Educake Leaderboard for January 2024
This year, students in year 8 have been studying the powerful idea of Ecosystems. It is with great excitement that we share with you the recent exploration undertaken by our year 8 scientists in the fascinating realm of flower dissection.
Year 8 have been delving into the intricate structures of flowers, unravelling the mysteries hidden within their delicate petals and vibrant colours. Armed with magnifying glasses and tweezers, students meticulously observed and documented the various parts of the flower, from the petals to the stamens, anthers and everything in between. With each dissected blossom, they gained a deeper understanding of plant anatomy, the crucial role that flowers play in the reproduction of flowering plants and the vital processes of pollination and fertilisation.
Here are some of the pieces of work produced by 8ab/Sc4.
Science Club got off to an icy start after the Christmas break with students experiencing first hand snowflakes. We were fortunate to have a snow flurry in the morning with plenty of snow for the more senior members of science club to collect. All students then had the challenge of preparing the microscope slide to view the snowflakes before they melted. Images of snowflake structures were shared on the board and we managed to view some detail.
The following week, students took part in the anti-gravity water trick and at first didn’t believe that they could hold a glass of water upside down with just a piece of card with the water staying in the glass! They were amazed that they could do this and left eager to try this again at home.
Fizzy apple volcanoes followed, which students really enjoyed. The chemical reaction in the apples produced the lava flow and different coloured food colouring was added for effect. There were certainly plenty of different volcanic eruptions going on in the room. There are pictures to show the end product.
Finally, students spent some time making stress balls out of balloons, cornflour and water. Some were more successful than others and definitely less messy. The use of the non-Newtonian fluid is ideal for stress balls and a few got to take them away for future use.
Next on the agenda are bath bombs and hopefully the arrival of some stick insects and butterflies for the spring months. Watch this space!
Mrs R Cahill
We are excited to share with you the recent hands-on learning experience our Year 11 students had in their Physics GCSE studies. As part of their exploration into the fascinating world of optics and vision, our students engaged in a sheep eye dissection.
During this insightful activity, our budding scientists delved into the intricate structures of the eye, with a primary focus on the lens. By examining the anatomy of the eye, they gained a deeper understanding of how light behaves and the crucial role the lens plays in the formation of images on the retina.
This practical experiment not only reinforced theoretical concepts but also provided a tangible connection to the physics principles they are studying. It’s inspiring to witness our students actively participating in their learning journey and making meaningful connections between theory and real-world applications.
We commend their curiosity, engagement and the hands-on approach they took to unravel the mysteries of vision. Such experiences not only enhance their academic knowledge but also cultivate a passion for scientific inquiry.
Associate Assistant Headteacher
As a part of our GCSE Triple Science course, we were given the opportunity to do a dissection of a (sheep’s) eye. This event occurred in a Year 11 lesson taught by Mrs Honeyman.
After putting on all the required items to ensure the practical remains as hygienic as possible, we began the dissection. To begin with, excess fat and tissue was removed so we could locate the optic nerve as easily as possible. Next, we made a small incision around the longitudinal circumference, which was then followed by the eye being cut directly in half. This meant that the lens of the eye could easily slip out.
Due to this being linked to both biology and physics it meant that it was helpful and relevant to our learning and revision. As we are doing lenses in Physics, we took the lens from the eye and placed it on a piece of newspaper so we could see how the lens slightly enlarged the text. I am very grateful to have received the opportunity to do such practical work at Penwortham Girls’.
by Ellie D, Year 11
During the STEM Festival, Year 9 will be taking part in the ‘If you were an Engineer what would you do?’ Leaders Award competition.
The competition will be challenging students from primary and secondary schools to identify a problem and design a creative solution to it and add a letter explaining why an engineer should choose to build it. As part of the competition, they are required to interview engineers to understand more about the problems they solve and the role they play in society.
Every student that enters will have their idea read and graded by an engineer. All our students will receive certificates and shortlisted entries will be put forward to a panel where the best ideas will be celebrated at an awards event and public exhibition in the summer term. Whilst this is a national exhibition, the awards and exhibitions are regional so you will be able to see the ideas from across the region. More can be found on the competition website www.leadersaward.com
One extraordinary part of the competition is that every year, university teams choose an idea from the shortlisted entries to build!
We entered the competition for the first time in 2022 and the school had great success having two highly commended entries and also the two winners for year 10 for Lancashire. A tough act to follow, but we know year 9 will be up for the challenge!
As part of the STEM Festival, students will again get a chance to take part in ‘The Chase’. Each year group has put a team of five to take on one of the ‘Chasers’, testing their science, technology, engineering and maths knowledge. Back by popular demand is Mr Dean, hosting again in the Bradley Walsh role.
The Chase is a great opportunity to promote STEM within the school whilst giving students the chance to take on their teachers. Keep an eye on the school newsletter to find out how each team gets on.
The annual STEM festival is in full swing with a plethora of activities taking place to give an insight into the opportunities that STEM related subjects can bring to our students as they move through their lives and their careers.
