During the Festival of Literature and Language, all of our Year 8 students investigated how we can recreate the magic of Harry Potter in the Science laboratory.
Year 8 stepped into the world of Harry Potter and… Alohomora!…unlocked their magical powers. We created ‘Lumos!’ wands by burning magnesium, which produces a bright white light when burned it in oxygen. ‘Lumos’ is a charm in Harry Potter that illuminates the tip of the caster’s wand, allowing the caster to see in the dark.
We practiced the art of ‘potion-making’ by creating a colour changing redox reaction. This exploited the dramatic colour changes associated with the various oxidation states of manganese. In Hogwarts, potions lessons took place in one of the dungeons. “It was colder here than up in the main castle, and would have been quite creepy enough without the pickled animals floating in glass jars all around the walls.”
We also explored the science of ‘Incendio!’ (flame tests) and discovered that different metal ions created different coloured flames. ‘Avada Kedavra’ is a curse used in Harry Potter which causes instantaneous death. It is accompanied by a flash of green light and a rushing noise.
Year 8 were then given the opportunity to create a newsletter article for the ‘Daily Prophet’ outlining all of the magical science experiments that they had carried out.