To celebrate National Science Week 2017 we teamed up with Cheltenham Science Group who organised a wonderful science fair for Brownies in the County. 5 Units were were visited by CSG for 2 weeks this term where each Six learned about and demonstrated science experiments. It began with an evening of fun hands-on science activities. The girls experimented with harmonicas, investigated chromatography and modelled lungs. Then they had to come up with their own science demonstration. Following heats within their own pack, five teams qualified for the grand final that was held in Coronation Square during British Science Week. The girls explained their experiment to a judging panel including Prof. Adam Hart from the University of Gloucestershire, Countess Bathurst, High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, Steve Mitchell from Business in the Community and Alex Chalk MP.
Before the event, Diane Paton from Ashchurch brownies said, “We are very excited about this and the girls have been working hard on their experiments.” The girls explained how pond skaters move across the water by using a paper clip to demonstrate surface tension. The judges thought it was an original idea and were impressed that the whole team were involved in the presentation. Lady Bathurst announced that this was the overall winner as it was the experiment that had taught her some new science.
Dr Lucy Clarke from Emmanuel brownies in Cheltenham says, “The girls have absolutely loved doing the science experiments.” Their entry to the final was an exploding rainbow. Birdlip brownies showed us how to clean copper coins and Bourton brownies created and painted a fantastic volcano so they could show off how vinegar and bicarbonate of soda react.
The competition was funded by a £1000 grant from the British Science Association as part of British Science Week. The second phase of the project will see each of the 5 packs visit the science centre in Coronation Square once it has been populated with exhibits. The Cheltenham Science Group team will also run a training session open to all Girlguiding Leaders to embed STEM activities into the Brownie programme.
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