During the enrichment week of the 1st– 4th July 2019 Year 8 were involved in a wide range of two day projects run by staff. Projects covered a diverse range of interests from the moon landings through Cosmetic Chemistry to understanding the political system of the UK. Pupils worked for two days alongside a member of staff to investigate and research their chosen area. Below are a range of accounts of the students’ experiences in these opportunities.
Cosmetic Chemistry And Myths in Art
For my first activity I studied cosmetic chemistry which involved researching about different materials that make up cosmetics such as lip balm and bath bombs. We completed various experiments such as working out the density of different liquids. We then also spent time creating our products and pitching them to then present them to different teachers. I found this two day project really fun and involving and I really enjoyed learning how to make these different products and the chemistry behind everyday cosmetic products.
My second project was Greek mythology in Art. During this project we spent time learning about different Greek myths such as Theseus and the Minotaur. Personally I picked the myth of Scylla and Charybdis and painted a painting of this scene. I found this project very fun but also relaxing since we got to spend a lot of time painting and listening to music. At the end of the second day we watched cartoons of myths which was also relaxing.
Microbiology and Myths in Art
In my first activity we investigated microbiology. I found this very interesting, we learned how to use the microscopes and how bacterias grow. We also learned how herbs and spices defend themselves from bacteria and how successful they are. Through our experiment we were able to compare the properties of different herbs and spices and identify which are the most successful in treating bacterial infections.
In my second activity, I investigated Greek mythology. I chose the myth of the rebellious titans and gods in which I researched the myth and then completed a painting to represent this myth. I found this project fun and relaxing because after we completed our painting we watched a film about the Odyssey and considered the representation of the myth in drama and film.
Drama and Dance workshop
I felt glad that I was selected for the workshop because I enjoy drama and putting on performances. The drama workshop was fun because it allowed the students who enjoy drama to work to put on a play in limited time frame. I thought it was fun but a lot of hard work with all the effort we had to put in to put on the play. It was a good experience to be part of this performance with all the lighting and sound adding to the quality. Every day was a new step towards the final play and both groups worked really hard to put on a recognisable performance.
The mix between the dance and drama was fun because it was an opportunity to see the dancers and the skills they have. I thought the merger of both dance and drama was a great creative approach and resulted in a performance that was enjoyed by all.
During activity week, a few other students and I were chosen for a dance and drama workshop where we created and learnt a dance over three days and then performed it on the Thursday. Lainah, Mo and I were in a dance together with year sevens and nines including Darcey, who was the main choreographer and star performer. It was a fun experience which really taught me how to work to a tight deadline, which I believe will improve my performance in the dance production. Also, I really enjoyed dancing it, but it did eventually get really tiring as we’d been dancing non-stop for hours. The performance itself was really fun as we were getting year fours and fives excited to join our school to utilise the drama and dance department.
During activities week I was chosen for the Dance and Drama workshop. This meant that this was the only activity I did for the week. We were assigned a song to choreograph our dances to and were give phrases of dance and support by Mr Tolley. We were spilt into 2 groups that were a mix of year 7,8 and 9 students. We all worked really hard to put a performance together in only 3 days. It was an amazing way to socialise with the other years as at the beginning of the workshop everyone was quite shy but by the end we were all chatting like old friends and talking to each other when we saw each other around the school!
I think that in the future it would be good to do something like this again and even mix the year groups and form groups in other activities as it was a fun and exciting experience. The thrill came from performing at the end of the week to primary schools from around the area. It was amazing seeing their faces light up as the performance came together. It was a great way to showcase to potential students what we can do but also give us a break from all our exams!
Tech and Mission to the Moon
I really enjoyed the 2 day tech project as it was very free and open. For the first of the two days we had Mrs Marnham and we made catapults. We were allowed to go outside and test them and we worked in groups of 4 to design and make our catapults. We then had a competition to see which device would project an object the furthest.
On the second day we had Miss Afari and we cooked. We had the challenge to create a dessert which was then judged and a winner decided. We had to use a number of cooking skills to create the dish and all looked delicious when completed.
The second project I was involved in was the Mission to the moon, this was so exciting and I enjoyed it so much.
We worked on different types of take-offs and landings, considering the features of a rocket and also had to create a landing device that would allow an egg dropped from the second floor to land on the ground without cracking. Not all groups were successful so we did have some eggy casualties!
Kuriosity with Kano
On the first day I was involved in the project Kuriosity with Kano which was with Miss Laber. During the first day of the project we were given kano computer kits. We built a computer and learnt how to code different games like minecraft. We added in new blocks and coded new aspects. We also overcame problems by trial and error and fixed problems that occurred during the process. On the second day we were given a kano motion kit which let us use our hands to make objects move on screen. This was very cool and it encouraged me to enjoy the world of computing much more. It was a very good opportunity to embrace our computing skills that could help us is lessons and outside of school. I enjoyed it very much.
Microbiology and Politics
I found microbiology fun, we learnt how to use the microscopes and how the bacteria grows. We also learnt about the different herbs and spices and bacteria. We were taught what herbs and spices were most resistant to the certain types of bacteria. We then undertook various practicals to test the properties of different herbs and spices in relation to bacteria, from these experiments we were able to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of natural remedies. We were also taught how to stop the equipment from getting contaminated by using the Bunsen burner.
For the politics and history project we learnt about the political system in the UK such as the features of the Houses of Parliament, House of Commons and the House of Lords. We also developed our knowledge of the Cabinet as well as the ideologies and policies of the different political parties in the UK. In the history part we learnt about the civil rights movement and equality which I found interesting.