Cathy Holden writes:
‘Yeuch! That’s disgusting!’ was the main reaction of both boys and girls to the perfectly dried frog Colin produced from its small box. However, that reaction only lasted a fleeting moment, after that they all wanted to hold the frog and were surprised to feel the leathery texture and to look at what appeared to be a smile on its face.
We were taking part in the Science Fair for Primary Schools held at Court Moor School in the week before Easter. Run by First Partnership it aimed, through a variety of exhibitors, to show primary children how science can be used in the workplace. The two days were very well attended by children in Year 5 of the primary schools in Fleet and surrounding villages.
Bio-diversity was our topic and most of the children knew what a ‘Food Chain’ was and how it works. We moved onto wasps and wasps’ nests. Colin brought out a range of nests from the first one made by a queen, to the finished article which would have housed several hundred wasps. Like me, they were intrigued by the sheer beauty of the nest and the thought of the teamwork necessary to build it.
Looking at a range of bugs and beasties under the microscope was by far the most popular activity at our table. We looked at wasps, bees, spiders, beetles and flies amongst many other insects. The dragonfly and nymph specimens intrigued the children, the fact that such a large insect had unfolded from, what was now the empty shell of the nymph, was a matter for great discussion.
When asked the question ‘How many of you know Fleet Pond?’ a good number of children put up their hands and said that they regularly walk it. When asked ‘Do you know how deep it is?’ They were shocked to be told it is under a metre deep, they had thought it would be well over their heads.
The one and half days spent at the fair were very enjoyable. The children were enthusiastic and asked many questions, and it was very satisfying to hear them walk away saying ‘That was brilliant, much more interesting than I thought it would be!’ From a group of 10 year olds that was praise indeed.