Year 7 students will be learning and researching in Science about careers within the NHS as well as enjoying the delights of a visiting planetarium, learning about the events resulting in the formation of the universe as well as the ongoing NASA, Artemis mission. In Maths students will be developing their everyday budgeting skills as well as taking part in a food bake off challenge in Food Technology.
Year 8 students will be honing their engineering skills as they take on the nationally acclaimed Faraday challenge; this will include problem solving, designing and practical making skills hosted by Design Technology. In Music, students will take place in a workshop showing the benefits of music therapy while learning about careers within the NHS during Science. In Maths students will be developing their everyday budgeting skills along with developing their code breaking skills.
Year 9 students will be taking part in a variety of challenges in Maths including the Runshaw Maths Challenge and a special escape room challenge. In Science they will be entering the ‘Who wants to be an engineer’ competition, submitting a design to solve an everyday problem, students will also get the opportunity to do some ‘chemical cookery’ making tasty treats using the application of Science. Some Year 9s will also get the opportunity to visit Lancashire Teaching Farm.
Year 10 Students will learn about the history and importance of code breaking with a virtual visit to Bletchley Park, whilst Y11 students will learn about the Bank of England during their Maths lessons. Both Year 10 and Year 11 students will get the opportunity to meet professionals from a variety of STEM related careers during our STEM Career’s Carousel finding out about potential career pathways related to STEM.
Throughout the festival, those of a competitive nature can take part in the STEM festival Jam tart competition as well as the PGHS version of the popular game show ‘The Chase’. A STEM related Open Mic event will be taking place as well as an African Colour (Red, Green, Black and Yellow) themed non-uniform day to raise money for a school building project in Kenya.
As Science club comes to an end for 2023, it’s time to reflect on the journey of exploration and discovery that our budding scientists have embarked upon.
🦋 Chromatography Butterflies: Unveiling the Spectrum of Colours.
One of the highlights was our captivating chromatography butterfly’s activity. Witnessing the magic of colours separating and creating stunning patterns.
🎃 Halloween Slime: A Spooky Twist to Science.
As Halloween approached, our science club embraced the spooky spirit with a thrilling concoction of Halloween slime. Mixing, stretching and squishing their way through the slimy experiment, students discovered the science of non-Newtonian fluids.
🔥 Flame Tests: Fireworks.
Igniting curiosity, our flame tests experiment brought the excitement of colours to a whole new level. Students observed the mesmerizing dance of flames, each colour indicating the presence of specific elements, linking it to how fireworks have their amazing colours
🚦 Traffic Lights: Illuminating the Path to Understanding.
Our traffic lights activity brought the principles of chemical reactions to life. Students explored the transformative powers of acids and bases, creating a vivid display of colour changes resembling the familiar traffic light sequence.
🌲 The Chemistree: Celebrating a Merry Chemistry Christmas.
Wrapping up the year on a festive note, our Chemistree activity combined the joy of the holiday season with the wonders of chemistry. Students adorned a “Chemistree” with colourful reactions, creating a visual representation of the diverse aspects of chemistry that they explored throughout the year. It was a delightful way to celebrate the spirit of science during the holiday season.
Here’s to a term well-spent and the countless scientific adventures that lie ahead!
🔬✨ Stay curious, stay inspired! ✨🔬
Mrs R Cahill
Year 9 students have been studying the unit ‘Genes 2’. As part of this unit, they have learned about the function and structure of DNA and the events leading up to the discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953. James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins were awarded a Nobel prize for their parts in the remarkable discovery in 1962, but at the time the contribution from Rosalind Franklin was barely acknowledged. The students have been building models of the structure of DNA out of sweets to help visualise the structure.
With year 9 option decisions fast approaching, I’m going to highlight the numerous advantages of opting for separate sciences at the GCSE level. As our students navigate their academic journeys, we believe that informed decisions lead to success, and choosing separate sciences is a pathway that opens doors to a world of possibilities.
1. In-Depth Exploration: One of the primary benefits of selecting separate sciences, biology, chemistry and physics, is the opportunity for a more profound exploration of each subject. Students delve into the intricacies of living organisms, chemical reactions, and the fundamental principles governing the physical world. This depth of understanding not only enhances knowledge but also cultivates a passion for the respective sciences.
2. Comprehensive Skill Development: Each science subject imparts unique skills to students. Biology encourages critical thinking and problem-solving through the study of living organisms. Chemistry hones analytical skills, precision and the ability to understand complex reactions. Physics develops logical reasoning and mathematical abilities. By choosing separate sciences, students not only acquire subject-specific knowledge but also a diverse set of skills crucial for future academic and professional pursuits.
3. Enhanced Career Opportunities: In an era where STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields are driving innovation and progress, a strong foundation in separate sciences opens doors to a myriad of career opportunities. From medicine and research to engineering and environmental science, the possibilities are vast. Employers value the analytical and problem-solving skills instilled by separate sciences, making our students stand out in the job market.
4. College Preparation: For students considering further studies in science-related disciplines at the college level, choosing separate sciences is an excellent preparation. Whilst colleges don’t require separates sciences, it shows a keen interest in the subject and a background in separate sciences ensures that students are well-prepared for the academic rigors of higher education.