Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

Last week, Year 8 went on a physics trip to the Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium. After a welcome from the staff, we were split into three groups and dispersed to participate in a variety of activities. Firstly, our group went around the Centre, playing different games, including checking how flexible we were, figuring out why bubbles are spheres and even going through a tunnel made to work like the digestive system. We also used telekinetic waves to move a ball from one end of a tube to the other.

After this, we all sat down to lunch of sandwiches and fruit. We then had a discussion on how to figure out whether a gas is light or heavy, depending on whether or not the sound was loud when hydrogen- and air-filled balloons popped, or whether they floated or not. We then made our own rockets, choosing how many wings we wanted them to have and how much water we wanted to put into them (if any). This was followed by a little competition within groups to see which rocket could go the highest by pumping air into it to increase air pressure.

We spent some time in the park, where we tried to complete the obstacle course; I think we all agreed Mr Rickard was the fastest. We then got back together as a whole year group to go to the planetarium. Everyone was excited and eager to learn about the solar system. We sat in tilting chairs, because the whole planetarium is a screen, and were told about each planet in turn as we all stared in wonder. We learnt that the farthest we’ve ever been from our planet is to the moon and how tiny a distance that is in our universe. We learnt the names of all our planets, how a planet can be classified as one and why Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet. Overall, we had a lot of fun and would love to do it again. We talked about it all the way back to school on the coach and it was the topic of discussion all weekend.

Eno, Year 8