Science week; what is time?

This year, Science Week has the theme of Time. I googled the word ‘time’ and there are so many different uses of the word, from ‘once upon a time’ to ‘time management’ and many philosophical concepts in between. I settled on a theme of ‘once upon a time’ for my whole school assembly and shared with the young audience my personal timeline that led me to this current moment.

Along the way I shared the choices I have made and the consequences, both good and bad that those choices had, but all came good in the end. Looking back at the timeline whilst writing the assembly made me think about all the good memories in my school days, both primary and secondary and how important it is to make the most of the time you have in school, taking all the opportunities on offer.

On Tuesday, I had the privilege of delivering a Science Week assembly to the Junior School, which is one of my favourite assemblies as the pupils are all so keen and focussed on your every word. The STEM Ambassadors in Junior School helped with the assembly, and we taught the girls how to make an egg float, tie dye some milk and stab a potato with a plastic straw – all practical experiments they can do at home in a short period of time. It has also been an absolute pleasure to spend time with Years 3 to 6 in my lab in Senior School this week, concocting Harry Potter science spells. The girls’ expressions of awe and wonder at interacting with chemistry were a joy to behold.

So far it is only Tuesday in my week and we have put time in a line, shared a timeline, thought about good times, made the most of time in school and used a short amount of time to show some awesome experiments. Many uses of the word time and many uses of time itself.

On Tuesday I had the pleasure to take some Year 13 students on their final trip with Northampton High, and we ventured to Cadbury World.  How is STEM related to Cadbury World, I hear you ask? Well, everywhere: In the manufacturing process, in the factory’s health and safety, in the psychology of the advertising and in the physics of the machinery needed to make a million Creme Eggs.  We were also treated to an interactive timeline of the development of the Cadbury factory and the movement to fair wages and a 5-day working week. Some of the girls were surprised this had not always been the case, and that ‘in the olden days’ you worked all day, every day. Who knows where the Year 13’s timelines will take them after their time at Northampton High?

There have been mini science experiments in the Junior School foyer on a daily basis, which have captivated parents and girls alike. Lots of challenging questions being asked about how long a boat can float and how we can make a Skittles colour wheel just from water and the brightly coloured sweets.

We concluded Science Week with talks led by students past and present. Alexa Dykes – who left 4 years ago – gave the Reach Lecture on her time at the High School and her lasting message to the current students was to reach for your goals and even if you do not make it at the first attempt, to keep trying and use your time here wisely, seeking support, taking the trips, participating in the clubs and preparing yourself for future challenges. On Friday morning, Senior School was treated to a student-led assembly on #Women in STEM and their pathways for the future, and how time management and having a good time fits into their plans.

In summary, we have ventured down the rabbit hole of time and had a wonderful time exploring!  We have investigated, trialled, explained and discovered many uses and meanings of time. I hope your daughter will be able to tell you about some of the Science Week-related experiences we have shared.

Mrs Hodgetts-Tate
Head of Science Faculty