Sixteen young people rubbed balloons against their heads to generate static electricity. Later in the morning they pushed copper and zinc nails into lemons to make batteries and the following day they made their own Venus flytraps!
Welcome to a different kind of north Tottenham summer project. Run by Haringey Council the free, two-week long programme gave young people the chance to have fun learning about STEM subjects - science, technology, engineering and maths.
Taking place in Somerford Grove Adventure Playground off Park Lane it saw experts in primary-aged science, Empiribox, engage with local children and teach them that science can be far more than what’s found in a textbook.
“This is the first time we’ve tried anything like this before and it’s been great,” said Chanelle Farrell who came up with the idea. “The children have been so interested in the practical projects with rocket-making a definite highlight. People might think science is very specialised but we’ve shown it can be used in day-to-day activities.”
Whether gathered around to watch a Van de Graff generator in action – producing static electric through simply turning a handle – or learning that the citric acid in lemons can help power a small device, the young people went on a voyage of discovery which promises to stimulate future interest.
“It was great doing lots of experiments,” said Nyla, aged ten. “We tested what sweets had acid and we made rockets that flew across the room. I now like the idea of becoming a scientist.”
“It’s been really good fun and I would love to see more things like this in our area,” added Amelia, aged 11.
In the break times the children could make the most of the adventure playground and at the end of the session they could take home what they made that day.
“It’s been brilliant in showing that science can be fun and is more than just sitting at a table and writing,” said one of the mums, Helen, there with her daughter, Rhiann. “All the children look like they’ve had a good time and it’s amazing how much they have taken in. I’m a strong believer in getting the kids out of the house and away from the TV and this does this. I would 100% like to see more of this.”
• Somerford Grove Adventure Playground hosts free summer holiday sessions until August 23rd.
For more details visit www.haringey-play.org.uk (External Link)