real life situation. She told me how they had completed a unit on forces recently but until now didn’t see how that could be applied.
As for the students when I asked an excited Vienna Dale how her team got on she said ‘We did amazing, we moved about 20 tomatoes and only squashed two. It was hard though having to think of a design that would work and get the tomatoes down in quite a short time’
Students working hard but enjoying themselves and finding out about technology used by Practical Action ….that has to be a good thing if you ask me!!
A challenge inspired by my visit to Nepal a year ago. The students were doing the challenge as part of a day organised by the education team at INTECH. They had been told about the problem faced by farmers in Nepal, that of transporting tomatoes down a mountainside and were designing model systems that could help solve the problem.
INTECH Science Centre hosted a series of events as part of National Pathology Week. This year's theme was Pathology - the Building Blocks of Life.
Students from St James Church of England Primary School in Southampton, St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Gosport and St Bernadette's Catholic Primary School in Farnborough met Pathologists from Southampton General Hospital. As part of a busy day at Intech, which included time in the hands on exhibition and a planetarium show. They met pathologists from Southampton General Hospital, who ran a workshop for the yr 6 students.
The workshops consisted of three activities:
Cells. This involved taking their own cheek cells, finding out how the samples were put onto slides and stained and then examining their own cells with a computer microscope
Germs. Finding out just how good or bad they were at washing their hands. Using a UV light sensitive cream the children discovered just how easy it was to pass germs around and where they missed when washing their hands.
Instruments. The students examined a selection of instruments used in a pathology laboratory and discovered just what they were really used for.
One school commented "The Pathology was superb, engaging and fun. - thank you. The whole experience has been extremely beneficial to the students." Several students expressed a desire to become a pathologist.
Prof James Nicoll presented a public lecture.
Can we stop Alzheimer's disease?
INTECH Science Centre was delighted to welcome Prof Nicolls to the Science Centre for this extra lecture in the 4th Wednesday series. His talk about ground breaking research into the effects and ethicasy of Aß immunisation fascinated the audience.
Pathology family fun day
There were free demonstrations and hands on activities similar to those that the school children took part in. Visitors to INTECH Science Centre met pathologists and had the opportunity to find out what they do and about the equipment they use.