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Year 4 visit the Herstmonceux Science Observatory

Year 4 had a lucky escape with the weather last Wednesday when we went to the Science Observatory. Although it was a little chilly, the sun shone the whole time we were at the Observatory and the rain only started to fall when we were on the return coach back to school.  Thank goodness we weren’t going there this week! 

We were able to consolidate all of our Science learning by exploring the activities in the hands-on learning corridor. The electricity section gave us a great taster for our next Science topic: we enjoyed bending light and making shadows look as though we were shaking our own hand. It was fascinating to see electricity pulsing from our own hands as we explored almost magical balls of light.

The earthquake simulator sparked our interest, helping us to reflect on our first topic of human impact. We could see the relevance of building houses in a particular way to withstand an earthquake. 

Going into the giant observatories gave us a chance to whet our appetites for learning about the solar system in Year 5. It was interesting to see how we could use refraction to create an upside down image of ourselves using a mirror. We learned about some of the constellations and the stories behind them, like Scorpio and why he always chases Orion.

We had to rely on good teamwork to build two bridges which we were able walk on: a truss bridge and an arch bridge.  We were amazed that an arch bridge could hold our wait without any mortar but just using the force of gravity and pressure.  In 4A, even Mrs de Villiers trusted the keystone enough to walk over the arch bridge!

The highlight of the day was, of course, lunch and last but not in any sense least, the gift shop! Our teachers displayed remarkable powers of patience as we carefully worked out the best combination of gifts …. only to change our minds once at the till.

It was a fabulous outing that reinforces the fun and engaging aspects of Science.

Thank you so much to the parent helpers who accompanied us; we are sure you enjoyed the singing on the coach! Without you it would be difficult to have opportunities for enrichment such as this.