Norwich High School for Girls celebrates British Science Week

Posted on 21st March 2023

Norwich High School for Girls celebrated British Science Week (10-19th March) last week, with a wealth of interesting activities across Nursery, Prep, Senior and Sixth Form.

Norwich High School for Girls celebrated British Science Week (10-19th March) last week, with a wealth of interesting activities across Nursery, Prep, Senior and Sixth Form.

The science department put together a busy schedule of events, all hosted on a bespoke google site, allowing students to browse the schedule, sign up to activities and download additional resources every day.

In the Senior School and Sixth Form, there was a wide range of activities happening every day. Dr Heselden began the week by demonstrating the connection between Science and Art in assembly and lunchtime activities included discovering squid anatomy and finding out about the chemistry of blueprints. There was big success with dry ice bubbles, daffodils were frozen and smashed, and Mr Jones made a comet that even smelt realistic!

Students in Year 7 and 8 also had the chance to compete in the GDST STEM Spelling Bee, with Norwich High student Saisha claiming individual joint third place!

“I think British Science week is important as it can show people how much fun science can be when you apply it in a different way and it is part of many different jobs. It is also enjoyable for all ages. My favourite part of British Science week was Kazoo making because it put two thinks I’m interested in together, music and physics.”

Arya, Year 10 student

Students from Nursery and Prep School also had a busy week, including trips to the Senior School science labs to explore magnetism, making kazoos and a very popular dry ice session.

Year 4 student Phoebe commented: “I loved connecting with other scientists. Whether they were teachers in the Senior school or scientists who came to talk to us from outside the school, it was so interesting to find out the different things they did.”

On Tuesday, five intrepid Scientists from Upper 2 visited the Royal Institution in London. Joining girls from the other GDST schools, they had a wonderful time exploring this organisation which has been so important to our understanding of many scientific discoveries. The day began with a chance to put into practise their honed problem-solving skills, building a model car that would withstand the impact of a crash. Next, they were furthering their understanding of both chemistry and biology in the basement laboratory, collecting and extracting their own DNA. Finally, the day culminated in a lecture and demonstration in the famous theatre, where the institution’s Christmas lectures are held. They learnt all about how to make a mess scientifically, whether that’s with fire, liquid nitrogen, or explosive chemical reactions.

It was fantastic to have Dr Bircher, a local scientist and Norwich High parent, lead sessions for our Early Years and Prep Students on bacteria. Students had a blast getting to sample funky edible ‘bacteria’ in jelly petri dishes and finding out more about bacteria in the world around them by swabbing different surfaces.

“I loved learning about Bacteria last week! They are so cool. They are all so different and it was fascinating to learn about.”

Amelia, Year 5 student at Norwich High Prep School

Our youngest students also had the chance to use microscopes for the first time, learning more about how microscopes are used in science and getting to see tiny creatures and plants up close and identify them by watching what they could see with pictures.

“It was wonderful to see all the girls so engaged with Science during British Science Week. Whether they were making bubbles with dry ice or observing minibeasts under microscopes the girls were full of wonder about how the world around them works.

It has inspired lots of them to think more about different careers that might involve Science and, as teachers, we are looking forward to building on their enthusiasm in our science lessons.”

Mr Bjorn Billson, Prep Teacher

Mrs Anne Farthing, Head of Science and Physics, concludes: “British Science Week was a huge success last week and almost all of the events were fully booked. Students really enjoyed working in mixed year groups and dry ice is always a wonderful opportunity to spark interesting scientific conversations. It was lovely to have the Science department buzzing with extra excitement and learning opportunities were shared across the entire school – we are delighted that the prep students were able to join in. The staff had just as much fun as the students, and we already have some great ideas for next year.”