Think Week 2015

Monday & Tuesday

Monday began as all good Mondays should: with a newspaper tower building competition. Our twenty-one Think Weekers met their group for the first time and came up with some inventive group names: The Botanists, The Test Monkeys, Team Lightning and The Physics Thinkers.

The tallest towers stood over 2m high and were able to support the mass of our daring plastic pig!

During the afternoon, we met our pet Spheros. These robotic spheres are controlled using iPads, and we built four intricate mazes which we then expertly navigated them around.

We delved further into the world of robotics on Tuesday and used Arduinos, servos, musical instruments and a mountain of glue to create a robotic orchestra.

In the afternoon, we explored the world of 3D design using TinkerCad. You can see our designs at our TinkerCad page.

Wednesday

I can think of nothing better to do on a Wednesday in July than visit the Centre for Life – so that’s just what we did.

We explored Life from top to bottom: we played on retro computer games and struggled with exactly how to hold the N64 controller in the Game On 2.0 exhibition. We watched the stars turn above our heads in the Planetarium. We discovered the wonderful world of spinning physics in the Science Show. We also learned how to use microscopes and pipettes in the Experiment Zone.

All in all, it was a fantastic day – we all marched back to Think Lab with huge smiles on our faces.

Thursday

On Thursday morning we explored the world of optics, using lenses to create camera obscuras and mirrors to make periscopes.

Our camera obscuras allowed us project an image onto a small screen inside a cardboard box. We also tried out some big camera obscuras too. By lunchtime we were able to look above, behind and all around with our adjustable periscopes.

During the afternoon we left the world of physics behind and headed into Exhibition Park for a spot of minibeast hunting. We used pooters and quadrats to search for and collect a wonderful variety of different minibeasts. Take a look at the gallery to see what we found. We also used USB microscopes to get up close and personal with the various bugs, beetles, worms and spiders we found.

Friday

Our last day!

Our morning was filled with Bubble Science. In the lab, we learned all about surface tension by dropping water onto pennies and creating milk fireworks. We blew some huge bubbles inside bubbles (inside bubbles inside bubbles…). We discovered antibubbles and made some of our own. Finally we went outside to blow some gigantic bubbles using our super-secret bubble mixture (recipe to the right) and bubble wands.

Forces and friction filled our afternoon and we designed and tested plasticine submarines. We learned the difference between static and kinetic friction and now know all about the Bloodhound Land Speed Record car.

We finished Think Week with some brilliant presentations to parents. Think Week was a fantastic success and the children were brilliant. Keep your eyes on the Think Physics website for more exciting opportunities.

Our not-top-secret-because-we-got-it-from-somewhere-else giant bubble recipe

5g Guar Gum

200ml Fairy Liquid (Original)

16g Baking Powder

4 litres of cold water

Mix the Guar Gum and the Fairy Liquid in a large bucket then gently add 4 litres of cold water. Stir the solution and add the baking powder. Next, go outside and blow some huge bubbles. Then tweet pictures of your bubbles to @thinkphysicsne

This recipe comes from NightHawkInLight. You can find his bubbles videos on YouTube here.

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