Category Archives: STEM Visitors

A Day On The Track

Year 4 discovered a lot more about engineering when Mr Robinson took time off the track to talk about his exciting work with Formula One recently.  The children were so interested to hear about his action packed career which takes him all over the world.
Every child was invited to ask questions and offered the opportunity to look at his very special photos including the famous drivers he works with.  They also enjoyed inspecting the technical equipment that has been carefully designed to keep the drivers as safe as possible when driving at very high speed.
One of the highlights of Mr Robinson’s talk was hearing all about his team’s WORLD record breaking pit stop time of 2.05 SECONDS which earned them a prestigious place in the Guinness book of Records. A complete tyre change in the blink of an eye seems unimaginable – the class agreed this is definitely teamwork at it’s best!
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It’s great to hear from Mr Robinson and recent news from the government that there is an increasing number of Science apprenticeships on offer for young people nowadays.  More details about this work place based route into a STEM career can be found on the government’s website listed below.
The children are always very enthusiastic to hear from parents/carers with scientific careers to find out more about the appliance of Science.
Please email stem@bramblesideacademytrust.co.uk if you would like to showcase your career and inspire others.
For more information about government apprenticeships see https://www.getingofar.gov.uk/

Our 5 Senses on the Farm!

A special lesson of a farming theme certainly excited the Year 2 children lucky enough to trial one of the NFU’s new Science lessons today.

Children were treated to the farmyard sounds, tastes, textures, sights and smells in a carousel of activities.

Sorghum Success

It’s been an amazing surprise to discover that the Sorghum seeds that germinated at Brambleside school have successfully grown into healthy mature Sorghum plants bearing large seed heads! This crop is usually a source of grain in hot and dry parts of the world where other cereal crops cannot survive. It’s come as a real surprise to see them do so well in a sheltered sandy soil in another Northamptonshire primary school.

We feel real inspired to investigate this further next year by growing them in containers outside containing different types of soil.

white Sorghum bearing many seed heads which we will attempt to grow next year.

Science With Our Senses

Year 3 were challenged to tune into their sense of smell and sight today as Dr Garry made a return trip to update us on his research and deliver a few exciting experiments to help us understand more about the importance of our senses. 

Discovering that our sense of touch improves when our eyes are closed.

Experimenting with paper chromatography was fun. The black pen was the most interesting with many different colours appearing in the wet filter paper.

Exploring contrasting colours and discovering that black on yellow is the easiest to read.

Understanding that light is made of a spectrum of colours. Different living things detect different colours.

British Sciece Week Investigations

Year 4 enjoyed a whirlwind of chemistry, physics and biology in Science to celebrate national British Science week today.  In a carousel of activities the hardness of our tap water was investigated for a BBC Explorify national database, the pH of toothpaste, mouthwash and hair conditioner was tested, electrical circuits were made to spin colour wheels to explore Isaac Newton’s work on spectrums.  We wanted to see if the colours of the spectrum merge to make white if they spin round fast enough!  We also enjoyed trying out our new stop motion animation app to make movies on our new class iPads (which were very kindly donated by Fobs at Christmas).  Finally, oserving moss and a range of other living things under the microscopes really was a highlight of the session.  Seeing the tiny spores and leaves of moss transform before our eyes into what was described by the children as  a ‘ gigantic forest’ under the lens of the microscope was amazing.

Year 5 have been finding out about the discoveries that Sir.Isaac Newton made with light being made up of a spectrum of colours.  By slowing it down when passing it through a prism the different colours bend.  This is called refraction.


The children enjoyed the challenge of making Newton’s spinning wheels using their knowledge of electrical circuits.

Making sure that every colour of the spectrum is included turned out to be the most successful way of making a white spinning wheel!

Our closest to white wheel yet!



Moss, a very interesting plant under the microscope.

Measuring the rain would be far more fun using this fantastic rain gauge made by a very special scientist from RSS class!

Our traditional rain gauge. We are hoping to compare our rainfall with the rainfall currently being experienced with our science link friends in Portland America…

Next week we look forward to a return visit by Dr Garry Dix to inspire us with more of his research and chemistry experiments for us to explore.

It’s not to late to get involved. If you work in a stem profession and are related to a child in school and would be interested in delivering a talk or demonstration please email stem@bramblesideacademytrust.co.uk for more information.

Testing the pH of toothpaste and mouthwash.

Discovering that we need a greater range of colours to make the card look white!

Making stop motion movies with our new ‘stop motion studio’ app was fun!

Connecting a battery pack carefully to a motor to spin our colour wheels. The greater the power hopefully the chances of making the spectrum of colours merge to make white will increase….

A section of a bee’s wing through the lens of a microscope

Morrison’s Bakers Help Us Discover More About Making Bread

What makes it rise?  What is it made from?  How is it made?  How many different ways can you shape and flavour it?  So many questions to explore!  Our research helped find some of our answers and we look forward to making our own next time.

We are very grateful that staff  from Wm Morrisons Plc, Kettering found time to visit our school to help answer our numerous questions.  It was a very exciting lesson as we examined fresh dough, found out more about yeast and asked lots of questions.  We all enjoyed Ben’s bread quiz!

Proudly showing the young wheat seedlings to our very special visitors.

16kg of flour, half the amount that is used to make a big batch of dough to fill the machines.

Retelling our tale of the very hard working red hen.


There is so many flavours, shapes and textures to choose from.

Learning from the experts.

Ben’s dough before and after baking.

Enjoying the final product at last!

Here is a healthy bread recipe you can try at home…1 cup of warm water, 1.5 tablespoons of sunflower oil, 1 tablespoon of skimmed milk, 1.5 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon yeast, 3.25 cups of wholemeal bread making flour (strong).  Mix all together into a dough, allow this to rise for an hour in a warm place before baking in a hot oven, 220C/gas mileage 7,  until golden brown (approx  30 mins).

Yeast, the secret of fluffy soft bread! Learning about this amazing micro organism releasing a gas to make our bread rise is fascinating and inspires so many more questions….

Adding cups and spoons made our measurements so much easier.

Remembering the journey of wheat! Hardworking hens and farmers producing our wheat for us to eat!

Food For Thought

Year 5 got a great opportunity to learn more about the research and development of cereal products today when A food technologist came along to share his experience and work as a project manager at a local cereal company.

Inspired by the school’s recent plot of wheat and impressed by their thoughtful and imaginative ideas our visiting food technologist  asked the children if they would be keen to try and grow some ancient grains for him next Spring.  Some of these varieties of grain are so old they were found buried in the pyramids with the pharaohs, how exciting to bring these seeds to life and see how they compare to our modern crops!  We look forward to the challenge…