Science Fair takes centre stage in Bradford on Avon

This Is Wiltshire: Bath University’s Steffan Goold, left, shows George Lancaster and Alex Pyper how static electricity from a plasma sphere can light up a fluorescent bulb Bath University’s Steffan Goold, left, shows George Lancaster and Alex Pyper how static electricity from a plasma sphere can light up a fluorescent bulb

Budding young scientists from Bradford on Avon and beyond demonstrated their experiments at the My Science Fair on Sunday.

Ninety pupils from Years 1-6 had to come up with their own question to investigate and construct a prediction of the results before doing the experiment and displaying the results at the fair, held at the Wiltshire Music Centre.

Anastasia Thomas, of Staverton, started My Science Fair at Winsley Primary School, which her two daughters attend, in 2012 because she felt there was a lack of local science and technology events. It has expanded with schools from Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge, Bath, Winsley and Malmesbury now taking part.

She said: “The music centre was full and there were lots of happy faces. Children and parents really enjoyed themselves and the projects were amazing.

“This started as a science fair for 30 children in a village school. A year later it grew to five primary schools and this year it felt like a full-on event. We had two grants from Wiltshire Council and a private donation, so this year was more focused on the children rather than fundraising.”

The children presented their projects to judges who awarded prizes for each year group, including a Kindle reader, Leap-Pad2 and Eyeclops Bionicam.

Experiments included “Are there different chemicals in rain water and tap water?” and “How does water make different musical notes? Researching sound waves and vibration”.

Mrs Thomas said: “The judges were blown away by the children’s efforts and we had head teachers and Wiltshire Council people who were very impressed.

“It was inspiring to see children as early as Year 1 get really involved. It gave them a chance to work on public speaking and presentations.

“We hope to establish this as an annual event. People said they’re already thinking about experiments for next year.”

Professors from Bath University demonstrated their own experiments and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment gave a performance.

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