Local primary and secondary school children visited Bolton School Girls’ Division (BSGD), where they joined Senior, Junior and Infant pupils in enjoying a Science Day, which was organised by Mr Brendan Ickringill, a Science teacher and Academic Enrichment Coordinator (Sciences) in BSGD.
An inflatable Planetarium filled the Great Hall and, during the course of the day, hosted visits from Bolton School Junior Girls, Beaumont Primary School, Lostock Hall CPS, Gaskell Primary School, Bolton School Infants and Bolton School Senior Girls.
The pupils enjoyed spectacular age-relevant interactive displays from presenter and former teacher Richard Lake in the large dome which utilised advanced projection equipment. Each show demonstrated the awe and wonder of the universe.
On completion of the session for Lostock Hall CPS, Year 6 teacher Hannah Wyre said: “Wow! That was great, the children loved it. They were really excited and learnt a great deal.”
Head of Physics in the Girls' Division, Mr Ball, said: "The Planetarium presentation was just at the right level for Year 10, but also inspired our Sixth Form students who could make it in during their free periods.
“The timing was excellent too as next half term we will start Space Physics with Year 10 GCSE Physics groups and they have had a chance to experience the key events from the Big Bang to the present day and to learn their way around the night sky."
Simultaneously during the day, secondary school children from Ladybridge, Sharples, Abraham Moss, Smithills and Bolton School Girls’ Division enjoyed a fascinating and fun Science Show from Sam Gregson in the Girls’ Division Theatre.
Using interactive demonstrations, the pupils were told the story of Science right through to the Large Hadron Collider. The Year 7-9 pupils were given a taster of the excitement of finding the Higgs particle in a non-stop, action packed simulation game which gave a very realistic representation of the scientific method used in Particle Physics research.
The presentation offered much insight, including how scientific theories are developed and proved, the importance of mass, the Atlas and CMS experiments at CERN and the discovery of the Higgs boson. They also learnt about the Higgs Field – a bit like “The Force” in Star Wars in that it is everywhere but it can’t be touched or tasted!
Ladybridge teacher Mrs Rowlinson said "A massive thank you for making this possible. The students from Ladybridge found Sam really engaging and really enjoyed it, as did I!"
In the evening, students and teachers were joined by the local community who were invited into school to listen to a fascinating and detailed talk by Dr Suzie Imber, Associate Professor in Space Physics and winner of the BBC television series Astronauts: Do You Have What it Takes?
She spoke about space weather, her experience in the tv programme and about her life as a high altitude mountaineer and her research discovering new mountains as well as her recent expedition to the Andes.
It was a life-affirming presentation, which illustrated her positive, can-do approach and her refusal to be put off by initial failure.
Mr Ickringill reflected: "It has been a pleasure to see so many children having fun today. Over 800 pupils of all ages have taken part and enjoyed the experience. I'd like to thank all of the presenters for their hard work and enthusiasm."